Filed under country music

Cameron and The Smiths

Some time ago,  former members of The Smiths, Morrissey and Johnny Marr “banned” the Prime Minister David Cameron from liking the band. Marr said: “Stop saying that you like the Smiths. No you don’t. I forbid you to like it.” I can understand their anger at the Prime Minister,but we live in a free country, … Continue reading

Are You Going to Whittingham Fair?

Yet another excerpt from the fascinating ‘Highways & Byways in Northumbria’ which probably sounds familiar: Whittingham Fair was a great event along ago, when the countryside was more populated and fairs were the times of replenishing the household and all sorts of merchandise was on sale. To read of the games and merry-making at Whittiingham … Continue reading

Handsome Surrealism

I saw the Handsome Family, aka Brett and Renee Sparks, perform a few years back, and they are both brilliant and the banter between them is hilarious and often surreal. I heard this on a programme based on Grape and Grain, and it made me realise that, though there are a lot of songs about … Continue reading

The Periodic Table in Song

Gideon Coe has a great evening show in 6 music, and by his own admission, much of he best stuff comes from listeners. Someone told him that the commonest element in songs is silver. Which made me wonder, who counted them, is this of songs ever written, or in this year’s pop charts? I would … Continue reading

The Divine Miss M and Urban Space

The other day I heard an interview with Bette Midler on how she had been impressed with the urban gardens, allotments etc she had seen whilst on tour in the UK many years ago, and when she returned to New York set about greening up what was at the time a pretty grim place to … Continue reading

Longevity of Country Music?

This is from Bob Stanley’s brilliant book, Yeah Yeah Yeah: “Almost every genre in this story so far has withered in its effectiveness after a wile, been absorbed or usurped, or at least stopped adding significant new ideas to the mix; the chart lifespan of any new genre is usualy 5 years from start to … Continue reading


This film by Maxine Trump is about the efforts NY Greenpeace to save southern Alaskan rainforest from  being cleat felled to extinction, and approaches some of the major guitar makers for help. The bulk of the ancient logs go to make furniture in Asia, buy guitar boards need very old spruce, so they went fact … Continue reading

The USA and The Communists

With events in the Ukraine reminding us of the bad days of the Cold War, it is fascinating to discover how much the USA was changed by their long time enemy. This is from an atricle in The Independent, by David Usborne of 31 March 2007: Murdoch’s New York Post was warning of the dangers … Continue reading

The Oldies Keep on Rocking

We’ve come a long way since The Who’s Roger Daltry used to scream ‘hope I die before I get old.’  The Stones show no sign of ceasing their rolling, and Leonard Cohen’s shows are said to be his best ever. A life on the road, even with modern support, is gruelling to the young, but … Continue reading

Danny Boy

I saw a documentary on this song, [will try to post on this later] which has become a sort of secular anthem for anyone with Irish ancestry or those drunk enough to join in anyway. Something about it keeps niggling. Danny boy is going away in the autumn, being asked to come back in the … Continue reading