Ewan MacColl Centenary CD Tribute

Preview of a new 2-CD set honoring Ewan MacColl and WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS Playlist for September 13, 2015   This week’s show featured a spotlight on a new CD collection that celebrates one of the folk revival’s most influential artists in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Born in … → read more

I Hung My Head – Implements of Destruction, Pt. 4

This is Part 4 of our series Implements of Destruction.  Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 when you get a chance! Introduction – “With time to kill…” Ken established our Implements of Destruction series with posts considering three songs that, in three different ways, centered on a handgun … → read more

The Devil’s Right Hand – Highwaymen and Songs of the Road

The Highwaymen–Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson This is the second post this week on Steve Earle’s “The Devil’s Right Hand.” See the first post here. Today’s post reviews some of the covers of Earle’s song, and we wrap up with a serendipitous find from The Jason Paulson … → read more

The Devil’s Right Hand – Implements of Destruction, Pt. 3

“The Devil’s Right Hand” (artwork courtesy of Christopher Konecki ) Introduction After enjoying Pat’s excellent exposition of the Grateful Dead’s “China Doll,” I want to turn this week to the third song of the initial trio I envisioned to start out our occasional Implements of Destruction series. Today’s post will depend … → read more

Poor boy, you’re bound to die

Neil Young This our fourth post so far on the familiar murder ballad “Tom Dooley.” –The first post discusses some of the history behind the song. –The second post discusses the history of the song itself, from regional to international popularity. –The third post picks out some performances from the … → read more

1,000 places to go with her

  What I like most about “Frank’s Wild Years,” is what a clever little liar it is and how — like all clever little liars — its lies reveal so many larger truths. Truths not just about this couple, Frank and his wife, but also about the city they live … → read more

Outlaws, Bandits, and Troubadours

Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt After such a long post last time, I plan for this one to be long on music and short on text.  If there’s a narrative to capture here, it’s that I think “Pancho and Lefty” has become a favorite for singer-songwriters and performers following … → read more