Category Archives: Preacher Boy: General News

365 Days of Album Recommendations – Sep 8

Townes Van Zandt – For The Sake Of The Song

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I got to spend an afternoon in Nashville with Jack Clement once. It was overwhelming. I couldn’t believe it was him. Among other things, we talked about this album, and all the arguments over whether it was over-produced. As he has often done publicly, he reiterated his concession that he may have overdone it a bit. I disagreed. I like it just as it is.

As far as I’m concerned, with songs this good, there IS no right production touch. They contain so much, and every setting highlights different facets. When Townes played ’em solo, certain things moved to the fore, other things receded. As they are here, they show other sides of their personalities.

In his book A Grief Observed, written after his wife passed, C.S. Lewis talks about his anger at himself for not being able to hold a single image of his wife in his mind, convinced his love for her must be flawed. He ultimately comes to console himself through realizing that his knowledge of her was so nuanced, that how could a single image possibly even exist, that could show her in her full measure? Of course he couldn’t hold a single image. There wasn’t one.

That’s how I feel about these songs. How could one performance, one recording, one arrangement, possibly hold all they contain? When I hear these songs, I experience the production the way I might a dress on my missus; she looks lovely, I am reminded of something special about her, but it’s just the dress, it’s not the totality of HER.

Townes explains this all in the title song:

Maybe she just has to sing, for the sake of the song
And who do I think that I am to decide that she’s wrong?


365 Days of Album Recommendations – Aug 1

Blind Blake – All the Published Sides 1926-1932

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If the success of a musician can be assessed via the influence they have on ensuing generations, then Blind Blake must surely be considered a towering figure in the history of country blues.

He’s been credited as an influence by no less a player than Rev. Gary Davis, himself surely one of the greatest guitarists this country has every produced. Also citing him as an influence are Ry Cooder, Leon Redbone, Bob Dylan, John Fahey, and more.

Like far too many black musicians of his era, he died young, from an illness that should have been easily preventable and/or treatable. Despite having bequeathed some 100 outstanding musical recordings to the world—recordings that would inspire generations of virtuoso players to come—he died young, poor, and under-appreciated.

Far too many sins remains as stains upon our national conscience, for having treated so many so poorly.

Blind Blake was at best a conventional vocalist, and his solo performances are notable largely for his guitar playing. But, oh, such guitar playing! West Coast Blues is literally a textbook on ragtime blues, and honestly the only one you need to listen to, should you wish to want to try to master the sound.

His work as an accompanist is understandably uneven, by definition being dependent on whoever he was playing with. But when the combinations are great, they’re truly great. A personal favorite is Grievin’ Hearted Blues, on which Blake backs the great Ma Rainey.

Blind Blake’s recording life lasted all of 6 years, but in those 6 years, he changed the future of music, and the lives of countless musicians as well.


365 Days of Album Recommendations – July 20

Mance Lipscomb – You Got To Reap What You Sow, Texas Songster, Vol. 2

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I love every single thing Mance Lipscomb ever recorded. I’ve already recommended Volumes 1 & 5, and his oral autobiography, I Say Me For A Parable.

Now, I’ll happily recommend Volume 2!

Some GREAT songs and performances on here. Personal favorites? All of them, but especially:

  • Come back baby (been tryin’ to play this in me own sets for, what, 20 years?)
  • Cocaine done killed my baby (love these happy-go-lucky dyin’ songs!)
  • Silver city (such a killer vocal)
  • You rascal you (best version of this ever, even better than Armstrong’s!)

Navasota’s finest. You can’t go wrong!


July 11 is Dollar & A Dime Day!

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Welcome to Dollar & A Dime Day!

On July 11, download any Preacher Boy album
direct from Coast Road Records @ CDBaby
and pay only a Dollar & A Dime!

Visit preacherboy.com/dollardime, and save!


365 Days of Album Recommendations: January – June

181 Recommended Albums so far!

365 Days OfAlbum Recommendations Jan-Jun

Here you go people, every recommended album so far—all 181 of ’em, in chronological order! How many have YOU heard?

