Cornbread: The Story Behind The Song

Preacher Boy - The National Blues - Lyrics

We’ve just published an enhanced lyric booklet for “The National Blues!” It features lyrics, stories behind the songs, insider guitar tips, and more.

You can download a free copy in either PDF (multi-use) or EPUB (iBooks) format here, or, if you’d like to enjoy the book on your Kindle/Kindle app, you can get it in the Kindle store on Amazon for just .99¢!

Here is an excerpt from the text; a short essay about the origins of the second track on the album:

Cornbread

The seeds of this song have been with me for probably decades at this point; I think I first hazarded a demo of it when we were living in Brooklyn, though I believe the first time I tried to play a version of it was with Colin Brooks, during a songwriter’s conference in Durango, Colorado that my missus and I drove down to from Denver.

Lyrically, the song has changed little over the years, and it’s the stories of the families in the verses that have kept the song with me across the miles. What finally clicked was the music. I wish I could claim it was a magical, revelatory moment, or the result of years of diligence and experimentation, but in fact, the click was a simple one. I changed the tuning on my guitar from Open D to Open G. That was it.

The characters are largely based on real people from my childhood; the names have been changed to protect the innocent, but I left the real names in for the guilty


The #DisruptiveCountryBlues Tour

The #DisruptiveCountryBlues Tour

I had a dream about this tour last night. It was called the #DisruptiveCountryBlues Tour. We played all 50 states in the US. Brother Dege, Dave Arcari, Johnny Azari, Will Scott, and Preacher Boy. Before the tour started, we invited artists from every state to enter our competition: write an essay about “Disruptive Country Blues”—what it means, what it means to them, and why the term applies to their music. We also asked them to submit a video of their music. We then picked one artist from every state to join us on the bill. So, a 6-artist show in every state. Plus, we got to help support the careers of 50 MORE Disruptive Country Blues artists. It was really beautiful. I didn’t want to wake up.

Brother Dege

Dave Arcari

Johnny Azari

Will Scott

Preacher Boy

 

 

 


The Story Behind The Song: Obituary Writer Blues

Preacher Boy - The National Blues - Lyrics

I am very happy to announce that we’ve just published an enhanced lyric booklet for “The National Blues.” It features lyrics, stories behind the songs, insider guitar tips, and more.

You can download a free copy in either PDF (multi-use) or EPUB (iBooks) format here, or, if you’d like to enjoy the book on your Kindle/Kindle app, you can get it in the Kindle store on Amazon for just .99¢!

Here is an excerpt from the text; a short essay about the origins of the lead track on the album:

Obituary Writer Blues

Obituary Writer Blues began with two things: a visual idea, and a musical one.

Visually, it was the parallel imagery of a murdered black body lying on a white sheet, and black letters being laid onto white paper by a writer at a typewriter, charged with drafting an obituary for the murdered.

Musically, the song began with a slide riff, borrowed fairly wholesale from Son House, but by way of Will Scott. The thing was then reshaped into a 15-bar cycle—a kind of country blues counting. Two other sections came together later; the 2-chord minor-major interlude, and the chorus, which also quotes from the country blues, borrowing from Sleepy John Estes about knowing right from wrong.

The “rock, paper, scissors” image in the final verse came from our daughter, who at the age of 7 has determined that this game is the solution to the problems of violence in the world. I put it in the song because she’s right.


The 8 Musical Influences Behind The Song “Down The Drain”

 

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“Down The Drain” is the first official video single off my new album “The National Blues” on Coast Road Records. And like virtually everything I write, its roots go deep, and it draws on a great many influences for its shape and sound.

The origins of the song are actually a little out of step with much of what I write, the bulk of which is largely inspired by the early country blues/delta blues canon. Probably the most important influence is actually a comparatively contemporary musical act, a band called Sixteen Horsepower. For my money, they’re likely the greatest band you’ve never heard of. They came out of Denver about the same time as my first album came out (1995), part of a small, localized, but very wonderful sort of Gothic Americana movement that included acts like The Denver Gentlemen, Slim Cessna, Tarantella, Munly, and more. (Full disclosure,  I later spent about two years in Denver, and shared bills at one time or another with most of these acts).

