Linden Arden and the Belfast Cowboy

Linden Arden

“Linden Arden Stole the Highlights” Van Morrison’s album Veedon Fleece (1974) on which today’s song appears, represents a bookend to an artistic period in his career; a period that began with his seminal Astral Weeks (1968). Songwriter Glen Hansard once commented to NPR that Astral Weeks made him “realize that so much of what makes music great … → read more

“Gambler’s Blues” (Unfortunate Rake, Part Two)

This post on “Gambler’s Blues”/”St. James Infirmary” is the second installment on variants of the “Unfortunate Rake” ballads. The first installment was on an older, British “Rake” ballad, called “Pills of White Mercury,” in which the narrator comes across a military comrade wrapped in white linen and dying. Mercury was a … → read more