  1. Muddy Waters  – Rare & Unissued
  2. Skip James – She Lyin’
  3. Albert King – I’ll Play The Blues For You
  4. Dave Van Ronk – Folksinger
  5. Robert Pete Williams – Louisiana Blues
  6. The Best of Nina Simone
  7. Johnny Winter Progressive Blues Experiment
  8. Don’t Mess With Miss Watkins
  9. Lightnin’ Hopkins – Autobiography in Blues
  10. Howlin’ Wolf – His Best – Chess 50th Anniversary Collection
  11. Chris Whitley – Dirt Floor
  12. Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley
  13. Janis Joplin – I Got Dem Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama
  14. Stevie Ray Vaughan – Couldn’t Stand The Weather
  15. Kelly Joe Phelps – Shine-Eyed Mister Zen
  16. Gil Scott-Heron – Pieces of a Man
  17. Oliver Nelson – The Blues and the Abstract Truth
  18. The Victoria Spivey Collection 1926-1937
  19. Phil Ochs – All The News That’s Fit To Sing
  20. Joseph Spence – Good Morning Mr. Walker
  21. Clara Smith – The Essential Clara Smith1924-1929
  22. Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I Might See
  23. John Mooney – Comin’ your Way
  24. The Pretenders – Learning to Crawl
  25. Manifesto Mix Tape Vol. 1
  26. Robert Johnson – King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol I & II
  27. Jimmy Smith – Back at the Chicken Shack
  28. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
  29. Greg Brown – Slant 6 Mind
  30. Tim Buckley  – Dream Letter, Live in London, 1968
  31. Muddy Waters – Folk Singer
  32. Bukka White  – Sky Songs
  33. The Brothers Johnson  – Look Out For #1
  34. Ivie Anderson – It Don’t Mean A Thing
  35. Oscar Levant  – Levant Plays Gershwin
  36. Blind Willie McTell – Last Sessions
  37. Leon Redbone  – On the Track
  38. Guitar Slim – I Got Sumpin’ For You
  39. Soul Coughing – Ruby Vroom
  40. Fred McDowell  – Levee Camp Blues
  41. John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers – Crusade
  42. Angelique Kidjo – Oremi
  43. At Home With Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  44. Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
  45. Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain
  46. Horace Silver and The Jazz Messengers
  47. Stray Cats – Built for Speed
  48. Charley Patton – The Complete Recordings 1929-1934 (Disc 1)
  49. Lonnie Johnson – Vol 1. 1937-1940
  50. The Electrifying Aretha Franklin
  51. Chuck Berry – After School Session
  52. Junior Kimbrough – Sad Days, Lonely Nights
  53. Mississippi John Hurt  – 1928 Sessions
  54. Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna
  55. Jelly Roll Morton – Oh, Mister Jelly
  56. The Mississippi Sheiks – Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Vols 1-3
  57. Kokomo Arnold – Restored and Remastered Hits
  58. Roy Rogers – Chops Not Chaps
  59. Irma Thomas – Wish Someone Would Care
  60. Woody Guthrie – The Asch Recordings, Vol 1-4
  61. James Brown’s Funky People (Part 3)
  62. Doc & Merle Watson – Down South
  63. Dolly Parton – The Grass Is Blue
  64. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River
  65. Albert Collins – The Complete Imperial Recordings
  66. Dolores Keane  – May Morning Dew
  67. Bessie Smith – The Complete Recordings Vol. I
  68. Lyle Lovett – Joshua Judges Ruth
  69. The Modern Lovers – The Modern Loves
  70. Robert Petway – Catfish Blues
  71. B.B. King – Live in Cook County Jail
  72. The Waterboys – Fisherman’s Blues
  73. Grant Green – First Session
  74. Son House – Father of the Folk Blues
  75. Alvin Youngblood Hart – Big Mama’s Door
  76. The James Cotton Blues Band
  77. The American Graffiti Soundtrack
  78. Willie Dixon – I Am The Blues
  79. Memphis Minnie – All The Published Sides 1929-1937
  80. Charlie Christian & Dizzy Gillespie – After Hours
  81. Blind Lemon Jefferson – The Complete Classic Sides Remastered Chicago 1926 Disc A
  82. Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan
  83. The Yardbirds For Your Love
  84. Bukka White – Mississippi Blues
  85. Hank Mobley – Workout
  86. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Safe as Milk
  87. Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones
  88. Mance Lipscomb – Texas Sharecropper & Songster
  89. The Beat Farmers – Van Go
  90. Sleepy John Estes – I ain’t gonna be worried no more
  91. Eric Dolphy – Outward Bound
  92. Cowboy Junkies – The Trinity Sessions
  93. Rev. Gary Davis – At Newport