David Eugene Edwards of 16 Horsepower was fond of using open minor tunings in what sounded to me like an Open Gm form, and while I’d already spent half my life in open tunings, and while I was also deeply fond of minor keys, I’d never really put the two together in an Open Gm form until I heard 16 Horsepower. But listen to South Pennsylvania Waltz, or Coal Black Horses, or I Seen What I Saw, or Prison Shoe Romp, and you’ll surely see the similarities! (The following playlist has a whole host of 16 Horsepower gems):

Another big influence on the sound of “Down The Drain” was actually a song I learned to love from hearing my Dad play it on the record player when I was a kid. It was a great guitar instrumental from an era full of great guitar instrumentals, and I used to just love it. I’m not even sure I was drawing on its influence as “Down The Drain” started to come together, but once I realized what I’d done, it was pretty obvious what I’d done! Give it a listen, and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean:

Duane Eddy did a killer version of this as well, which you can check out here, and which I also really love.

The semi-wordless chorus (depending on whether you think “sha” and “la” are words!) of “Down The Drain” is probably the other key component of this song that has clear sonic antecedents. I’ve always loved songs that use vocal “sound” as evocation … think of the “humming” part of Skip James’ magisterial “Hardtime Killing Floor Blues” as but one example (Skip’s melodies on this song are definitely an influence on “Down The Drain” as well!), or Adelaide Hall on Ellington’s “Creole Love Call,” both of which are great examples of this kind of thing. Probably more specific to “Down The Drain” of course is something like Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl”—the sha-la-la’s tell the whole emotional story! Given the sound of my voice though, the comparison that probably leaps to mind sooner than Van Morrison is Tom Waits, from “Jersey Girl.” And yeah, I’ll confess that was in my mind when I first started toying with doing the chorus this way. But honestly, it’s not one of my favorite Waits songs, and truthfully, while “Down The Drain” may SOUND like “Jersey Girl” the effect I was actually after was more akin to Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger” which somehow manages to make la-la-la sound somehow so … rueful.

So, where does that get us to so far? 16 Horsepower, Bill Justis, Skip James, and some combination of Van Morrison, Tom Waits, and Iggy Pop. That’s the music!

Now, as to lyrics, that’s a little harder. I don’t entirely know WHERE they came from! I will certainly admit that the drink has played a lot of roles in my songs over the years, and Shane MacGowan has certainly been my patron saint in that regard, so the reference to “your Chardonnay sky will go black & tan” can probably be attributed in no small part to the influence of The Pogues. And I’m not sure one can write a song with rain as a central metaphor and not be thinking of Ann Peebles singing “Can’t Stand The Rain”:

There is actually a LOT of country blues in Peebles’ song, most notably in this verse:

Alone with the pillow
Where his head used to lay, yeah
I know you’ve got some sweet memories
But like a window you ain’t got nothin’ to say

Which definitely calls to mind these lyrics from Son House’s immortal Death Letter Blues:

Got up this mornin’, just about the break of day
A-huggin’ the pillow where she used to lay

I actually first discovered Ann Peebles’ song being sung by a band at Your Place Too in Oakland, back in the late eighties. (Check out my friend Pete Devine’s bio on the Howell Devine website for a nice little reference to Your Place Too). I don’t remember the band, but I’ve always remembered the song!

So, now we’re up to: 16 Horsepower, Bill Justis, Skip James, some combination of Van Morrison, Tom Waits, and Iggy Pop, Shane MacGowan, and Ann Peebles.

And I think that’s where I’ll stop. Eight! And I tell you what, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to write songs, if for no other reason than you get to listen to so much music! Thanks for helpin’ me continue to get to do it! To borrow (and mutate!) a great quote from the world of creative writing, to be a good songwriter, you must be a good songlistener!

