Saturday, February 22, 2014

Barefoot Movement - LaCrosse bound

I was told about this wonderful group, Barefoot Movement last year by a friend, who said they were Grammy quality; and that they were the best group at a local festival called Larry Fest.  This year they will be back to that fest, and we also booked them for the week after and the Great River Folk Fest.  Overkill... not much, while there is some overlap of audience, most of those love bluegrass, and the people who don't attend Larry Fest, don't like to camp.  So I thought I'd listen to a few of their videos, and they are wonderful

Noah Wall has an excellent lead quality voice, similar to Alison Krauss but less breathy.

Thought for sure they covered my old favorite Edgar Winter song, but this Tobacco Road must be an original... nice.

They could sing in my living room anytime:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Norah Rendell at the Bluff View House Concert series

Another reason I missed a few weeks of blog posts, is that I run this little house concert series four times a year in Western Wisconsin, and I like to usually try to book one in February.  Yes the weather can drive you nuts in winter, but we had a wonderful weekend to host Norah Rendell and Brian Miller.

It was actually their third time back, so in the words of Mary Mack, "Dave must not be a mass murderer because it's a series!"  (She wasn't sure she understood if a house concert was a normal thing when she first came, and she's been back once too!)

Here's a video from one of my favorite songs that Norah covers, "Follow the Heron Home", and yes that was Henry squawking in the background.

Read more about it at it's one blog or go like it at

Death of Queen Jane - Inside Llewyn Davis

A few weeks back, we were visiting our son at college and ended up seeing Inside Llewyn Davis; the Coen brothers film on a folksinger who really is pretty much a jerk, and yet really tries to take care of a orange tabby cat of his friends that he loses along the way.  (I've heard there are actually three cats playing the part!)  We all liked it and I would highly recommend seeing it.

One of the scenes Davis plays Death of Queen Jane for a promoter in Chicago, and he tells him, that won't sell and casts him off.  The song didn't stick with me then, but it was a pretty song.  A few days later, since my son and I share the same iTunes account, 7 of the songs from the movie showed up in my purchases.  I raised that boy with good tastes.

Then the haunting melody of Death of Queen Jane hit me.  I did find out it was an old Child ballad and the tune was written by a Bothy Band member, Dáithí Sproule.  

What I really liked was hearing all the renditions of it, thanks to iTunes search and the WikiPedia post.

I recorded it instrumentally with only one little flaw, see if you can find it... HA... I moved it up a little so I might add the words some day.  Capo 3 G... Here are the words, chords and the Video, feel free to sing with it.

G                                            C                  G
Queen Jane lay in labor full nine days or more
         C             D            G-Em       G                       C
'Til her women grew so tired, they could no longer there
           G             D      G
They could no longer there
G                                                                   C         G
"Good women, good women, good women as you be
                  C         D        G-Em      G           C
Will you open my right side and find my baby
       G       D     G
And find my baby"
G                                                                              C         G
"Oh no," cried the women, "That's a thing that can never be
              C             D   G-Em       G                           C
We will call on King Henry and hear what he may say
         G         D              G
And hear what he may say"

G                                                         C         G
King Henry was sent for, King Henry did come
               C               D             G-Em          
Saying, "What does ail you, my lady?
         G                            C
Your eyes, they look so dim
           G                D       G
Your eyes, they look so dim"
G                                                                     C         G
"King Henry, King Henry, will you do one thing for me?
                C             D   G-Em       G            C
Will you open my right side and find my baby
          G    D     G
And find my baby"
G                                                                        C         G
"Oh no," cried King Henry, "That's a thing that I can never do
       C             D          G-Em                G                    C
If I lose the flower of England, I shall lose the branch too
            G             D     G
I shall lose the branch too"
G                                                                        C         G
There was fiddling and dancing on the day the babe was born
           C             D          G-Em            G               C
But poor Queen Jane beloved, she lay cold as a stone
        G      D      G
Lay cold as a stone

Venture under Eva's hat

SHEL has been the subject of many of posts in this blog, and today I'd like to let you know that their talented Eva Holbrook has started a blog in the Tumblr world.

She tends to be songwriting force behind the four sister group, and this sure will be an interesting journey into her thoughts.  Join her at:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Phoebe Hunt - what a talent

First I need to apologize, it is totally unacceptable to not post to this blog at least once a week.  February 1st to February 19th means that my weekends have been filled, thus no Saturday mornings to blog in excitement for either a new artist, a new song, something funny, or something about Mary (Lady that is for you blog followers).

So this morning finds me with a half hour to ponder the past posts that should have happened since I'm sitting I a hotel room waiting to go a funeral.  Sadly my fourth this year.

Enough with the banter, let's talk about Phoebe Hunt.  A little over a month ago I got an email from my friends at the Pump House that the ticket sales had been slow for Phoebe's show and could I help.  Well a quick view of the video, and I was hooked.  Readers of the blog know I'm a sucker for a pretty fiddler that I should add a post just to give them all a shout out.  Quickly I was in for Two then quickly 4 tickets with friends.  Gave it a shout out on my FB page, the Great River Folk Fest page, and of course the House Concert page.  Then sadly, I put it out of my mind and got back to the many things that I'm behind on.

Before the concert I did have a chance to hear that circumstances put Phoebe playing alone, and while I wondered how a solo fiddler can pull it off, I've booked a solo bassist Seth Horan and marveled.  Figured I was still going to enjoy it.

Well another busy Saturday rolled around, quick clean of the house, organize Church music, practice and play for a service, put our faces in to a birthday party and run down to LaCrosse for the concert.  Tony was nice enough to reserve seats for some of the help we did so we were the last to sit down and the concert started at 7:30.  Phoebe can in shyly with a uke in her hand and sang Good Blood, and it just put a smile on my face.  It would be a great night.

About the third or fourth song in she mentioned that she used to tour with the Belleville Outfit, and the light went on... I knew that name before and I of course had a crush on her before.  A quick search found two other postings.  That was back in my MySpace days, and it seems I lost track of both the Belleville Outfit and Phoebe after I left my MySpace Zeman persona dry up.  Good thing I've maintained the blog.

Since that night I've kept in touch with Phoebe, a wonderful soul on top of a fantastic.  She even does a live one hour show every Monday in Concert Window.  There should be more in this blog about her, and when I find time there will be.  Got to run and have to add in the other things I've been up to.. I promise to be a better blogger.  Her website is filled with music, but to see her live is really when you sense the humble twinkle mixed up with amazing talent and lots of passion.

And if you would like to watch a nice half hour set from SXSW 2013: here you go...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

It was that kind of day...

First I played music for my first funeral.  A beautiful 30 year old teacher lady with two great kids and the nicest husband who also is a teacher.  We played this song written by Tommy Walker, and Jenny's name was spliced into it...

Then I had the house alone... and I got out the equipment:

Of course I shared this in Facebook saying "Guess what will go on during a quiet house?" and Rusty James posted this hilarious video. She noticed one yesterday, and then the next the day they were everywhere...

First up... a Wild Mountain Thyme.. a song that is old enough it could have been played during Downton Abbey.  The lyrics I downloaded had Blooming Heather, and I changed it to Purple Heather in honor Jenny's favorite color.

Finally I had a chance to record Tom Paxton's "The last thing on my mind".. and I was amazed it's in it's 50th anniversary year.