  94. Bob Dylan – Bringing it all back home
  95. Robert Wilkins – The original Rolling Stone
  96. Edwin Starr – War & Peace
  97. Ma Rainey – Mother of the blues
  98. Jessie Mae Hemphill – She-Wolf
  99. Little Jimmie Dickens – Raisin’ The Dickens
  100. Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones
  101. Grant Green – The Complete Quartets With Sonny Clark
  102. Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball
  103. Louis Armstrong – The Complete Hot Five & Hot Seven Recordings
  104. Dock Boggs – Country Blues : Complete Early Recordings
  105. Thelonious Monk – Plays Duke Ellington
  106. 16 Horsepower – 16 Horsepower
  107. Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, “From The New World” / Symphonic Variations
  108. Bix Beiderbecke – 20 Classic Tracks
  109. Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska
  110. Willie Nelson – Teatro
  111. Billie Holiday & Lester Young: Complete Studio Recordings
  112. Fred McDowell – Long Way From Home
  113. Dwight Yoakam – Guitars Cadillacs Etc, Etc.
  114. Benny Goodman – Complete Capitol Trios
  115. Blind Boy Fuller – Volume 1: 1935-1938
  116. Ella Fitzgerald – Sings the Cole Porter Songbook
  117. Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps – Blue Jean Bop
  118. Los Lobos – Kiko
  119. Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen
  120. Johnny Horton – The Spectacular Johnny Horton
  121. Hungry Dog Brand – Boy Meets Dog
  122. DI3 – Torch
  123. Eagle-Eye Cherry – Living In The Present Future
  124. Colin Brooks – Blood and Water
  125. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy – Soundtrack
  126. Dusty Wright – Elevened
  127. Will Scott – Gnawbone
  128. Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um
  129. Billie Holiday – Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia, 1933-1944
  130. The Clash – The Clash
  131. Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left
  132. Sam & Dave – Hold On, I’m Comin’
  133. Cream – Fresh Cream
  134. Big Mama Thornton – Essential Recordings
  135. Frank Sinatra – sings for Only The Lonely
  136. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Extra Width
  137. Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle
  138. Tracy Chapman – Our Bright Future
  139. Bob Log III – My Shit Is Perfect
  140. Joe Cocker – Mad Dogs & Englishmen
  141. Tomasz Stańko – From The Green Hill
  142. Paul Chambers – Whims of Chambers
  143. Booker T. & the MGs – Green Onions
  144. Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
  145. J.J. & Kai: The J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding Trombone Octet
  146. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
  147. The Shangri-Las – The Complete Collection
  148. Furry Lewis – In His Prime 1927-1928
  149. Phil Ochs – A Toast To Those Who Are Gone
  150. The Clash – Give ‘Em Enough Rope
  151. Skip James – Greatest of the Delta Blues Singers
  152. The Original Sonny Boy Williamson
  153. Leon Redbone – Champagne Charlie
  154. Curtis Mayfield – Superfly
  155. Gillian Welch – Hell Among The Yearlings
  156. Beth Gibbons – Out of Season
  157. Buddy Holly – A Rock & Roll Collection
  158. Mance Lipscomb – Vol. 5, Pure Texas Country Blues
  159. Jimmy Reed – Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby – Singles As & Bs 1953-1961
  160. Fats Navarro – The Fats Navarro Collection, 1943-50
  161. Jeffrey Halford & The Healers – Lo Fi Dreams
  162. Lennie Tristano & Warne Marsh – Intuition
  163. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Let Love In
  164. Bill Withers – Just As I Am
  165. Jacques Brel – Enregistrement Public à l’Olympia 1964
  166. Leroy Carr – The Essential
  167. Etta James – At Last!
  168. Sonny Rollins and the Contemporary Leaders
  169. John Mayall – Bluesbreakers (w/ Eric Clapton)
  170. Ted Hawkins – The Final Tour
  171. Elmore James – Slide Order of the Blues, The Singles As & Bs 1952-1962
  172. Ida Cox – Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 1, 1923
  173. Hoagy Carmichael Sings Hoagy Carmichael
  174. Blind Willie Johnson – The Complete
  175. Thelonious Monk – Monk Alone: The Complete Solo Studio Recordings of Thelonious Monk 1962-1968
  176. The Replacements – Tim
  177. Bad Company – Bad Company
  178. Duke Ellington – Money Jungle
  179. Bill Evans – Interplay
  180. Big Joe Williams – The Essential
  181. Kiss – Love Gun