~

Buy “Preacher Boy – The National Blues” direct! Just click the image below:

PreacherBoy_TheNationalBlues_Web

 

 


74 Songs in the Set

The Preacher Boy Trio

As I was getting ready for last Saturday night’s special Preacher Boy Trio show, it occurred to me I ought to sit down and try and recall how many songs I had available “in current circulation”; meaning, how many songs was I actively playing these days, that I could in theory call on for the show?

I don’t use set lists—preferring to make it up as I go—but it’s always good to refresh the memory every once in a while, because otherwise it’s too easy to start to fall into patterns of always relying on certain songs, while totally forgetting that I theoretically have other ones at my disposal as well.

Now, that said, certain songs I’m almost almost going to want to play. Songs from the new record, for example, or brand-new songs that I’m still working on. Or, that certain shortlist of songs that I’m just morally foresworn to keep playing until I die; those canonical life-blood songs that have kept me going through the good times and the bad: Death Letter Blues, Jesus Make Up By Dying Bed, Sliding Delta, Death Don’t Have No Mercy, etc.

Anyhow, I sat down and tried to write ’em all down from memory, and I ended up with 74 songs. To qualify for the list, it had to be a song that I’d played in the last year—if I hadn’t played it in that time frame, then I didn’t claim it as being “in circulation” (even if I COULD have played it if I’d wanted to!).

And so, presented in alphabetical order, here are the 74 in-circulation songs which could in theory show up at any given time in any given show:

  1. a golden thimble
  2. a little better when it rains
  3. a little more evil
  4. a person’s mind
  5. a thief for every bible
  6. at the corner of the top and the bottom
  7. baby, please don’t go
  8. black crow
  9. blister and a bottle cap
  10. broke and low
  11. casey bill weldon
  12. chop wood, carry water
  13. coal black dirt sky
  14. cold winter day
  15. come back, baby
  16. comin’ up aces
  17. cornbread
  18. de vamp
  19. dead, boy
  20. death don’t have no mercy
  21. death letter blues
  22. dip, dip, and swing
  23. divin’ duck blues
  24. down and out in this town
  25. down south blues
  26. down the drain
  27. evil blues
  28. fixin’ to die
  29. gun
  30. house of the rising sun
  31. i just hang down my head and i cry
  32. i shall not be moved
  33. if i had possession over my judgement day
  34. in the darkened night
  35. jackson street
  36. jesus, make up my dyin’ bed
  37. levee camp blues
  38. maggie campbell
  39. mama, let me play with your yo-yo
  40. milk cow blues
  41. motherless children
  42. my car walks on water
  43. my gold canoe
  44. need mo’ Blues
  45. nehemiah james
  46. new red cedar blues
  47. ninety-nine bottles
  48. obituary writer blues
  49. old jim granger
  50. one good reason
  51. one-way turnstile
  52. preachin’ blues
  53. railroad
  54. revenue man blues
  55. rock skipper
  56. rollin’ stone
  57. setting sun
  58. seven’s in the middle, son
  59. shake ’em on down
  60. shine on harvest moon
  61. sliding delta
  62. spoonful
  63. stagolee
  64. take me back
  65. that’s no way to get along
  66. the cross must move
  67. the dogs
  68. there go john
  69. ugly
  70. umbrella
  71. watered down
  72. whistleman
  73. you been a good ol’ wagon
  74. you rascal you

Something missing from that list you think I ought to work back in? Let me know!


99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

 

PreacherBoy_MissionSt

The song was originally written from the back window of a 4-room railroad apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn, just after 9.11.

It was recorded at RPM studios in Manhattan, which is no longer there.

It was released on “Demanding To Be Next” which is still here.

It was played tonight at Mission St. BBQ, which is over there. I am looking right.

