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I had just rolled over to try to sleep when my phone buzzed. A bad habit I know, but I looked at it. "David Bowie Dead at 69". And, I thought it was one of those terrible internet hoaxes. I put the phone down - convinced that was the case, but I picked it up again, and I discovered that it was true. I felt numb.
My own exploration of his music was as random - just like all my explorations of music tend to be. I am not even certain where it began or the exact order. I knew David Bowie from MTV - probably before, but MTV opened up several musical doors for me.. say what you will about it. "Ashes to Ashes", "Let's Dance", "China Girl".... Lou Reed was an early influence of mine, and I found out that Bowie has co-produced Transformer - an album that helped transform me. I got a cassette of Hunky Dory and I wore it out. There was a lot I didn't understand about myself. Bowie's music helped. Ziggy Stardust....
I am having hard time really accepting that he is gone, but I am heartened by all of the posts on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds - so many vastly divergent musicians and fans sharing many shared experiences some of which echo my own. Music, for me, has been a companion through many lonely times, but it has also been a source of connection with others.
As we must, we press on... My week long Birthday adventures kicked off last night with a couple of cool rounds a Bobby's Idle Hour on Music Row. First, "Earie" award winners Joe Nolan, Drew Kohl, and Andrew Adkins shared a stage, and they all sounded fantastic.
There was a second round, and I had intended to leave, but I ended up staying. Three singer-songwriters that I had not heard before - Kyler Daron, Joey Maloney, and Peter McKeown. Seems an appropriate part of my Birthday Week.
Tonight, the week continues - moving on up to the Eastside for night 2 of Darrin Bradbury's month-long residency at The Basement East. Tonight's guest are Zach Schmidt and Tim Easton - two of East Nashville's finest songwriters. Come on out and hang and listen to cool tunes.
On to the shuffle -
"Low Life Blues" by Bob Margolin
Bob Margolin released his latest album My Road was released last Friday, and we have another awesome track from that album. Margolin played with blues legend Muddy Waters from 1973 until 1980.
"People Who Died" by Government Cheese
No, shuffle - this is in no way funny or appropriate or anything like that... but it is a pretty cool cover of the Jim Carroll Band classic from Bowling Green's Government Cheese - featuring Tommy Womack.
"Absolutely Sweet Marie" (Live) by Jason and the Scorchers
Speaking of Tommy Womack, he will be Jason Ringenberg's special guest next Wednesday (1/20). Jason told a story about bringing this song to the Scorchers and how quickly they took to it and made it their own. He went on to say, that they were doing a radio interview early on in Europe, and the DJ said something about the Bob Dylan cover, and Perry, Jeff, and Warner all said - "Cover? We thought you wrote that song!"
"Left and Leaving" (Live) by The Weakerthans
This Canadian band's name came up in a conversation between two friends that I introduced to each other. Somehow, I mostly missed out on this band, so I immediately set about to remedy that. This is a live version of the title track from the band's 2000 album.
"Church is Burning Down" by Tomas Doncker
An E2TG favorite returns to the shuffle with a powerful and timely track from his latest album, The Mess We've Made. The album is rightly getting some great press. Expect more here.
"Too Late to Say Goodbye" by Cage the Elephant
Somehow, this track from Tell Me I'm Pretty - the new album from yet another Bowling Green band - seemed to be especially meaningful today....
"Dueling Banjos" by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell
And we close out this Monday shuffle with a tune that was written in 1955 - as "Feudin' Banjos" by Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith. The song was featured on a 1963 episode of the Andy Griffith Show played by recurring characters The Darlings who were played by The Dillards. This version, which permanently ensconced this song in the collective pop culture consciousness, was recorded for the 1972 film, Deliverance.