 


90 Album Recommendations later …

365 Days of Album Recommendations

90 Album Recommendations later, and we are officially through Q1! We’ve completed January, February, and March, and we’ve recommended 90 albums so far! Thanks so much to everyone who’s listened, read, liked, shared, commented, and more—this has turned out to be really fun!

How many of these do YOU own?

Jan 1 – Muddy Waters, Rare & Unissued Rare & Unissued 1/1/17
Skip James She Lyin’ 1/2/17
Albert King I’ll Play The Blues For You 1/3/17
Dave Van Ronk Folksinger 1/4/17
Robert Pete Williams Louisiana Blues 1/5/17
The Best of Nina Simone 1/6/17
Johnny Winter Progressive Blues Experiment 1/7/17
Don’t Mess With Miss Watkins 1/8/17
Lightnin’ Hopkins Autobiography in Blues 1/9/17
Howlin’ Wolf His Best – Chess 50th Anniversary Collection 1/10/17
Chris Whitley Dirt Floor 1/11/17
Bo Diddley 1/12/17
Janis Joplin I Got Dem Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama 1/13/17
Stevie Ray Vaughan Couldn’t Stand The Weather 1/14/17
Kelly Joe Phelps Shine-Eyed Mister Zen 1/15/17
Gil Scott-Heron Pieces of a Man 1/16/17
Oliver Nelson The Blues and the Abstract Truth 1/17/17
The Victoria Spivey Collection 1926-1937 1/18/17
Phil Ochs All The News That’s Fit To Sing 1/19/17
Joseph Spence Good Morning Mr. Walker 1/20/17
Clara Smith The Essential Clara Smith1924-1929 1/21/17
Mazzy Star So Tonight That I Might See 1/22/17
John Mooney Comin’ your Way 1/23/17
The Pretenders Learning to Crawl 1/24/17
Manifesto Mix Tape Vol. 1 1/25/17
Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol I & II 1/26/17
Jimmy Smith Back at the Chicken Shack 1/27/17
Black Sabbath Black Sabbath 1/28/17
Greg Brown Slant 6 Mind 1/29/17
Tim Buckley Dream Letter, Live in London, 1968 1/30/17
Muddy Waters Folk Singer 1/31/17
Bukka White Sky Songs 2/1/17
The Brothers Johnson Look Out For #1 2/2/17
Ivie Anderson It Don’t Mean A Thing 2/3/17
Oscar Levant Levant Plays Gershwin 2/4/17
Blind Willie McTell Last Sessions 2/5/17
Leon Redbone On the Track 2/6/17
Guitar Slim I Got Sumpin’ For You 2/7/17
Soul Coughing Ruby Vroom 2/8/17
Fred McDowell Levee Camp Blues 2/9/17
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers Crusade 2/10/17
Angelique Kidjo Oremi 2/11/17
At Home With Screamin’ Jay Hawkins 2/12/17
Bobby Rush Porcupine Meat 2/13/17
Miles Davis Sketches of Spain 2/14/17
Horace Silver and The Jazz Messengers 2/15/17
Stray Cats Built for Speed 2/16/17
Charley Patton The Complete Recordings 1929-1934 (Disc 1) 2/17/17
Lonnie Johnson Vol 1. 1937-1940 2/18/17
The Electrifying Aretha Franklin 2/19/17
Chuck Berry After School Session 2/20/17
Junior Kimbrough Sad Days, Lonely Nights 2/21/17
Mississippi John Hurt 1928 Sessions 2/22/17
Stevie Nicks Bella Donna 2/23/17
Jelly Roll Morton Oh, Mister Jelly 2/24/17
The Mississippi Sheiks Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Vols 1-3 2/25/17
Kokomo Arnold Restored and Remastered Hits 2/26/17
Roy Rogers Chops Not Chaps 2/27/17
Irma Thomas Wish Someone Would Care 2/28/17
Woody Guthrie The Asch Recordings, Vol 1-4 3/1/17
James Brown’s Funky People (Part 3) 3/2/17
Doc & Merle Watson Down South 3/3/17
Dolly Parton The Grass Is Blue 3/4/17
Creedence Clearwater Revival Green River 3/5/17
Albert Collins The Complete Imperial Recordings 3/6/17
Dolores Keane May Morning Dew 3/7/17
Bessie Smith The Complete Recordings Vol. I 3/8/17
Lyle Lovett Joshua Judges Ruth 3/9/17
The Modern Lovers The Modern Loves 3/10/17
Robert Petway Catfish Blues 3/11/17
B.B. King Live in Cook County Jail 3/12/17
The Waterboys Fisherman’s Blues 3/13/17
Grant Green First Session 3/14/17
Son House Father of the Folk Blues 3/15/17
Alvin Youngblood Hart Big Mama’s Door 3/16/17
The James Cotton Blues Band 3/17/17
The American Graffiti Soundtrack 3/18/17
Willie Dixon I Am The Blues 3/19/17
Memphis Minnie All The Published Sides 1929-1937 3/20/17
Charlie Christian & Dizzy Gillespie After Hours 3/21/17
Blind Lemon Jefferson The Complete Classic Sides Remastered Chicago 1926 Disc A 3/22/17
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan 3/23/17
The Yardbirds For Your Love 3/24/17
Bukka White Mississippi Blues 3/25/17
Hank Mobley Workout 3/26/17
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Safe as Milk 3/27/17
Rickie Lee Jones Rickie Lee Jones 3/28/17
Mance Lipscomb Texas Sharecropper & Songster 3/29/17
The Beat Farmers Van Go 3/30/17
Sleepy John Estes I ain’t gonna be worried no more 3/31/17

365 Days of Album Recommendations – March 16

Alvin Youngblood Hart – Big Mama’s Door

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The mid-90s were a wonderful, brave, exciting, and brazen time for its early resurgence of interest in country blues music. Corey Harris was coming out with his first music. Chris Whitley had only just arrived on the scene. G. Love was just starting to make waves with his version of the thing. The Loved Ones were bringin’ that Yardbirds touch to it all. Kelly Joe Phelps had just released his debut. Yours truly debuted on Blind Pig Records with Preacher Boy & The Natural Blues.

And then along came Alvin Youngblood Hart, and just blew us all away.

There will be a great deal more to say about Alvin across these 365 days, as his journey has taken him all over the musical map, but for now, for today, just check him out at the core of his roots.

Pony Blues and When I Was A Cowboy are amazing, but for kicks, start with Hillbilly Willie’s Blues.

And let Alvin kick yer door down.


365 Days of Album Recommendations – March 9

Lyle Lovett – Joshua Judges Ruth

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I like to think about the idea of perfect albums. The idea that, somewhere along the journey of a career, it all comes together for a talented artist, and they produce that one genuinely perfect album.

They’re understandably very few and far between. The lack of one can be a point of particular exasperation for those of us who really love a particular musician. Why did they add that ONE song! It would have been so good w/out that! Like “Castanets” on Alejandro Escovedo’s otherwise brilliant “A Man Under The Influence.” Or “Honey Now” on Gillian Welch’s mostly bittersweetly beautiful sophomore release. Or that one song on almost every Dylan album.

I choose these as examples because Lyle Lovett’s oeuvre travels in ostensibly similar territory as the artists I’ve already mentioned, tho Lovett is probably cleverer, smarter, weirder, and funnier than all three combined. He’s certainly the best singer of the three, which may not be a commonly-held opinion, but it’s true.

All of which leads me to the point that Joshua Judges Ruth is Lyle Lovett’s perfect album. This is a song-by-song juggernaut of singer-songwriter mastery; and one that somehow manages to capture everything Lovett does so well. It is rootsy, and bluesy, and folky, and jazzy, and funky, and soulful, and gospel-ish, and it’s brilliantly performed, and it’s heroically sung, and it’s funny and heartbreaking and wise, and as with so many of Lovett’s great creations, the lyrics are so complicatedly simple in the most genius of ways—this is soulfully-sung American haiku in action.

Congratulations Mr. Lovett. You have a perfect album. You have joined the gods.

Recommended track to start with: Baltimore. Just a devastating song.


365 Days of Album Recommendations – March 6

Albert Collins – The Complete Imperial Recordings

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I’ve always had a soft spot for Albert Collins, and it goes without saying that his guitar playing is mesmerizing.

Now, I’m going to get in trouble for saying this, but I generally feel that Alligator Records is where good talent goes to become an imitation of itself. And while I won’t go so far as to say that about Mr. Collins, I will say that Albert Collins the Alligator Entertainer is not my favorite version of Albert Collins.

Which is why this collection is such a delightful revelation, collecting as it does so much of his earlier work, and showcasing as it does just how FUNKY he was.

It’s fine to listen to his Alligator Records. Go right ahead. Just know that you won’t any longer, after you hear these.


365 Days of Album Recommendations – March 5

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River

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If any band in history can have claimed for them the mantle of having “invented” “Americana,” then Creedence Clearwater Revival is probably one of the more likely candidates. Virtually every song they put down is a textbook example of the core Americana ingredients in action, and when you really start to count up the great tunes, it gets more and more remarkable as you go. Bad Moon Rising, Lodi, Green River, Who’ll Stop The Rain, Proud Mary, Born On The Bayou, Run Through The Jungle, Lookin’ Out My Back Door, Long As I Can See The Light, Fortunate Son, Have You Ever Seen The Rain  … I mean, it’s pretty fucking ridiculous.

And in general, the ingredients are so straightforward. Some drums in 4/4 time. A bass playin’ the tonics. Some acoustic guitar, some electric guitar. A voice. A handful of simple chords. And some magic.

Obviously we could just pick a Greatest Hits, but it’s more fun to really understand the individual achievement of each album in its original form.

This one is rather astonishing for including not one, not two, but three totally classic songs, including my personal favorite CCR tune ever: Green River. Someday, when I grow up, I’m going to write a song this good. I’ve been trying to write these lyrics my whole life:

I can hear the bull frog callin’ me
Wonder if my rope’s still hangin’ to the tree
Love to kick my feet way down the shallow water,
Shoe fly, dragon fly, get back to mother
Pick up a flat rock, skip it across Green River

If you’re a songwriter, and you get lost, c’mon home to Green River. That’ll learn ya.

 


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