Tonight it wore a harmonica rack around its neck and had a ’36 National in its lap:

Preacher Boy – 99 Bottles [LIVE]

(if you don’t see the embedded audio player above, please click here to stream)

On “Demanding to be Next” it had that same National, but no harmonica. And it went like this:

When you want to sing along, sing it all night long. And it goes like this:

ninety-nine bottles

i think i better kill time
before it kills me
put some silence on a sawed-off
see if anybody hears me
there’s ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall
i like wine better, but i make do, y’all
rain is runnin’ off the roof
tick-tockin’ on the fire escape
and i’m pitchin’ pennies at the puddles
and takin’ a drink for every one i make
there’s ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall
i like wine better, but i make do, y’all
ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall
i like wine better, but i make do, y’all
ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall
i like wine better, but i make do, y’all
there’s lights on ‘cross the alley
but everybody’s blinds are drawn
and there ain’t nothin’ stirrin’
and nothin’ is goin’ on
there’s ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall
i like wine better, but i make do, y’all
ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall
i like wine better, but i make do, y’all
ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall
i like wine better, but i make do, y’all
(p) PreachSongsMusic/KobaltMusic/BMI
~

(header image by Jake J. Thomas)


Johnny Azari and Preacher Boy’s God Damn National Blues

JohnnyAzari_PreacherBoy_Final

Johnny Azari’s life and my life overlap in a great many ways. Musical, sure. We both play slide on resonator guitars. We’re both heavily influenced by the country blues. We both stomp our boots a great deal, and sing with rough-hewn voices. Read reviews of our music, and half the words are generally the same. Howl, dark, poetry, Robert Johnson, narcotic, gravel, ghost, whiskey, blues, night, etc.

“Johnny Azari doesn’t pull any punches with his blues. This is in your face, razor-edge reconstruction of a genre that’s gotten soft. His music is the last swig of whiskey after a long night of drinking. The dark alleyway. This is real-life emotion through music and he’s not cleaning it up just to make a few casual listeners more comfortable.”
—We Listen For You

“Johnny Azari is a sort of time traveler. As the musician seeks a blend between Jimmy Rogers and Robert Johnson, he hears his music going back to the roots of blues. Azari’s sound features a mix of Delta blues and alternative country — two genres known to demand authenticity from their performers. Azari said he’s just fine with that.
—The Joplin Globe

“Accompanied solely by his keening, propulsive National and Martin guitar playing, Preacher Boy compulsively unwinds a series of often startling, narcotic tales, that prove image-rich and packed with an aura of sweeping drama – made even more pungent by his gruff, whiskey-soaked vocals.”
—Sing Out

“With some of the most innovative roots music on the scene today, Preacher Boy will make a believer out of even the most skeptical. The album creates dusky lyrical landscapes littered with hobos, ghosts, drunks, loneliness, love, and salvation. The result is a totally unique twist on roots music.” 
—Blues Access

Location? Sure, that too. Brooklyn and New Orleans in particular.

Business? A bit. We overlapped on Altco Recordings for a wee bit there. That’s how we met, actually. Well, we didn’t actually meet. We wrote. We corresponded. We listened to each others music. But we never actually met in the conventional sense of the word. But we’re about to.

Sunday, July 24th, 2016, at 8pm, at The Pocket, in Santa Cruz, CA, Johnny Azari and Preacher Boy are going to meet. And we’re going to play. And we gonna howl, and howl, and howl …

I had the pleasure of writing a review of Johnny Azari’s music once. I share it with you here:

Johnny Azari’s God Damn Blues

Johnny Azari is the kind of artist you often see referred to as an “old soul.” These people evidence a wisdom beyond their years, and seem to speak from another time. We could say this about Johnny Azari, but we won’t. Because while his roots runs very, very deep, and while he does possess a preternatural musical maturity, his music is very NOW. It is funky, it is soulful, it is raw, and it is very, very real. Put another way, God Damn Blues is goddamn powerful.

If your first look at the Lucian Freud by way of R.L. Burnside cover—and song titles like Empire of Illusion, Immaculate Abortion, and Opiated Like Tuesday—suggests to you that you’re in for something intense, the first ominous stomps of the title track will confirm it.

