Yardbirds – Happenings Ten Years Time Ago

I remember this song on some Yardbirds album I had back in the day. The guitar riff is outstanding. This band had no shortage of guitarists. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and then Jimmy Page.

This is the first Yardbirds song that Beck and Page played together. The bass player on this song, Led Zeppelin fans will know right away. John Paul Jones played bass on this song. Jones also played bass on the Yardbird’s tracks “No Excess Baggage” and “Goodnight Sweet Josephine.” The reason Jones, who was a studio musician at that point, played on these songs was that the regular bass player Paul Samwell-Smith was pursuing record production full-time.

Paul Samwell-Smith went on to be a successful producer with credits such Cat Stevens’ albums Tea for the TillermanTeaser and the Firecat, and Catch Bull at Four. He also produced Jethro Tull, Carly Simon, and others. A couple of years later…John Paul Jones would be part of the New Yardbirds before they morphed into Led Zeppelin. Page wisely kept the rights to the name and the band played their first shows under that name.

Fantastically flash, inscrutably cool: How the Yardbirds shaped rock'n'roll  | Louder

This song was released in 1966 as a single with the B-side Psycho Daisies. The song peaked at #43 in the UK. As the title of the B side suggests…music was going into a psychedelic period that would peak the following year with The Beatles Sgt Peppers album.

The song was credited to the band… Keith Relf, Jim McCarty, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page except for rhythm guitar player Chris Dreja and bass player Paul Samwell-Smith.

Jim McCarty:  “On ‘Happenings Ten Years Time Ago,’ Keith (Relf) and I were trying to write a song about reincarnation. We’d seen everything before, and it was all happening again. That was quite an interesting viewpoint, really. Meeting people along our way that we’d seen from another day. Sort of bringing in that situation that we’d been there before.”

Jimmy Page: We rehearsed hard on all sorts of riffs to things like “Over Under Sideways Down” which we were doing in harmonies and we worked out where we’d play rehearsed phrases together. It was the sort of thing that people like Wishbone Ash and Quiver [later] perfected, that dual-lead-guitar idea.

Happenings Ten Years Time Ago

Meeting people along my way
Seemingly I’ve known one day
Familiarity of things
That my dreaming always brings

Happenings ten years time ago
Situations we really know
But the knowing is in the mind
Sinking deep into the well of time
Sinking deep into the well of time

Walking in the room, I see
Things that mean a lot to me
Why they do I never know
Memories don’t strike me so
Memories don’t strike me so

It seems to me I’ve been here before
The sounds I heard and the sights I saw
Was it real? Was it in my dreams?
I need to know what it all means

Happenings ten years time ago
Situations we really know
But the knowing is in the mind
Sinking deep into the well of time
Sinking deep into the well of time


Paul Kelly – To Her Door… and more

This extended from my last chat with CB… we had Graham Parker last week and Paul Kelly was brought up. I ran out of time last week to write this one up. I really like great storytellers…and Paul Kelly is one of them. His music touches on many styles. Country, rock, folk, reggae, bluegrass,  and touches of many more styles. He has been described as the poet laureate of Australian music. He writes about everyday life that many people can relate to. I’ve seen this stated about him… Paul Kelly’s songs dig deep into Australia: how it feels, looks, tastes, sounds.

Today I’m going to give you a small sample platter of this great artist. 

Here is a very short bio of Paul Kelly.

Paul Kelly was born in 1955 is from Adelaide, Australia. Debuted in Hobart, Australia, 1974; moved to Melbourne and performed in pubs, 1976; formed band the Dots, released albums Talk, 1981, and Manila, 1982; moved to Sydney, 1984; released Post with Steve Connolly and Ian Rilen, 1985; formed as Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls, released Gossip, 1986; regrouped as Paul Kelly and the Messengers, released Gossip in the U.S., followed by Under the Sun, 1987; published collected writings volume Lyrics, 1993; formed new lineup with Shane O’Mara, Bruce Haymes, Peter Luscombe, Stephen Hadley, and Spencer Jones. Kelly is still releasing albums. His last album was Paul Kelly’s Christmas Train released in 2021. Altogether he had 28 studio albums, 6 live albums, 8 compilation albums, and an incredible 64 singles.

He also comments on important social and historical events and their significance to Australian identity and life. Several of his songs highlight the plight of Australia’s Indigenous people including ‘Maralinga (Rainy Land)’, a song about atomic testing by the British in Australia’s outback and its effects on the Indigenous people of that area. He and Midnight Oil were some of the artists who contributed to the album  Building Bridges – Australia Has A Black History. All sales proceeds were donated to the National Coalition of Aboriginal Organisations.

