Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Lot Like Dylan, A Little Like Townes

When Kman and I take those long car trips down to the Bend, we always try to pack a couple of new cds. Last year it was a new (to us) Jackson Browne and Neil Young. For this year's trek, I've turned to more native son music.

Butch Hancock, a Lubbock down-home boy, is not widely known outside of Texas, but he is an awesome talent. And just when I thought all the righteous protestors of the 60's and 70's had slid into fat-catdom, Hancock goes and produces this. Like the Great White Wonder Boy before him, Hancock has the edgy gutsy voice you once equated to younger Dylan. As much as I like his most recent cd, it was an older one that I bought for The Road Trip, "You Coulda Walked Around the World". There's something also to Hancock's voice that eerily whispers Townes Van Zandt; could be the sad achy undertones, or maybe it's just something special to Texas songmasters. Either way, Hancock is pure listening joy.

Don McLeese at No Depression (a terrific American music site, BTW) has a great review of "You Coulda Walked Around the World".

The second cd choice, "Come On Back", was also from another one of the original Flatlanders, Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Some of you may only know Gilmore from his small role in the Big Lebowski as "Smokey", but he is a heck of an artist. And who were/are the Flatlanders? I could look long and hard for a better description:

The Flatlanders’ sound was akin to a pre-War 78 rpm without the crackle and hiss-except that the lyrics were stunningly contemporary. It was a compelling juxtaposition of the old and new, as if Riley Puckett had finished a degree in modern poetry and spent a month in the desert with some funny cigarettes.

Joe Ely rounded out the final member of the founding Flatlanders, and I suppose to keep a balanced diet, I should also buy something of his, or of the entire group...maybe this little jewel.

Yep, that's what I plan to do.

Down in the Light of the Melon Moon

Woody walked out of the cotton field
In his head he had words that his lips concealed
An old airstrip where the weeds are growin'
A burned out bomber with the cockpit glowin'
With the key from a room to the Skyview Motel
He scratched words in the wing as a falling star fell

The moon sees you, the moon sees me
The moon sees who I want to see
I'll see you soon

Down in the light of the melon moon
Down in the light of the melon moon

On the other side of town 'n another side of life
Stella holds her breath and stares at the knife
She looks to the sky at the flash of a star
And just sees a man and a plane and a war
From a drawer by the bed she opens a book
To a sketch on a napkin that's torn half in two

The moon sees you, the moon sees me
The moon sees who I want to see
I'll see you soon
Down in the light of the melon moon
Down in the light of the melon moon

She doesn't feel lucky, she doesn't feel lost
She just feels like leavin', what ever the cost
Past the Skyview Motel with a man on her mind
Half her life in the headlights the other half behind
She passed a military truck by a cemetery wall
I guess good luck is better than no luck at all

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the sound of the song. But if it is trying to tell a story it's one that completely escapes me.

What does it say to you?

bill
prairie point