Depending on your own musical roots, you may need some sonic references to help you find your way into understanding this music. So you’ll do well to bone up on your Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, and Charley Patton. And make sure to dose up on some Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt and Tom Waits while you’re at it. Bin diggers can happily cue up the gothic Americana of 16 Horsepower, the New Orleans meets the Delta sounds of John Mooney, and even The Doors of “Waiting for the Sun” and “Wild Child.” Ultimately though, the artist you most need to listen to is Johnny himself.

His voice is untamed and without boundary—one part howl and one part hum. His guitar playing and slide work have the frenetic precision of a Kokomo Arnold track, and his lyrics enact some sort of cross between Woody Guthrie and a primal scream therapy session. But at its damaged yet still wildly beating heart, this album is simply about a man and his guitar, and the stories the two combine to tell. At the end of “Empire Illusion” Johnny sings, “Oh, I think I’m too old/I think I’m too young.” Listen to this album, and you’ll think he’s timeless.

Johnny Azari’s God Damn Blues. Preacher Boy’s National Blues.

god-damn-bluesPreacherBoy_TheNationalBlues_Web

That’s what’s on offer Sunday night.

Johnny Azari and Preacher Boy’s God Damn National Blues.


Preacher Boy Trio: Now, Con Funky Adicional

 

 

 

The Preacher Boy Trio

The Preacher Boy Trio, live at Aptos St. BBQ: featuring Zack Olsen & Virgil Thrasher (photo by Ulises Gonzalez)

Tonight’s show was groovy as f&*k—The Preacher Boy Trio was Con Funky Adicional.

Cheers to Zack Olsen (drums) and Virgil Thrasher (harmonica) for blessin’ me with the music tonight. I was so honored. Thanks to Aptos St. BBQ fer havin’ us … such a good home for this music.

So, I’ll run ya the whole set list down below, and some lyrics as well, but here’s a lil’ foursome of raw live tracks straight from the stage to give ya the Con Funky flavor:

If I Had Possession Over My Judgement Day

(if you don’t see the embedded music player below, please click here to stream)

i start every show with it, and so you see it listed every time, but i never offer recordings of it, but I will do tonight, cuz this was a particularly struttin’ version of the cut …

 

New Red Cedar Blues

(if you don’t see the embedded music player below, please click here to stream)

essentially pretty much a new song—i did try and roll out an early arrangement of it a few months ago, but it weren’t happenin’ yet, so ’twas shelved and woodshedded, but the thing came back with a vengeance tonight … lyrics at the end of  post…

 

A Thief For Every Bible

(if you don’t see the embedded music player below, please click here to stream)

this is essentially a new song as well, tho it’s born of some pre-existing components—the final lyric is actually a combo of two earlier songs that never quite coalesced independently, as well as a new 1/2 chorus, and the music is a complete re-arrangement of a long-ago track that crawled back out from under a rock and said, “play me as a slide guitar rhumba in a minor key, and I’ll be yer baby tonight … and so, said yes …

 

Blister and a Bottle Cap

(if you don’t see the embedded music player below, please click here to stream)

I include this cuz it’s just f&*kin’ epic. Nearly 8 minutes of AltBlues Con SwampFunk

 

And here are lyrics for the new songs in town:

New Red Cedar Blues

off the banks where the rapids flow
learn a lil’ somethin’ ‘bout what i know
raccoon is as raccoon does
learn a lil’ somethin’ bout what i was

and the good witch of the river
from deep down in the water
asks for you to give her
your wish upon a quarter
flashin’ silver that you feed her
oh, if you get lost …
come on home to red cedar

the thunder sends the lightnin’ first
after that, the cloud bursts
its buckshot through the shadows
to the water’s black staccato

and the good witch of the river…

oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’
oh my darlin’, look behind you
in a cavern, in a canyon
if you get lost, i’m gon’ find you
oh, if you get lost …

we left the lake to greet the sun
and got some walkin’ done
back to red cedar
follow the leader

and the good witch of the river…

oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’…

 