The first song I listened to by Paul Kelly was “To Her Door.” It reminded me of Steve Earle or Springsteen. Not because of his voice but because of the songwriting. The story…the way lyrics flow and ebb and fit together like a puzzle. All the while this is going on the music has great dynamics that rise up to meet the lyrics head-on and punctuates it. The song was released in 1987 and was on the album Under The Sun that peaked at #14 in Australia. 

That album also produced the single Dumb Things. This song has a shuffle that jumps. It starts off with a cool harmonica blasting and invites you in. This character-driven song stuck with me for days. This one peaked at #36 in Australia and #17 on the Billboard Alternative Charts in 1987.

Now it’s time for a pure rock song by Kelly called Darling It Hurts. This song was off of the album Gossip released in 1986. The song peaked at #25 in Australia and #19 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts. 

This one is called Bradman and it’s off of Gossip as well. It has a sports connection. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know much about Cricket but the song is great. It’s about Sir Donald Bradman, arguably…. the greatest ever cricketer (and definitely the greatest ever Australian cricketer). This one peaked at #51 in Australia and was part of a double A-sided single along with the song Leaps and Bounds

I’m going to close this on this song or I could go on for pages. This song is called Careless. It was released in 1989 on the album So Much Water So Close to Home. It’s an incredibly catchy song but a song that means something. Like a mixture in a bottle, like a frozen over lake, Like a long-time, painted smile I got so hard I had to crack, You were there, you held the line, you’re the one that brought me back

If you liked what you have heard…do some homework and look this artist up…you won’t be sorry. He will now remain on my playlist. I’ve given you a few samples but it’s so much more to explore. 

Rock Critic David Fricke: “I have had the pleasure and privilege of seeing Paul Kelly in performance more times than I can count – although it’s still not enough. I’ve seen him in performance in the Northeast and Southwest Hemispheres, unplug and plugged in, solo, with his band and, on one memorable evening in New York, on stage exchanging songs, quips and composing tips with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Michelle Shocked and Allen Toussaint. If memory serves me right, Paul actually sang a few bars of Fats Domino’s‘Blueberry Hill’ one thanksgivings back in the mid 80s at my apartment in Manhattan as he pored over a road atlas- his forefinger on the city of New Orleans – and excitedly pointed out the route he was taking on a car trip through the southern United States”

Now here is one for the road…this song’s title appealed me right away… “How to Make Gravy.”

How To Make Gravy

Hello Dan, it’s Joe here
I hope you’re keeping well
It’s the 21st of December
And now they’re ringing the last bells
If I get good behaviour
I’ll be out of here by July
Won’t you kiss my kids on Christmas Day?
Please don’t let ’em cry for me

I guess the brothers are driving down from Queensland
And Stella’s flying in from the coast
They say it’s gonna be a hundred degrees, even more maybe
But that won’t stop the roast
Who’s gonna make the gravy now?
I bet it won’t taste the same
Just add flour, salt, a little red wine
And don’t forget a dollop of tomato sauce
For sweetness and that extra tang

And give my love to Angus, and to Frank and Dolly
Tell ’em all I’m sorry, I screwed up this time
And look after Rita, I’ll be thinking of her
Early Christmas morning when I’m standing in line

I hear Mary’s got a new boyfriend
I hope he can hold his own
Do you remember the last one? What was his name again?
Ahh, just a little too much cologne
And Roger, you know I’m even gonna miss Roger
‘Cause there’s sure as hell no one in here I want to fight

Oh, praise the Baby Jesus, have a Merry Christmas
I’m really gonna miss it, all the treasure and the trash
And later in the evening, I can just imagine
You’ll put on Junior Murvin and push the tables back

And you’ll dance with Rita, I know you really like her
Just don’t hold her too close
Oh, brother, please don’t stab me in the back
I didn’t mean to say that, it’s just my mind it plays up
Multiplies each matter, turns imagination into fact

You know I love her badly, she’s the one to save me
I’m gonna make some gravy, I’m gonna taste the fat
Ahh, tell her that I’m sorry, yeah, I love her badly
Tell ’em all I’m sorry, and kiss the sleepy children for me
You know one of these days, I’ll be making gravy
I’ll be making plenty, I’m gonna pay ’em all back

Yeah, do-do-do-do, do-do
Do-do-do-do, do-do

Who – Relay

This was a non-album single released in 1972. It was released between Who’s Next (1971) and Quadrophenia (1973).

Pete Townshend wrote this… it was part of his “Lifehouse” project, which was a film script featuring The Who in a future world where rock ‘n’ roll saves the masses. The Who scrapped plans for the concept double album and released most of the songs on Who’s Next…pretty much agreed their best album and one of the best in rock period.

