Tuesday, April 1, 2008

If wishes were horses, Jon Butcher would be much better known these days

First, I have to report that I am falling down on my "learn lots of new songs" bit. I don't have a raft of new songs to put onto my repertoire list. I kinda have two to add, though. "Sugarfoot Rag" by Hank Garland, and "Buckaroo", the instrumental made famous by Buck Owens and his Buckaroos.

Except these are "Sugarfoot" and "Buckaroo" as played by a complete unknown with no lightning in his fingers. It's just sad.

I've previously mentioned that my queue for new CDs are topped by something comprehensive by Roy Buchanan and something representative and not Wilco by Nels Cline.

I'm tentatively adding Vertigo by John 5 to the number 3 spot. Or is it 4, behind Gram Parsons? Which is appropriate, I think. Parson's idea was Cosmic American Music. If "Cosmic American Music" isn't just Gram Parsons' music, like I'm convinced that "Harmelodic" simply means "played by Ornette Coleman", it's that the deep divides between genres aren't that deep, that they're connected. So, Ray Charles' country album is as Cosmic American as GP's "Dark End of the Street", and Whitney singing Dolly's "I Will Always Love You" would've just knocked his socks off. A good way of looking at country and soul is that they are deeply connected and nearly mirror images of each other. I have a Solomon Burke track that's nearly indistinguishable from early 60s countrypolitan Chet-Atkins-produced stuff. (I hate countrypolitan stuff and Jordanaires-style backup singing, but that's neither here nor there.) And southern rock was all about the combinations, about combining rock with jazz, country with rock, rockabilly with psychedelia, whathaveyou.

And then you have metal. Metal doesn't mix with anything but the power ballad. But John 5 seems to be able to combine Eddie Van Halen and Hank Garland. I haven't heard his "Sugarfoot Rag", but I've seen a dozen YouTube shredders try it. My "Sugarfoot" is Junior Brown's "Sugarfoot", except I haven't gotten far enough into it to where I need to start bringing in Hendrix.

Anything else I should add to the queue?

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