A Thief For Every Bible

rats thin and dried, and the noose you tied
and it’s a bad day comin’
it’s a whistle and a pig
and i can hear the drummin’

sweet bitter tea, and the howlin’ three
got an itch for hemlock
they sold the black mariah
and bought an auction block

hey hey, it’s something to wrap your head around
somethin’ good ‘bout to rise up, somethin’ bad ‘bout to go down
hey hey, somethin’ even you have never seen
gon’ be a thief for every bible, and a drunk for every dream

soot sweet and thick, and the broken brick
i hear the claws a-climbin’
a crow inside an overcoat
said somethin’ ’bout simon

and so simon said, god bless the dead
and the rest can go to hell
tell the pig to get his whistle
and tell the rat to ring the bell

hey hey, it’s something to wrap your head around…

hey there gun, tell the seventh son
we ’bout to build a railroad
i know you like the water clear
as dew upon a cane toad

i’m drinkin’ buttermilk , all by myself
been in the cups on rye
i make the fine look ugly
i make the ugly look fine

hey hey, it’s something to wrap your head around…

 

and here’s the full set list from the evening’s entertainment:

The Preacher Boy Trio: featuring Zack Olsen & Virgil Thrasher

Live at Aptos St. BBQ, 7.16.2016

  1. if i had possession over my judgement day (robert johnson, arr. pb)
  2. i just hang down my head and i cry (mance lipscomb, arr. pb)
  3. down the drain (pb)
  4. cornbread (pb)
  5. the cross must move (pb)
  6. catfish (willie doss, arr. ob)
  7. setting sun (pb)
  8. casey bill weldon (pb)
  9. comin’ up aces (pb)
  10. down and out in this town (pb)
  11. a person’s mind (pb)
  12. my car walks on water (pb)
  13. new red cedar blues (pb)
  14. a little more evil (pb)
  15. revenue man blues (charley patton, arr. pb)
  16. dead, boy (pb)
  17. motherless children (blind lemon jefferson/mance lipscomb/dave van ronk, arr. pb)
  18. a thief for every bible (pb)
  19. down south blues (sleepy john estes, arr. pb)
  20. blister and a bottle cap (pb)
  21. baby, please don’t go (bukka white, arr. pb)

 

I hope you dig!


3 different shows, 3 different set lists — Can you spot the differences?

Show #3. Lovely backdrop. Very small chair. Stacy Adams boots. Bailey brim.

Solid week, this one. 3 shows in 6 days. Not a killer pace, but solid. I don’t do set lists in advance, but when I have a series of shows in a row, the process takes on a life. Some songs naturally seem to clump up together, and they stay that way across the shows. Possibly due to how the guitar tunings transition, but often simply because they seem to be mojoin’ together. Other songs just come out of nowhere. Like ridin’ a bike. You fall off a song sometimes, but when you get back up on it, hopefully  you keep your balance …

Anyhow, here’s the 3 different set lists from the different shows … some differences, some sameness. Few notes along the way as well. And yeah, pretty much always start with “Possession.” Dig …

(and p.s. the shot above is from show #3. lovely backdrop. very small chair. Stacy Adams boots. Bailey brim.)

Preacher Boy set list: Tuesday, July 5

If I had possession over my judgement day
Death letter
Evil Blues
Revenue man blues
Levee camp blues
Setting sun
Comin’ up aces
You been a good old wagon (back in the mix after a long absence. Bessie Smith by way of Dave Van Ronk. First started tryin’ to play this about 30 years ago)
One good reason (back in outta nowhere. Written & recorded w/ Eagle-Eye Cherry originally)
Cornbread
Catfish blues
Spoonful blues
There go John
Jackson Street
Railroad
My car walks on water
At the corner of the top and the bottom
Jesus, make up my dyin’ bed
Casey Bill Weldon (brand-new song)
In the darkened night (outta nowhere. haven’t played this in ages. From Gutters & Pews originally)
New Red Cedar blues (not yet recorded/released)