Townshend’s use of the ARP synthesizer on Who’s Next was groundbreaking. He didn’t just add texture to it but the ARP became part of the structure of the songs. This was not like today’s synthesizer where you just took it out of the box. It had to be programmed and connected together…and not many people knew how to do it. He took a risk using it because technology in general always moving ahead, Who’s Next could have sounded dated a few years afterward but it still sounds fresh and interesting today…unlike some other synth music.

They played this song on the Russell Harty Show and Harty looked terrified of The Who. Harty was a gay man which was secret in the 1970s… Keith knew this and you could tell he thought Keith Moon was going to say something out loud in an interview but of course Keith didn’t. He was messing with Harty and the interview is both funny and demented to watch. I keep thinking….an interview like this would not happen today. What makes the interview funnier is how Daltrey and Entwistle just chill in the background while Moon and Townshend torment Harty.

Who is The Who? The History of the Legendary Band - Backstage Stories -  Page 2 of 31

They were joking around with Harty and you could see Harty tense up a bit when Moon stripped down to his underwear. Moon and Townshend then preceded to rip and tear each other’s shirt off.

Harty asked them some questions and if they were all married. That was when Moon started to talk about messing with Harty’s sleeves (as Pete and Keith did to each other) he said to Harty “You leave his sleeves alone… personal them ay…Can’t touch the interviewer can we? Hey he is in command isn’t he? You can make everyone else look like a right twit as long as you don’t have a go at him. How long have you been happily married? ” You have to wonder by the look on Harty’s face if he thought Moon was going to say something out loud…he did know Harty was gay…but of course, Moon didn’t…he was just having fun with him.

Someone put all the Rusell Harty short interview segments together from the documentary The Kids Are Alright…I have it below.

Anyway…a good song and it peaked at #21 in the UK, #50 in Canada, and #39 on the Billboard 100 in 1972.


You can hear it in the street, see it in the dragging feet
The word is gettin’ out about control
Spies they’ve come and gone, the story travels on
The only quiet place is inside your soul

From tree to tree, from you to me
Travelin’ twice as fast as on any freeway
Every single dream, wrapped up in the scheme
They all get carried on the relay

Relay, things are brewin’
Relay, something’s doin’
Relay, there’s a revolution
Relay, relay
(Hand me down a solution, yeah)
Pass it on, come on, a relay

Someone disapproves, what you say and do
I was asked to see what I could really learn you
Don’t believe your eyes, they’re tellin’ only lies
What is done in the first place don’t concern you

From tree to tree, from you to me
Travelin’ twice as fast as on any freeway
Every single dream wrapped up in the scheme
They all get carried on the relay

Relay, things are brewin’
Relay, something’s doin’
Relay, there’s a revolution
Relay, relay
(Hand me down a solution, yeah)
Pass it on, pass it on, pass it on, hey you, pass it on

We’re on the relay, get a movin’
Get on a movin’ on
The relay, the relay
The relay, the relay

Lynyrd Skynyrd – You Got That Right

When my times up, I’ll hold my own
You won’t find me in an old folks home

A great duet between Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines on the album Street Survivors. The album peaked at #5 on the Billboard Album Charts, #3 in Canada, #13 in the UK, and #36 in New Zealand in 1977-78.

In 1975 Ed King quit the band in Pittsburgh after he couldn’t take the madness anymore. That tour was called the Torture Tour because they hardly had any breaks at all. In that band alcohol and drugs were very prevalent. It’s difficult to tell what Lynyrd Skynyrd enjoyed more… consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol and drugs… or writing rock songs warning about consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol and drugs. This song isn’t about drugs but many were.

Gaines replaced Ed King as the band’s guitarist in 1976 but died in the 1977 plane crash that also claimed the lives of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and Gaines’ sister Cassie, who was a backup singer for the group. This song provides a glimpse of songwriting and guitar talent.

lynyrd skynyrd - You Got That Right B

Steve Gaines was a special talent. He wasn’t into drinking, drugs, or fighting like the other guys were.  I personally believe he would have gone far in music outside of that band. There is guitar playing on Street Survivors which you never heard with that band before. Very sophisticated chord patterns and riffs with songs like “I Never Dreamed.

Steve joined the band as a guitarist in 1976. Gaines had an immediate impact, writing or co-writing four of the eight songs on Street Survivors, which was released three days before the group’s plane crashed in Mississippi, killing Gaines, his sister Cassie (a backup singer with the group), and Van Zant.

