John the Conqueror

The John the Conqueror root. Mystical, magical, mojo-laden.

It lies in the earth of a song I sung last night: “There Go John” (click below for some straight-from-the-show, raw, guerrilla audio)

.”

It’s a spooky song, and last night’s version was a spooky one.

But here’s a possibly even spookier version, recorded in a turn-of-the-century barn on an island off the eastern coast of America, with the incredible, soulful, funky spiritual grace magician swamp king hill lord Will Scott.

Roosevelt & Ira Lee, recording "There Go John" in the barn

Roosevelt & Ira Lee, recording “There Go John” in the barn

We were together under the swamp spell of his highness Tony Joe White, in an ensemble we called Roosevelt & Ira Lee, and we recorded both “There Go John” and “In the River,” the latter of which is probably the greatest song from the 80s that you never heard. You can listen to both below:

There Go John, by Roosevelt & Ira Lee

In the River, by Roosevelt & Ira Lee (originally performed by The Call)

~

there go john

all ye who are lost
must return to the seashore
you can’t be lost as long as you can feel
the ocean’s holy roar

and there go john, with a black root
there go john, with a black root
there go john, with a black root
aimin’ to conquer somebody’s soul

the wheel of life keeps turnin’
just like rings inside the trunk
of a holy redwood sovereign,
troubadour, knight, minstrel, monk

and there go john, with a black root
there go john, with a black root
there go john, with a black root
aimin’ to conquer somebody’s soul

the river of my baby
the ocean of my lover
the farmland of my father
and the sunlight of my mother

and there go john, with a black root
there go john, with a black root
there go john, with a black root
aimin’ to conquer somebody’s soul

~

for the guitar and National Resonator heads out there, the git is tuned to open Dm, and the song features a somewhat unusual progression in the instrumental sections: a IIm – IVm turn w/ a chromatic walk between them, followed by a lil’ counterpoint section undergirded by a bass note walk in Dm …


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: