i looked up, i looked down that lonesome old road

when i first bought cry, cry, cry in… 1998? the song that leapt out at me was the a capella version of “northern cross” in aching, haunting three-part harmony. several years later, i decided to hear what the original version sounded like, and was even more haunted by its lonely bluegrassy feel.

a few weeks ago, i bought leslie smith‘s these things wrapped on iTunes. i’m getting lamer as i get older because i’m gravitating more and more to the mellow folk that blurs the lines with bluegrass and country. but i will still mock my friend mary for listening to country. because she listens to slick, glossy, poppy country that’s about pickup trucks and twangs and e-lectric gee-tars. i like the appalachian acoustic stuff. and even if you can’t hear the difference, it’s an important distinction for me to make.

anyhow, i love love love this album. it’s good driving music when you’re frustrated and sad and calm and peaceful.

the other album i recently purchased (after hearing a minisample of one of the songs on folkalley.com – yes, i’m a giant folk dork) was abigail washburn‘s sparrow quartet ep. “fall on my knees” is a decidedly bluegrass tune (complete with bela fleck on the banjo) that somehow made it on to my lewd pop and hip-hop workout album and still doesn’t break my stride. hey! wanna hear the songs on this ep before you buy it? ‘cuz you can (real audio). but if you like it you should buy it, because i’m all about supporting artists.

that’s the end of my totally folktastically boring update.

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One response to “i looked up, i looked down that lonesome old road

  1. thanks for reacquainting me with cry, cry, cry. i downloaded several old favorites that came flooding back like, well, songs. (oh, this rusty reaching for metaphor; i do so bore myself.)

    when, pray tell, did you not draw moth-like towards “the mellow folk that blurs the lines with bluegrass and country?” ;)

    on saturday night, speeding through ventura with the ‘rents, i put on “ventura” by lucinda williams, whose unclassifiable voice, its gravelly twang, its sound of a specially-honed folk/rock/blues instrument, never fails to carve up my heart and set the bits afire. i hear that fluid musical boundary, and i know, viscerally, that is where everything i am teeters.

    neko case also takes me there, too (i’ve seen her now more than anyone else live), and gillian welsh and alison krauss, though not as deeply.

    i might recommend adieu false heart, the recent collaboration between linda ronstadt and ann savoy. it’s a rich, melodic, folky homage to cajun music.

    i might, as they say.

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