On Street Survivors two songs had another person singing lead vocals…and that would be Steve Gaines. Van Zant let him sing one by himself (Ain’t No Good Life) and he shared vocals with this song for a duet. It would be the only album during the classic period that Van Zant didn’t sing lead.

You Got That Right peaked at #63 on the Billboard 100 and #69 in Canada after the crash. What’s Your Name was the first single and reached the top twenty in America and #6 in Canada.

You Got That Right

Well I’ve heard lots of people say
They’re gonna settle down
You don’t see their faces
And they don’t come around
Well I’m not that way
I got to move along
I like to drink and to dance all night
Comes to a fix not afraid to fight
You got that right
Said, you got that right
Sure got that right
Seems so long I been out on my own
Travel light and I’m always alone
Guess I was born with a travelin’ bone
When my times up, I’ll hold my own
You won’t find me in an old folks home
You got that right
Well you got that right
Said, you got that right
Sure got that right
I tried everything in my life
Things I like I try ’em twice
You got that right
Sure got that right
Travelin’ around the world, just singing my song
I got to go, Lord I can’t stay long
Here comes that ol’ travelin’ jones once again
I like to drink and to dance all night
Comes to a fix not afraid to fight
You got that right
Said, you got that right
Well you got that right
Sure got that right

Santana – Black Magic Woman ….Under The Covers Tuesday

This song was not written by guitarist Carlos Santana but by the great guitarist for Fleetwood Mac. No not Lindsey Buckingham or Bob Welch…but the great blues guitarist Peter Green. I have to admit I like both versions about the same. Two legendary guitar players make this song come alive. I always thought Santana wrote it until a few years ago.

This song was Santana’s first single from their second album Abraxas. The album was released in 1970. It was a year after their acclaimed appearance at Woodstock. That performance launched Santana into national fame. When Carlos Santana played Woodstock, he had yet not released an album.  He was one of the most unknown artists.  Basically, his manager, Bill Graham, forced the band’s way onto the bill.  A couple of weeks later, riding the great press from his Woodstock performance, Santana released “Black Magic Woman” and the rest is history.

Peter Green made friends with an occult group that dabbled in black magic. In turn, they turned Green on to acid which untimely destroyed him. He left Fleetwood Mac a couple of years after that. Green was probably happy that Santana covered this song. Green was convinced to give all of his money away. The royalties from this song helped him later on to live. He ended up taking jobs wherever he could find work, including one as a grave digger.

Fleetwood Mac’s version peaked at #37 in the UK charts in 1968. It was a non-album single. It later appeared on the band’s 1969 compilation album, The Pious Bird of Good Omen. Fleetwood Mac played the song on their last tour with Stevie Nicks singing it from a woman’s point of view. It just didn’t have the power that the original band did.

Santana’s version peaked at #4 on the Billboard 100 and #4 in Canada in 1970-71.

Christine McVie: “Something snapped in him, he dropped this fatal tab of acid and withdrew. He still has this amazing power, but it’s negative. You don’t want him around. We’ve all cried a lot of tears over Peter. We’ve all spent so much time and energy talking him into more positive channels. He’ll just sit there and laugh. ‘FUCK IT . . .’”

Santana: “I used to go to see the original Fleetwood Mac, and they used to kill me, just knock me out, to me, they were the best blues band.”

Mick Fleetwood: “Three minutes of sustain/reverb guitar with two exquisite solos from Peter.”

Santana AND Green

Black Magic Woman

Got a black magic woman
Got a black magic woman
I’ve got a black magic woman
Got me so blind I can’t see
That she’s a black magic woman
She’s trying to make a devil out of me

Don’t turn your back on me, baby
Don’t turn your back on me, baby
Yes, don’t turn your back on me, baby
Stop messing ’round with your tricks
Don’t turn your back on me, baby
You just might pick up my magic sticks

You got your spell on me, baby
You got your spell on me, baby
Yes, you got your spell on me, baby
Turnin’ my heart into stone
I need you so bad
Magic woman I can’t leave you alone

Buffalo Springfield – Bluebird

For those in the US and celebrate Memorial Day…Happy Memorial Day!

I had a friend’s dad who owned their 1969 greatest hits album when I was in sixth grade and we wore it out. Broken Arrow, Bluebird, Mr. Soul, For What It’s Worth, and Expecting to Fly were the ones we played over and over and caught something we missed in the previous play.

In 1966 a folk-rock band was formed in Los Angeles from a mix of Canadian and American musicians. It was called Buffalo Springfield. The band consisted of Stephen Stills (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Dewey Martin (drums, vocals), Bruce Palmer (electric bass), Richie Furay (guitar, vocals), and Neil Young (guitar, harmonica, piano, vocals).

Buffalo Springfield is a band that gets lost in the shuffle at times. People know their big hit “For What It’s Worth” but little about the band. They were only active between 1966-68 but had a huge impact on other artists. The band was very talented……with Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer, Dewey Martin, and Jim Messina who replaced Bruce Palmer. They had some great songs like Mr. Soul, Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing, Burned, Expecting to Fly, Bluebird, Rock and Roll Woman, Broken Arrow, and their big hit For What It’s Worth. Buffalo Springfield is a band that never quite reached its true potential but still made a big impression in the late sixties and after.

Before forming this band, Furay and Stills had played together in the Au Go Go Singers. Palmer and Young had played together in the Mynah Birds. That band featured Rick James on lead vocals and was signed to Motown. Just think about that for a second…Neil Young and Super Freak himself…Rick James was in a band together. They sounded much like the Stones.

Buffalo-Springfield Road Roller - Farm Collector

If Buffalo Springfield would have stayed together… it’s little doubt they would have gotten much bigger than they did with the talented members they had in place. The name of the group was inspired by the Buffalo-Springfield steamroller made by the Buffalo-Springfield Roadroller Company in Springfield, Ohio.

In 1967 they released their second album Buffalo Springfield Again. The album peaked at #44 in the Billboard Album Charts. Bluebird peaked at #58 on the Billboard 100 and #38 in Canada. Three singles in total were pulled off the album.

After various drug-related arrests and line-up changes, Buffalo Springfield decided to break up in 1968. Stephen Stills went on to form the folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash with David Crosby of the Byrds and Graham Nash of the Hollies. Neil Young launched his successful solo career and reunited in 1969 with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Neil Young on the breakup: “I just couldn’t handle it towards the end. It wasn’t me scheming on a solo career, it wasn`t anything but my nerves. Everything started to go too fucking fast. I was going crazy, joining and quitting, joining and quitting again. I began to feel like I didn’t have to answer or obey anyone. I needed more space. That was the big problem in my head. So I’d quit, then I`d come back ‘cos it sounded so good. It was a constant problem. I just wasn’t mature enough to deal with it. I was very young. We were getting the shaft from every angle, and it seemed like we were trying to make it so bad and getting nowhere.”


Listen to my bluebird laughShe can’t tell you whyDeep within her heart, you seeShe knows only cryingJust crying

There she sits, aloft at perchStrangest color blueFlying is forgotten nowThinks only of youJust youOh yeah

So, get all those bluesMust be a thousand huesAnd be just differently usedYou just know

You sit there mesmerizedBy the depth of her eyesThat you can’t categorizeShe got soulShe got soulShe got soulShe got soul

Do you think she loves youDo you think at all

Soon she’s going to fly awaySadness is her own.Give herself a bath of tearsAnd go home, and go home

James Carr – The Dark End of the Street

I was reading the Gregg Allman autobiography and he mentioned this song. When he had his first huge breakup with a girl in high school…he went to a cafe with a jukebox for days and played this song over and over. I can see why…it has the mood for that perfectly. I first heard it on a Percy Sledge album years ago but I had forgotten about it. Wonderful slow soul song.

This song was written by Chips Moman and Dan Penn in 30 minutes when they were at a DJ convention in Nashville. Dan Penn also delivered the harmonies on the original version of Carr on this song. I’ve said this before but when I see a title like this…I have to listen.

In 1969 this was covered in a Country-Soul style by The Flying Burrito Brothers on their classic The Gilded Palace of Sin album. Other artists to cover it include Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Gregg Allman, and  Percy Sledge.

James Carr is the original artist that charted the song. The song peaked at #77 on the Billboard 100 in 1967. Both the Carr and Sledge versions are great and are very close to each other. James Carr recorded it in 1966 and Percy Sledge recorded it the next year when it was charting for Carr…1967.

I covered Carr a while back and he is worth looking into. The song that I covered was “Pouring Water On A Drowning Man.” The song lived up to that great title. Take a listen to his version and his catalog… a very underrated soul singer. It’s worth it. At one time he was mentioned along with Otis Redding and they had the same manager for a while. The guy had a great voice.

He lived in Memphis and was called  “the world’s greatest Soul Singer” but he had a bipolar disorder and that made it hard for him to tour because of the depression. Carr toured Japan in 1979 and stood motionless at the microphone as though in a hypnotic trance on many dates. He returned to Memphis, where he lived with his sister (in between institutionalizations), and spent much of the ’80s barely conscious of the world around him.

He did improve with medicine and in the 90s he did make an album, Take Me to the Limit, and in 94 he released another album Soul Survivor. Soon after he died of lung cancer in 2001.