Preacher Boy set list, Thursday, July 7

If I had possession over my judgement day
Setting sun
Down the drain
Railroad
Dead, boy
Catfish blues
A little better when it rains (back in the mix after a decade away. lead track from “Demanding to be Next”)
Jesus, make up my dying bed
Hang down my head and cry
Casey Bill Weldon
You been a good old wagon
Fixin’ to die
Down and out in this town
New Red Cedar blues
A person’s mind
Cornbread
Down south blues
Evil blues
Revenue man blues
Comin’ up aces
One good reason
Obituary writer blues
Baby, please don’t go

Preacher Boy set list, Sunday, July 10

If I had possession over my judgement day
Death letter blues
Catfish blues
Jackson street
Setting sun
Comin’ up aces
Down south blues
Shake ‘em down
My car walks on water
A person’s mind
At the corner of the top and the bottom
Obituary writer blues
The cross must move (pretty rare for this one to rear up. originally from the very first Preacher Boy ablum, on Blind Pig Records)
Dead, boy
Casey Bill Weldon
Cornbread
Baby, please don’t go

~

I listened back to the recordings of the shows (guerrilla-style, raw), and tried to pick out one I thought ya’d like. I decided on “In The Darkened Night.” This was originally recorded for the Gutters & Pews album on Blind Pig Records. I played accordion and 12-string acoustic on the album version. Ralph Carney and Jim Campilongo did an amazing clarinet and Telecaster thing on it. I dug that track. But I don’t think Blind Pig did. Anyhow, here’s meself doin’ a solo National Resophonic rendition:

Preacher Boy – In The Darkened Night [LIVE]

(if you don’t see the embedded media player above, please click here to stream)

And if’n ya wanna hear the original album version; i.e. that Accordion/Campilongo/Carney version from Gutters & Pews, here ’tis on the ol’ Spotify:

 

 


CDs are now available!

The National Blues, available now on CD!

Preacher Boy - The National Blues - CDs now availablle!

“The National Blues,” featuring 2 new Bonus Tracks, is now available on CD, and for direct download.
Please visit http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/preacherboy3 to order today!

You can also download The National Blues from the following fine online retailers:

M.R. Dowsing, songwriter behind The Hungry Dog Brand, author of The Assassination of Adolf Hitler, and promoter of many of the UK’s most successful independent live music series, recently penned a review of “The National Blues”:

This is the first album in many years from this artist, and very welcome it is too. Preacher Boy was a pioneer in the rather specialised genre of alt-blues in the ’90s, and what made him stand out was the finely-honed lyrical sensibility he brought to the blues along with his guitar-playing chops and distinctive raspy vocals. Despite demonstrating his ability to work outside this genre, for this new record he’s firmly back in blues territory. Preach plays an original vintage National steel guitar from the 1930s, often utilising a slide, and is particularly influenced by artists such as Charley Patton, Son House, Bukka White and Skip James. ‘The National Blues’ is just Preach singing and playing the National accompanied by a drummer, all recorded live in the studio. It features some of his finest playing (it’s often hard to believe there is just one guitar with no overdubs!) and the drummer’s no slouch either. The two really get cookin’ on ‘Blister and a Bottlecap’ and ‘A Little More Evil’ especially. Elsewhere, we have philosophy (‘A Person’s Mind), nostalgia (‘Cornbread’), anger (‘Obituary Writer Blues’), and a wealth of intriguing images including a car that “walks” on water and the mysterious figure of John, with his black root, off to conquer somebody’s soul. Preach can move you too at times, and he brings it down most effectively here with ‘Watered Down’ as he sings in despair rather than anger: “Got my travelin’ boots on, and I’m gone / Couldn’t go no quicker / I got as much use for you, as I do / For watered down liquor”. This is a great record which only improves on repeated listening.


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