February 13 2021

BLUE WING

BLUE WING- WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY TOM RUSSELL

He had a blue wing tattooed on his shoulder

Well, it might have been a bluebird, I don’t know

but he’d get stone drunk and talk about Alaska

The salmon boats and 45 below

Well, he got that blue wing up in Walla Walla

and his cellmate there was a Little Willy John

and Willie, he was once a great blues singer

so Wing & Willie wrote him up a song

It’s cold out today. Been sleet and snow all day. Currently, it is 19 degrees outside. The West Texas winds are making it feel like 8.  Too cold for this desert rat. I am glad I’m in Texas and not in Alaska. Plenty cold here without 45 below..

I have been thinking for years about a cover up tatoo. I currently have this ugly Salamander or Lizard looking thingy on my left shoulder. It was one of those drunken nights many years ago. Hey that looks bad ass. So I did it. One of those things you regret when you get sober. I would like to get the Blue Wing on top of it. I love the chorus of the song and what the Blue Wing tattoo meant to the blues singers.

They sang, it’s dark in here, can’t see the light

but I look at this blue wing when I close my eyes

and I fly away, beyond these walls

up above the clouds, where the rain don’t fall

on a poor man’s dreams

I would like to close my eyes sometimes and just fly away. Life gets stressful. I am grateful today that I have found ways to deal with it. Writing this blog is one way and My music.. Flying high above the clouds. I love to drift away in a song.

Blue Wing” was written by Tom Russell. The song was released in 1989 on Tom’s album, Poor Man’s Dream. The song has also been covered by Dave Alvin, Thad Beckman, and many others. It is said that Johnny Cash once recorded it, but I have been unable to find the video or audio for the Cash cover.

Well, he drank his way to L.A., and that’s where he died

and no one knew his Christian name, and there was no one there to cry

but I dreamt there was a funeral; a preacher and a cheap pine box

and halfway through the sermon blue wing began to talk

He said, it’s dark in here…

I do hope Blue Wing flew away. High above the clouds. I hope he found a better place and he is still making his music on the other side.

Pancho.

February 9 2021

Dave Alvin first album in eleven years

The day was kinda cloudy and the wind was blowing hard. The sky was a little dusty on my way home from work and I was pretty sure I saw Lamesa blowing by. I was scrolling through the music on my phone I guess I was on Spotify and something kinda catchy sounded through my speakers and I knew that I heard the tune before, but I was not sure when or why. It wasn’t the original voice I was hearing belt the lyrics out over the rhythm and bluesy guitar rifts that were a welcome accompaniment for my drive at five.

The song that was playing tonight was called “Highway 61 Revisited.” I later recognized it as a Bob Dylan tune. The version I heard today was by Dave Alvin.

From An Old Guitar: Rare and Unreleased Recordings, came out this past November 20 on Yep Roc Records. It is Dave Alvin’s first release in eleven years. Today the album is sitting at the number 12 spot on Americana Music Association’s Americana fest albums chart.

The 16 songs on Alvin’s latest album ,includes songs written by Alvin and songs written by Alvin’s friends. Peter Case, Bill Morrissey and, Chris Smither. Other cover songs on the album include song writing talents from Bob Dylan, Earl Hooker, Doug Sahm, Marty Robbins, Bo Carter and more.

The album definitely brings a hard hitting sound of an all star selection of great country, folk and rockabilly music.

Dave Alvin originally did the song, “Highway 61” for a tribute to Dylan CD. He was asked to do the song by Uncut magazine.

“The guys and I had an absolute blast reimagining this version of Mr. Dylan’s classic, and I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did playing it.”

Dave Alvin

Wikipedia has this to say about the artist:

David Albert Alvin (born November 11, 1955) is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, music producer and poet. He is a former and founding member of the roots rock band the Blasters. Alvin has recorded and performed as a solo artist since the late 1980s and has been involved in various side projects and collaborations. He has had brief stints as a member of the bands X and the Knitters.

I have heard the name Dave Alvin before, mainly as a producer. He has worked with a personal favorite of mine, the singer- songwriter author and artist Tom Russell. Alvin has worked as a session musician for Katy Moffatt and has even accompanied Ramblin’ Jack Elliot.

In this version of “Highway 61 Revisited,” Alvin who is doing the vocals and plays the electric guitar is joined with electric guitarist Greg Leisz, Bass player Gregory Boaz and Drummer Don Heffington. The recording is done at Craig Parker Adams’ Winslow Studios in Los Angeles, California. The cool video was created by Victor Krummenacher.

As Dave Alvin told the press, he hopes you enjoy listening. I sincerely hope that you do as well. I sure did.

Pancho.