What’s A Preacher Boy Setlist Look Like These Days?

The stage at Aptos St. BBQ

The stage at Aptos St. BBQ

To be honest, I’m not much of a setlist person, though I will say, there do tend to be patterns as regards the songs I select, and the order I play them in. More often than not, it comes down to simple questions of tuning. Because I use a number of different tunings, I generally try to do songs in such an order that I don’t spend the entire time mucking with the pegs.

So, what’s a Preacher Boy set list look like these days? Well, it’s pretty heavy on the country blues, that’s for sure! Here’s the crop from tonight’s show at Aptos St. BBQ, though to be honest, I have no idea what order I played these in, but I do know these are the songs I played (in parentheses, either the composer, or the musicianer I got the arrangement off of):

  1. If I Had Possession Over My Judgement Day (Robert Johnson)
  2. Fixin’ To Die (Bukka White)
  3. Death Letter Blues (Son House)
  4. Jack & Jill Blues (Sleepy John Estes)
  5. Cornbread (PB)
  6. One Good Reason (PB & Eagle-Eye Cherry)
  7. Catfish Blues (Willie Doss)
  8. That’s No Way To Get Along (Reverend Robert Wilkins)
  9. Baby, Please Don’t Go (Bukka White)
  10. 99 Bottles (PB)
  11. Old Jim Granger (PB)
  12. There Go John (PB)
  13. A Golden Thimble (PB)
  14. A Little More Evil (PB)
  15. Down & Out In This Town (PB)
  16. My Car Walks On The Water (PB)
  17. Need Mo’ Blues (Sleepy John Estes)
  18. Seven’s In The Middle, Son (PB)
  19. Death Don’t Have No Mercy (Reverend Gary Davis)
  20. Motherless Children (Dave Van Ronk)
  21. Slidin’ Delta (Mississippi John Hurt)
  22. Cornbread (PB)

I’m just starting to read Dave Van Ronk’s autobiography, so that’s what got me in the mood to play one of his arrangements. The book is:

and so far, it’s pretty delightful. Dave Van Ronk was such a huge influence for me. All those Tom Waits comparisons over the years used to just make me laugh, ‘cuz for fuck’s sake, haven’t you ever heard of Dave Van Ronk before?

The first time I ever performed a country blues kind of tune before an actual audience was courtesy of my old high school English teacher substitute Mr. Tom Nolet. He was a blues player, and knew I was hopelessly into it all as well, and very graciously invited me to sing a song at his gig at a coffeehouse. I was 16, and I played (or attempted to play, I should say) Dave Van Ronk’s version of Po’ Lazarus, and I was bloody awful, and Tom apparently lost the gig, and well, that wasn’t a very good start to my career (and obviously not good for his either!) and I don’t think I sang on mic again for another 5 years!

But I still play Po’ Lazarus sometimes, as well as a spin-off of Dave’s version of Come Back, Baby, and of course the version of Motherless Children that I noted above.

So that was me tonight. The Mayor of Aptos St. BBQ.

If ya’d like a lil’ taste, here’s a VERY rough live track from tonight’s show. The tune is “A Little More Evil,” a never-yet-recorded-and-released PB cut (and that thumpin’ sound is me boot!):

Preacher Boy: A Little More Evil (live at Aptos St BBQ, 2.15.15) 

Lyrics below:

a little more evil

jesus christ, look at you, you lookin’ like you dead wrecked
i wish i had a way to pay for you to get your head checked
you so fuckin’ strung out man it’s time to face the music
you ain’t got but the one life and you about to lose it

that isn’t opportunity
that’s knockin’ on the door
and it ain’t fire that you playin’ with
it somethin’ that’s a little more evil
a little more evil

it’s always a maria gettin’ suckers like you laid up
tryin’ to live the myth the ones that came before ya made up
i hate to break it to ya but her name is not maria
she might look ya in the eyes but i swear she doesn’t see ya

that isn’t opportunity
that’s knockin’ on the door
and it ain’t fire that you playin’ with
it somethin’ that’s a little more evil
a little more evil

i ain’t gon’ to be the john to baptize ya in the river
and you too old to be a baby that i’m called on to deliver
there’s a train to judgment and you got a ticket to go
but it ain’t gonna be the lord who come to meet ya at the depot

that isn’t opportunity
that’s knockin’ on the door
and it ain’t fire that you playin’ with
it somethin’ that’s a little more evil
a little more evil

(p) PreachSongMusic/KobaltMusic/BMI

 

 

 

 

 


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