Little Sadie – Cocaine Blues and Classic Country

Note: this is Part 2 of a three part series on “Little Sadie” – See also Part 1 and Part 3 Introduction Last week we looked at the roots and early life of the ballad most commonly known as “Little Sadie”.  But it wasn’t the first time she walked through … → read more

Little Sadie – Bad Lee Brown in Black and White

Note: This is Part 1 of a three part series on “Little Sadie” – See also Part 2 and Part 3 Introduction Our hiatus is over.  Hello and welcome back!  Or, if this is your first time with us, welcome! I have the honor of writing about the first song for … → read more

Pat’s Essential Eleven Non-Traditional Murder Ballads

Introduction A few weeks back I assembled a list of my ‘essential eleven’ traditional murder ballads.  While we here at Murder Ballad Monday usually delve deeply into one ballad or theme, we saw some possible value in a lighter ‘list-based’ approach from time to time.  Judging from reader response to … → 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

Jon Langford interview, Part Three

Lofty Deeds, Jon Langford This is the final installment of our interview with Chicago musician and artist Jon Langford. After recording three albums of murder ballads, he seemed like the ideal candidate for a Murder Ballad Monday sit-down. You can also read or re-visit Part 1 and Part 2. Today … → read more

Jon Langford interview, Part Two

Jon Langford (Photo by Barry Phipps, courtesy the artist and Bloodshot Records) Today we continue our conversation with transplanted Chicagoan and jack-of-all-trades (music, art, comic interludes, storytelling) Jon Langford. You can read Part One here; Part Three appears Friday. Today we find out why Langford wanted to record an album … → read more

Musician Jon Langford on the appeal of the murder ballad

Without A Doubt, Jon Langford (2007) Introduction When I was just a baby, my Mama told me, “Son Always be a good boy, don’t ever play with guns,” But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. — Johnny Cash (“Folsom Prison Blues”) Jon Langford is one … → read more

JOHNNY CASH: Bootleg Vols. III & IV

            JOHNNY CASH Bootleg Vol. III: Live Around the World Columbia/Legacy 88697 930032             JOHNNY CASH Bootleg Vol. IV: The Soul of Truth Columbia/Legacy 88697 985382 www.legacyrecordings.com www.johnnycash.com   The tapping of the vast Johnny Cash tape archive continues with … → read more

Head Hung

  I found the music of Colorado-based songwriter and recording artist Rorey Carroll, when she “liked” our Facebook page.  I looked up her web site, and gave “Head Hung” a listen, and heard something I recognized in this original murder ballad.  A few e-mails later, and we had a plan … → read more