Dan Penn“Me and Chips were in a poker game, and we took a break and went back to our room. And there was a guitar and we started the song. I wrote it as far as I could and handed it to him and we finished it up really fast. It was maybe a year before James Carr recorded it. And the reason James Carr got it was because he was next. That’s the way they used to get the songs in Memphis, whoever was next got the next song.” James Carr, he had some great records but he was kind of an Otis sound-alike. But when he did ‘Dark End Of The Street’ I think he found his own voice. He never sounded like that again, I think he had some problems (Carr had a drug addiction). But he was one great singer. His record can’t be touched. The whole make-up of the record, it screams 1966. There’s something about that time that got https://youtu.be/tzcdNwIkmYAon that tape that I’ve never heard anybody get that close to.”

Dark End of the Street

At the dark end of the street
That’s where we always meet
Hiding in shadows where we don’t belong
Living in darkness to hide our wrong
You and me, at the dark end of the street
You and me

I know time is gonna take its toll
We’re have pay for the love we stole
It’s a sin and we know it’s wrong
Oh but our love keeps coming on strong
Steal away, to the dark end of the street, mmm mmm

They’re gonna find us
They’re gonna find us
They’re gonna find us, oh someday
You and me, at the dark end of the street
You and me

And when the daylight hour rolls around
And by chance we’re both downtown
If we should meet, just walk on by
Oh darling, please don’t cry

Tonight we’ll meet
At the dark end of the street

Band – King Harvest  (Has Surely Come) ….Canadian Week

Power Pop Friday will be back next week. Thank you for tuning in this week as we talked about these great Canadian artists…I’ve had a blast with them. There is one band that I didn’t get to cover because I ran out of days…well actually more…but Blue Rodeo will be coming up soon on a Friday. 

The Band is my favorite Canadian export. Well, I will say Canadian although one member…Levon Helm was from Arkansas but the rest are Canadians. CB mentioned this song not long ago so I used it after listening to it again. It is quite a complex song. I can’t believe I’ve never posted it but better late than never.

The Band was so rootsy… They had it all – rawness, competence, sublimity, experience, originality, and roots. The five different instruments were not five different instruments…they were one. In the liner notes to one of their greatest hits it states… the music is unusually complex, making use of odd verse patterns and tricky rhythmic suspensions and modifying the natural sounds of instruments for various calculated effects. But because of the way the record sounds, none of this calls attention to itself…it sounds effortless.

Robertson said he’d been immersed in the novels of John Steinbeck at this time. I’ve read where The Grapes of Wrath is a big influence on this song. Rock critic Greil Marcus has written that King Harvest might be the finest song that Robertson has ever written. The song is told from the point of view of a poverty-stricken farmer- detailing everything that has happened to his farm- then a union organizer appears and makes promises that things will soon improve.

Richard Manuel is the singer of King Harvest. King Harvest is a great finishing track to one of the greatest albums ever made. The album was their second album called The Band (The Brown Album). The album peaked at #2 in Canada, #9 on the Billboard 100 in 1970. This is their highest-charting album in their home country.

The song is credited solely to guitarist Robbie Robertson, although drummer-singer Levon Helm claimed that “King Harvest” was a group effort. It’s been covered by Blue Rodeo, Bruce Hornsby, and many more.

Robbie Robertson: “It’s just a kind of character study in a time period. At the beginning, when the unions came in, they were a saving grace, a way of fighting the big money people, and they affected everybody from the people that worked in the big cities all the way around to the farm people. It’s ironic now, because now so much of it is like gangsters, assassinations, power, greed, insanity. I just thought it was incredible how it started and how it ended up.”

Robbie Robertson: In the story to me, it’s another piece I remember from my youth, that people looking forward, people out there in the country somewhere, in a place … we all know it, may have been there, may have not … but there’s a lot of people that the idea of come Autumn, come Fall, that’s when life begins. It is not the Springtime where we kinda think it begins. It is the Fall, because the harvests come in.

Levon Helm: Some of the lyrics came out of a discussion we had one night about the times we’d seen and all had in common. It was an expression of feeling that came from five people. The group wanted to do one song that took in everything we could muster about life at that moment in time. It was the last thing we cut in California, and it was that magical feeling of ‘King Harvest’ that pulled us through. It was like, there, that’s The Band.

King Harvest (Has Surely Come)

Corn in the fields
Listen to the rice when the wind blows ‘cross the water
King Harvest has surely come

I work for the union ’cause she’s so good to me
And I’m bound to come out on top
That’s where she said I should be
I will hear every word the boss may say
For he’s the one who hands me down my pay
Looks like this time I’m gonna get to stay
I’m a union man, now, all the way

The smell of the leaves
From the magnolia trees in the meadow
King Harvest has surely come

Dry summer, then comes fall
Which I depend on most of all
Hey, rainmaker, can’t you hear the call?
Please let these crops grow tall

Long enough I’ve been up on Skid Row
And it’s plain to see, I’ve nothing to show
I’m glad to pay those union dues
Just don’t judge me by my shoes

Scarecrow and a yellow moon
And pretty soon a carnival on the edge of town
King Harvest has surely come

Last year, this time, wasn’t no joke
My whole barn went up in smoke
Our horse Jethro, well he went mad
And I can’t remember things bein’ that bad

Then there comes a man with a paper and a pen
Tellin’ us our hard times are about to end
And then, if they don’t give us what we like
He said, “men, that’s when you gotta go on strike”

Corn in the fields
Listen to the rice when the wind blows ‘cross the water
King Harvest has surely come

Joni Mitchell – Help Me ….Canadian Week

I remember hearing this song on WMAK-AM in the seventies on my sister’s Vega radio. The car that she carried a case of oil in the hatchback because it burned it more than gas.

This song was on the great album Court and Spark. Joni tried using LA’s best session players for this but it didn’t work like she wanted. She then used jazz musicians to back her on this album. Joni’s songs can be complicated because Graham Nash once said that she played in so many different open chord tunings…that she made some of them up. The jazz band she used was The L.A. Express, led by saxophonist Tom Scott.

Joni Mitchell not only wrote her own songs but was also her own producer. That is not very common with female or male artists on the whole. This song was Mitchell’s biggest hit that she had. That surprised me…I would have thought it would have been Big Yellow Taxi. I always compared her voice to a slide whistle we had as kids. That’s not a put-down…but she can cover the gambit with her voice from low to extremely high.

Joni Mitchell - A Chronology of Appearances

Who did she write this song about? Some say it was Jackson Browne who she had just broken up with and some say it’s Glenn Fry. Whoever it’s about she left it open enough so that anyone can relate to it. The song peaked at #6 in Canada and #7 on the Billboard 100.

Prince, who was a huge fan of Mitchell, even mentioned it on “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” from his 1987 album, Sign ‘O’ the Times.

She said, “Sound like a real man to meMind if I turn on the radio?”“Oh, my favorite song, ” she saidAnd it was Joni singing: “Help me, I think I’m falling”

Joni Mitchell: “A throwaway song, but a good radio record.”  “My record companies always had a tendency to take my fastest songs on album for singles, thinking they’d stand out because they did on the LPs. Meantime, I’d feel that the radio is crying for one of my ballads.”

Help Me

Help me
I think I’m falling
In love again
When I get that crazy feeling, I know
I’m in trouble again
I’m in trouble

‘Cause you’re a rambler and a gambler
And a sweet-taIking-ladies man
And you love your lovin’
But not like you love your freedom

Help me
I think I’m falling
In love too fast
It’s got me hoping for the future
And worrying about the past
‘Cause I’ve seen some hot hot blazes
Come down to smoke and ash
We love our lovin’

But not like we love our freedom
Didn’t it feel good
We were sitting there talking
Or lying there not talking
Didn’t it feel good
You dance with the lady
With the hole in her stocking

Didn’t it feel good
Didn’t it feel good
Help me
I think I’m falling
In love with you

Are you going to let me go there by myself
That’s such a lonely thing to do
Both of us flirting around
Flirting and flirting

Hurting too
We love our lovin’
But not like we love our freedom

Rush – Closer To The Heart ….Canadian Week

There are some bands that I would not want to meet in real life. There are other bands that seem like the nicest people in the world and Rush is one of them. With Rush’s music…I normally like sloppy bands…and I mean that in the best way. The Stones, Who, Zeppelin, and Beatles were all sloppy in some ways. With Rush…no sloppiness is allowed…everything is on point.

I would love to meet the two surviving members of Rush. I’ve never been a huge fan but I’ve watched their documentary (Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage) over and over again. I would encourage all of you to watch it. Even if you are not a fan…you WILL like these guys on a personal basis.

I have a great respect for their musical ability. A trio is not easy to play in…I’ve been the bass player in a couple and you have to work to keep it all together. All three of them are/were massively talented. Neil Peart is in the top 5 Rock Drummers of all time without a doubt. Geddy Lee, the same with bass and Alex doesn’t get as much attention as the other two but he is great as well.

I do like their radio hits like Tom Sawyer, Limelight, Working Man, Red Barchetta, and a few others. One thing about some of Rush’s lyrics…I think…hmmm will I be tested on this when I’m finished? I listened to many of their albums with a cousin of mine. I liked Moving Pictures, Permanent Waves, Hemispheres, and some of A Farewell to Kings.

