When a Guitar & A Piano Play The Blues

PreacherBoy_JonDryden

I have been enjoying so much having the opportunity to perform with Jon “Captain Ahab” Dryden on piano—and when I say “piano,” I mean piano with a capital P. Piano. Acoustic. Wood. Wire. Keys. Life.

Ahab’s abilities are vast, virtually limitless, and beyond classification. His ear is extraordinary, his versatility unrivaled, his grace at the keys sublime. I simply LOVE what he makes of the songs we play together.

We’ve been playing so many different things, and it’s been a total joy. Whether it’s gems from Victoria Spivey, Leroy Car, Jelly Roll Morton, or Bessie Smith with The Westside Sheiks, selections from past Preacher Boy albums like Demanding to be Next or The Devil’s Buttermilk, vintage country blues workout from the likes of Charley Patton, Mississippi John Hurt, or Tommy Johnson, or experiments with brand-new songs, it’s all just been magic.

This past Tuesday night, we pulled a couple of rather groovy rabbits out of the hat. Two debut runs at songs from Estate Bottled Blues, and a rather rollicking Piano-National take on Seven’s In The Middle, Son from The National Blues.

Here are some guerrilla-live bootlegs (mastered, but rough!) to give you an aural snapshot of what was afoot!

Pulling Black Flowers From An Hourglass – LIVE

Seven’s In The Middle, Son – LIVE

Fever Moon – LIVE

Stream ’em, download ’em, share ’em, enjoy ’em, do with them what you will. I just hope you dig!

Lyrics below, should you wish to follow along!

Pulling Black Flowers From An Hourglass

There’s nothing quite so lonesome as an empty Ferris Wheel,
rusting on its hinges in the rain,
save for that feeling when you’re driving down a lonely stretch of 5,
next to tracks that are carrying no train.

And I can see the body of a bird that met its doom,
just another case of roadkill for the highway to consume.
And you know that I’ve been feeling every life that I pass,
pulling black flowers from an hourglass.

I can see the fog come tumbling down the hillside,
like a tree whose will has been broke.
I can hear the raindrops spattering on my hood,
like a playing card pinned to a spoke.

And I can see a scarecrow with nothing to protect,
just another broken phantom in the caverns of neglect.
And you know that I’ve been feeling every life that I pass,
pulling black flowers from an hourglass.

The lake moves left to right, and the old men do the same,
when they take their favorite circuits ’round the shore.
But there’s a mighty hidden shadow looming out over the blissful,
and it’s too hard for the old men to ignore.

Saint Helens had a fire buried well within her soul,
it’s so frightening how the relapse of a saint can take its toll.
And you know that I’ve been feeling every life that I pass,
pulling black flowers from an hourglass.

Seven’s In The Middle, Son

made a deal with a strange man
he could deal his deck with either hand
winked at me and said goodbye
then switched his patch to the other eye
i did my best to play my song
but he stopped me before too long
took my guitar off my lap
tuned it up and then gave it back
rise and shine, and give god the glory, glory
rise and shine, and give god the glory
wrapped himself in an overcoat
silver necklace ’round his throat
rattlin’ keychain in his pants
sounded like bones when he danced
i faced myself in the mirror glass
swear to god i heard him laugh
felt his name rise in my gut
seven years of bad luck
rise and shine, and give god the glory, glory
rise and shine, and give god the glory
he said “seven is in the middle, son
pick a side and ride that one”
like jewels hangin’ on the vine
it’s a pendulum that’s drowning time
i lay my head down window-side
neon lights like a reaper’s bride
i tried to sleep beneath the black
of the space behind that devil’s patch
rise and shine, and give god the glory, glory
rise and shine, and give god the glory
he put a shiver in my soul
shook my hand and froze it cold
walked me ’round that endless shore
’til i knew i’d never been before
i hear him singin’ from the road
it’s a children’s song he knows i know
i lay myself down on the ground
emptied both my ears of sound
rise and shine, and give god the glory, glory
rise and shine, and give god the glory

Fever Moon

i saw grey at the temple
i saw blue in the sky
i saw white at the castle
with a black eye

night sweat, soak, broke, hallucination
not yet doc, i like this prescription
deep pill chill, refill my irrigation
back in the cups, i changed up my station
from pirate to tycoon, fever moon

i saw red at the rose
spreading green on the lawn
i saw brown at the derby
but the gold was gone

night sweat, soak, broke, hallucination
not yet doc, i like this prescription
deep pill chill, refill my irrigation
back in the cups, i changed my station
from pirate to tycoon, fever moon

i saw bronze take an age
i saw silver place
i saw rust take a belt
from an ashen face

night sweat, soak, broke, hallucination
not yet doc, i like this prescription
deep pill chill, refill my irrigation
back in the cups, i changed my station
from pirate to tycoon, fever moon


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