th High-Strung & Knife-Happy Hillbilly Blues Revue

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Jan 6

This..

This is the blues.

Me and Tad get compared to Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee far more than John Cephas and Phil Wiggins…

Does that mean anything to you?

It means a whole lot to me.   I adore them….

…and I knew all of them a little bit…

I saw them a bunch of times when I was kid…from about the womb to my mid-twennies…

There was the  first annual Woody Guthrie Festival at the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheater that never had a second or a third annual…I was a little kid…Hoyt Axton and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot was there and Marjorie Guthrie and Pete Seeger and Sonny…

It was a benefit to raise money for Huntington’s Chorea.

….and I was a kid and I thought that old man was gonna die from hollering so hard…

Sonny Terry.

When he first came to Durham, North Carolina, he stayed with the Reverend Gary Davis - I been to the address they lived at together…It’s the parking lot next to a Baptist Church now…here in North Carolina we like to turn all of our Black history hard under a bulldozer’s blade when we can…

In this case the black Baptist community did it for us…

My friend Utah Phillips used to say “nothing gets old anymore…”

Welcome to America…

When my Mom worked for Bayer in Italy she lived in a building that went back to the sixteen hundreds - the face of a four-hundred-year-old-clock and it’s works peeked through the window and were threaded through the hollow-board walls of the “front” of her apartment…from one of her windows you could see the closest apartment building - ten units in a  nine-hundred-year-old stone fort…in the rocky sand below her buidling were the remains of a Roman staircase….

In the course of my life - the son of what geographers call a chronic mover - who picked up and moved into a new place every eight or ten months whether we needed to or not…I’ve lived in dozens of houses and apartments…

Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, West Virginia, Oklahoma, North Carolina…

Most of them have been knocked down and paved over for parking lots…

This bothers me a lot…

My friend and favorite human bean Mindi uses this song in her Southern Studies class…This is a great blues about a community bitching about their diet…one prescribed and enforced by the Federal Government in their effort to get rid of Pelegra once and for all…

The program was hugely successful.

This and then food stamps effectively ended Pelegra as a chronic illness in this country…

Because the government sucks…