Mickey & Susan

Originally posted September 11, 2008

Well, let’s see if I can get through a short post this morning without making any stupid errors. (Even as I wrote about Richard & Linda Thompson’s song “Walking On A Wire” yesterday, my brain was telling my fingers, “Slow down, it’s not the same song. I know that album.” But my fingers wouldn’t listen. So my brain shrugged its figurative shoulders and went off to figure out how many patio blocks we need for the expanded bricks and boards bookcase here in the new place. My fingers kept on typing, and, well, there you go!)

So what is there at YouTube that connects with this week’s posts?

Well, the first thing I found ties into Tuesday’s post: Here’s a treat from the late Mickey Newbury, a performance of “An American Trilogy” from Live At The Hermitage, a DVD of (I think) a 1994 concert. Most folks associate the medley with Elvis Presley, who made it a featured portion of his concerts, but the trilogy was first recorded and released by Newbury. The single, Elektra 45750, went to No. 26 in 1971.

The individual who posted the video at YouTube notes that in a concert around that time, Newbury created the trilogy by spontaneously combining “a southern anthem (written by a northerner), a northern anthem (written by a southerner), and an old African healing song.”

Well, not quite. “Dixie” (originally published as “Dixie’s Land”) is generally credited to a northerner, Daniel D. Emmett, but “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” – set to pre-existing music – was written by Julia Ward Howe, who was not a southerner but a New York native who lived as an adult in South Boston. As to “All My Trials,” Wikipedia notes that it’s descended from a Bahamian lullaby.

Despite all that, the trilogy is a beautiful piece of music, and Newbury and violinist Marie Rhines do a nice job.

Moving on, here’s Susan Tedeschi and her band performing a strong version of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” on a 2003 episode of Austin City Limits:

Happy Thursday, all. I’m off to buy more patio block!

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