Spending Time On Glory Road

Originally posted June 23, 2008

After eight years of ripping CDs to mp3s, after two years of wandering around music blogs and harvesting their offerings, and after a year and a half of ripping vinyl to mp3s and sharing music back and forth with the world (or at least that portion of it that comes by here), it’s sometimes difficult to recall with any certainty where I found some of the music I listen to.

Every once in a while, a track pops up on the RealPlayer and I wonder, “Where in the hell did I get that?” Sometimes I can recall, and sometimes a note somewhere in my files tells me. Sometimes I have no clue: I’m still not sure where I picked up “Every Beat of My Heart,” an mp3 of a 1971 single by Josie & The Pussycats, which popped up during a recent random run. I may never know. The same holds true, I’m sure, for many of the 28,000 mp3s in the player. (Yes, I’ve been busy since I got the external disc drive last winter.)

If the mp3 that pops up came from my collection – either vinyl or CD – it’s easy enough to track down: My logs for both forms of media tell me date and place of purchase. (When I created the database for the vinyl about seven years ago, I learned that during the early years – 1964 through, oh, 1972 – I’d recorded only month and year, so actual dates for those year, except for birthday gifts and so on, are estimated but are pretty accurate, I think.)

And then there are those songs I never have to look up. I can recall within a few days either way when I got most of the Allman Brothers Band’s albums as well as a lot of the Beatles’ work, and Bob Dylan’s. That goes for a few others, too.

I’m on my second vinyl copy of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, but I recall clearly when I got my first copy in May 1975. My folks were heading to the Twin Cities for the day, and Mom asked if there were any records I wanted. I jotted down two titles and headed off to the college. When I got home that evening, there was a bag from Musicland with Pink Floyd’s masterpiece and Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey inside. I thanked her, and she pointed at the Pink Floyd with an odd look on her face.

“Is there something bad about that record, something shady?” she asked. “What kind of music is it?”

I shrugged, remembering her reaction a few years earlier to the Beatles’ “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” and I said, “I suppose it’s called progressive rock. It’s different, but nothing awful. Why?”

“When I took it to the counter,” said my mom, at the time a matron in her mid-fifties, “the man there looked at it, and then at me, and he said, ‘Ma’am, are you sure you want this record?’”

I laughed, then said, “There’s nothing wrong. It’s just that not a lot of folks your age would listen to it.”

She nodded. “Okay,” she said.

As the music plays week by week here at Echoes In The Wind, other songs pop up that occasionally remind me where I got them. One did so this weekend, a tune called “Glory Road,” and it took me back not all that many years. I’ve written before about haunting the clearance racks at a Half-Price Books in St. Paul during the waning days of 1999 and the early days of 2000. The database shows about forty CDs from St. Paul during that time, the vast majority of them purchased for a dollar or maybe two. Most of those CDs were just okay, pleasant in the background for an afternoon of reading or other puttering. But every once in a while, one of them seemed a whole lot better than one would expect for a dollar CD.

One of those was the CD from which came “Glory Road.” The song was the title tune to a 1992 album by a group called Maggie’s Farm. It’s the only album the group ever released, although singers Allison MacLeod and Claudia Russell have released albums since as solo artists. Glory Road is a good enough album to underline once more how difficult it must be to make it in the music business. After “Glory Road” popped up on the player the other day, I listened to the entire CD again. And just as I have every other time I’ve played the entire CD, I nodded at the well-written and evocative lyrics and at the music that shone behind the words. I’ve seen the album classified as Americana, and that fits, I guess, but whatever you call it, it’s just a darned good album.

It’s not often that I break out of the era that I generally focus on here, the years from about 1964 through 1985. When I do so, it’s for something I consider special. Something about Glory Road just grabs hold of me, every time I listen to it. I hope it does the same for you.

Members of Maggie’s Farm were Allison MacLeod on vocals and guitar; Claudia Russell on vocals, guitar and percussion; Roy Scoutz on guitar; Brian Kerns on keyboards; Jason Keene on bass; and Steve Bankuti on drums and percussion.

Other musicians on the album were David Lindley on Hawaiian guitar and electric lap steel guitar; Michael Landau on electric guitar; Dean Parks on acoustic guitar; Cliff Magness on guitar, keyboards and background vocals; Randy Kerber on keyboards, including Hammond B-3 organ; Michael Fisher on percussion and chimes; and Mark Lee, Maxine Waters, Julia Waters, Roy Galloway, Mark Vieha, Suzy Benson, Rosemary Butler and Arnold McCuller on background vocals.

Glory Road
Sweet Angel
Not Until The Wind Changes
That’s Not Love
I’ll Take Care Of You
Home Is Where My Heart Is
River Of Sleep
I’m Not Guilty
If It Feels Like Love
Get Out Of Town

Maggie’s Farm – Glory Road [1992]

(Number of copies of Dark Side of the Moon and date of original acquisition corrected May 1, 2015.)


One Response to “Spending Time On Glory Road”

  1. Sixteen Years Gone « Echoes In The Wind Archives Says:

    […] Reposts Glory Road by Maggie’s Farm, 1992 Original post here. […]

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