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The Sun Shines on Sullivan and Songwriters and The Eagles Have Landed

The Sun Shines on Sullivan and Songwriters and The Eagles Have Landed

‘Twas such a beautiful Saturday afternoon, lots of the folks who packed The Distillery last week must have been outside collecting Vitamin D from the sun.  Still, we had some folks, a new songwriter, Kevin McDaniel and some great tunes.

Instead of starting with a standard from the American Songbook, Donnie and I opened with “Ashokan Farewell,” Jay Unger’s tune which most of us remember as the theme to the Ken Burns miniseries, “The Civil War.”  The low whistle resonated beautifully within The Distillery’s lovely acoustics.    He accompanied me on my jazzy tune, “Deliver Me,” reading down the horn chart.  On my album, “Sleep Naked,” Donnie played the same line with his baritone sax.   It’s a whole new number with the low whistle.

Brewster Smith and his NYC bandmate, Jon King, played a couple of Brewster’s songs:  “Sweet Dreams,” and the country flav, “Losing Your Love.”  I did a little background singing.  These guys are tight.  They’ve been recording together for a spell and Brewster’s new cd is about to drop.

Brew & Jon

Lucas Rotman joined us again.  Instead of his baritone guitar, he brought a banjo.  Now it’s hard for me to stay away from banjo jokes.  I’ll try.  Really I will.  A bunch of us joined in on Lucas’ songs, “Concrete Ship” and “Angelina.”  His tunes are so rich.  I’m hoping he’ll send in the lyrics to at least one of these gems, so I can share them with you.  He’s a writer folks.  And the banjo sounded great.

jam lucas er dc

Kevin Mc Daniel heard us play last week at “Woodsongs” at The Sullivan County Museum.  He hails from Hurleyville.  Or does he hurl from Hayleyville?  It’s one of these.  Anyway, Kevin performed his song, “Caveat Emptor,” ragging on big oil.  This, of course is Latin for “buyer beware.”  Seems that a number of us have songs that are aimed at Haliburton et al.  It must be the fresh air and water of Sullivan County.  However, in the spirit of magnanimity, I would like to invite anyone who has a song praising Big Oil to please pop by and perform it for us.  Please:)

Kevin & Lucas   (You can see Kevin enjoys having Lucas accompany him on the banjo.  I restrain myself from making banjo jokes.  It’s not that easy.)

Commercial break:  We’ve been “blurbed” in The River Reporter.  http://www.riverreporter.com/artsandleisure/4302/2013/03/13/sullivan-county-songwriters.  Now back to our narrative.

As there was some time left, we started up the rotation again with Brewster and Jon playing more Brewster songs.  The  two songs were “What’s Due” and “Johnny Action.”  Johnny Action is a pretty amazing tune.  It starts in a gorgeous bossa nova and moves into a darker, three note riff, while telling the story of an old schoolmate who ends up dead.  I love this tune.

I performed, “Enlightenment,” which leads off my “Sleep Naked” cd.   Ever get annoyed by someone who’s in the process of recovering from addiction and keeps calling to tell you about all their latest “aha” moments?  That’s what “Enlightenment” is about.  I also did the New Orleans style, “Do You Want Me?” with Brewster on percussion for both tunes.

Lucas came be back with his rocker, “Pauline,” with a Chuck Berry feel.  Just before 5pm, everybody then grabbed a chair and joined in on a final blues, “Sitting on Top of the World” with Lucas fronting the vocals.  (It’s a blues sung by John Lee Hooker and written, we believe, by the Mississippi Sheiks.)

Many thanks to our small, but appreciative audience, especially Maureen Neville, who has been a major supporter of SC^2.  Here she is, in front of the glorious new addition to The Distillery, a chainshaw carving of eagles by local artist, Paul Stark.  According to Stacy Cohen, the co-owner of The Dancing Cat and Catskill Distillery, Paul is also a musician with a ton of original tunes.  I won’t believe it till he comes in here and shares them with us.  Up until then, it’s just hearsay.

Maureen & eagles

Paul’s ubiquitous carvings at The Dancing Cat and The Catskill Distillery are outrageous.   He’s is a master of this genre.  Here’s what this brand new carving looks like up close:

Just eagles

The final jam was so much fun.  With a smaller audience, there was lots of time for camaraderie between the songwriters.  camaraderie         jam session

OK.  I made it through this whole post without one banjo joke.

Here’s Lucas tipping his hat to my restraint:

lucas tips his hat

But I cannot restrain myself from quoting Mark Twain who said:

“A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and

doesn’t.”

Mark Twain

Many thanks, Samuel:)

Elizabeth…

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About Elizabeth Rose

"Excels in conversation. A past master at repartee and ad libbing. Vivacious"....7th grade report card - Mr. Giunta, teacher. Author, "Yo Miz!" (1 teacher + 25 schools = 1 wacky year) now available as an ebook on Smashwords (my fav): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/449341, and all other ebook retailers including Amazon Kindle, iBooks, Barnes and Noble. Excerpts @ yomizthebook.com. Edu-tainer, songwriter, playwright, film maker: tv, film, stage. www.elizabethrosemusic.com

3 responses »

  1. Love this! And LOVE the banjo. Sorry I missed it. Please tell Lucas to bring it again.

    Reply
    • Thank you Sandy. I hope to see you Saturday and, if we have a small group, maybe we can work on our new songs. I have just started one:). Also, Brewster, Lucas and I were talking about asking willing songwriters to write about a theme, maybe over a week or two. A theme like “renewal” for the advent of spring…maybe. Whaddya think?

      Reply
  2. Lucas has sent some lyrics. Here they are:

    Concrete Ship
    Out along the sandy slip
    Shout my words between loose lips
    And laugh about the typhoon’s grip
    As we launch our ship
    So baby let’s take a trip
    Oh yeah, let’s take a trip

    And as we remain at sea
    Just you, the waves, the sky and me
    Enjoy what it means to be free
    Nothing stands between our dreams
    Just the sheer weight of reality
    A heavy weight indeed, oh yeah
    Chorus:
    Sometimes love is like a concrete boat
    We set it in the water just to watch it float
    Climb on board, boys, that’s all she wrote
    Just another attraction off the Jersey coast
    Oh yeah, historical footnote
    Man that’s all she wrote

    You can wait for the new day to begin
    When our good ship comes in
    Through all we’ve learned to the wind
    Fit common sense fits on the head of a pin
    To the depths we’ll spin
    Notify my next of kin, Oh yeah…
    Chorus

    ***

    Pauline
    Intro-interlude (Just me with harp)—
    First shot
Second shot
Hit the mark
But that third shot 
Well it pierced my heart

Pauline, Pauline
    I should have know better
    Should have come clean
I stepped out of line with
Sweet Pauline
    Pauline

    First shot I staggered
The second I fell
Third shot sent me –Sarah sings from here
Straight down to hell

    Pauline, Pauline
    I should have know better
    Should have come clean
I stepped out of line with
Sweet Pauline
    Pauline

    First shot for cheating
Second for lying
Third for all the times—Sarah comes in here
    I left her crying
    Pauline, Pauline
    I should have know better
    Should have come clean
I stepped out of line with
Sweet Pauline
    Pauline, Pauline

    She shot me once Sarah and me together
    She shot me twice
    That third shot
    Right between the eyes
    (Pauline solo through the chorus)

    First shot in anger
Second in shame
Third shot to wipe away the human stain (sarah)

    Pauline, Pauline
    I should have know better
    Should have come clean
Don’t step out of line with
Sweet Pauline
    Pauline

    Instrumental verse (Lucas with Harp)

    Pauline, Pauline (continue with harp)
    You don’t strike matches near gasoline
    You don’t fuck with the gypsy Queen
    Pauline


    ***
    Miner’s for Melody
    (Start singing immediately!):
    I’m not mining for black coal
    Not for copper, tin or gold
    Not for the riches of the mother lode
    I’m mining melody down in my soul
    (short banjo interlude)

    No more hammering
    Through granite rock
    Jack legs slamming against
    The cinder block
    I’m not returning to punch that clock
    You can hear me singing
    By the shack house docks

    Chorus:
    So long Rosedale, sweet Tennessee
    Lousiana’s where I long to be
    No more digging
    Underneath my feet
    I’ll be a miner for the melody
    I’ll be a miner for the melody
    (banjo solo)

    The open wound of the old strip mine
    The sad eyed beauty that we leave behind
    The sweaty backs
    Pass it on down the line
    Tonight we’ll be hitting
    Old 129
    (violin solo)

    The deep dark tunnels that I have seen
    I can taste the dampness in my dreams
    Nothing below that can set me free
    So now I’m a miner for the melody
    Chorus:
    So long Rosedale, sweet Tennessee
    Lousiana’s where I long to be
    No more digging
    Underneath my feet
    I’ll be a miner for the melody
    I’ll be a miner for the melody
    I’ll be a miner for the melody
    (short banjo solo and end)

    ***

    Portraits
    I used to wonder why, you painted old buildings and warehouses
    Decaying remains of factories, corpses of trains
    The bottoms of bridges, shipyards warped beyond repair
    Storefront church in Kensington, peeling park benches in Norris square

    I guess I used to wonder what, you saw in the remains and the rust
    A solitude, a oneness in the stroke of the brush
    Escape from the neighbors barking dogs,
    The summer nights, the beeping horns,
    The multitude, the endless throngs, a place to belong
    Chorus:
    If I could see, If I could see through your eyes
    Through all the days that pass you by
    Through these city streets you’d walk
    To capture everything that you’ve lost

    I try to see things as you see, but I don’t have your eyes, your unique ability
    To bring out the color, shape, the symmetry
    To give life to things
    I can only guess what brought you here
    To the lonely places that other’s fear
    Was it the silence you learned to hear
    In the fading memories of forgeotten years?
    Chorus:
    If I could see, If I could see through your eyes
    Through all the days that pass me by
    Through these city streets I’d walk
    To capture everything that I’ve lost

    So let’s take a walk before we go, back to the places we used to know
    Bring your dark palate and easel though, where the river flows
    While we sit down in the shade, you paint the old refinery
    And I’ll sing a song honoring this crumbling promenade
    (chorus)
    If I could see, If I could see through your eyes
    Through all the days that pass us by
    Through these city streets we’d walk
    To capture everything that we’ve lost
    If I could see though your eyes

    ***
    Thank you Lucas.

    Reply

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