Closer To The Heart has a chorus that is extremely universal. Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson says this song is the ultimate Rush song. It was on their album A Farewell To Kings released in 1977. It was written by Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and for the first time… an outside writer…Peter Talbot.

The song peaked at #76 on the Billboard 100, #36 in the UK, and #44 in Canada in 1977-78.

In 1981 a live version peaked at #21 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.

Geddy Lee: I remember when we had to bring it back into the set for the Rio shows, as there was such a demand to hear it and we’d stopped playing it for a while. It’s always resonated with people for some reason, and it was a hit as far as we’ve ever had a hit. It got us on the radio, the kinds of radio that would never normally associate with us, so it was as close as we ever came to a pop song, especially at that point. Over here in the UK it had that effect, and in the US too.

Closer To The Heart

And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones who start
To mold a new reality
Closer to the heart
Closer to the heart

The blacksmith and the artist
Reflect it in their art
They forge their creativity
Closer to the heart
Yes, closer to the heart

Philosophers and plowmen
Each must know his part
To sow a new mentality
Closer to the heart
Yes closer to the heart, yeah, oh

Whoa, whoa
You can be the captain
And I will draw the chart
Sailing into destiny
Closer to the heart
Closer to the heart
Well closer to the heart, yeah
Closer to the heart
Closer to the heart
I said closer to the heart
Well closer to the heart, yeah
Closer to your heart
Closer to your heart, whoa

Tragically Hip – New Orleans is Sinking ….Canadian Week

I’m just now really listening to this band and I’m liking a lot of what I’m hearing. This song takes on a new meaning after Katrina but this song was released in 1989. Whenever I post something about a band that I don’t know much about…I usually go with their most popular song to start off. I posted Ahead By A Century, and people responded. I like this one more…it has some thump to it.

I liked this one with a first listen. I love the relentless guitar riff that starts this off.  The song seems to be recalling a past experience in the city, and the lyrics describe a sense of nostalgia and appreciation for everything New Orleans has to offer…including its spirit. The song is lamenting the changing times, and expressing his desire to remain connected to its rich history and traditions.

The song was on their debut album Up To Here released in 1989. The album did well in Canada peaking at #9 and #170 on the Billboard 100. They released 13 studio albums and this is the worse showing of all the albums on the Canadian charts. Nine of their albums peaked at #1, two of them at #2, and one of them at #3. The song peaked at #1 on the Canadian RPM magazine Charts, #70 on the Canadian Singles Charts, and #30 on the Billboard Main Rock Charts in 1989. The song was credited to the band.

To show the disparity between the band’s fortunes in America and Canada. I read that a fan was traveling through upstate New York and passed a small roadside club that said “Tonight: The Tragically Hip” and he turned around and saw them in the small club. In Canada at the time were filling stadiums and now they got a chance to see them close up. A difference a few miles can make.

The Tragically Hip is an institution in Canada, and still something of a cult band everywhere else…and I love cult bands such as Big Star and The Replacements.

Deke told me about the live album The Tragically Hip Live At The Rox May 3, 91 and it is great…a great sound and the band was really tight that night. No video of them but it’s worth a listen to the video below this.

New Orleans Is Sinking

Bourbon blues on the street, loose and complete
Under skies all smoky blue-green
I can’t forsake a Dixie dead-shake
So we danced the sidewalk clean
My memory is muddy, what’s this river that I’m in?
New Orleans is sinking man, and I don’t wanna swim

Colonel Tom, what’s wrong? What’s going on?
Can’t tie yourself up for a deal
He said “hey north you’re south shut your big mouth,
You gotta do what you feel is real”
Ain’t got no picture postcards, ain’t got no souvenirs
My baby, she don’t know me when I’m thinking ’bout those years

Pale as a light bulb hanging on a wire
Sucking up to someone just to stoke the fire
Picking out the highlights of the scenery
Saw a little cloud that looked a little like me

I have my hands in the river
My feet back up on the banks
Looked up to the Lord above
And said, hey man thanks
Sometimes I feel so good I gotta scream
She said Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean
She said, she said, I swear to God she said

My memory is muddy, what’s this river that I’m in?
New Orleans is sinking man and I don’t wanna swim

Neil Young – Sugar Mountain ….Canadian Week

Today through Friday I will feature nothing but Canadian artists. It will be some left off because I could go on forever. Oh NO…where to put Justin Beiber? Nah, I’ll skip him… I will feature at least 2 artists I’ve never blogged on before and both are huge…and worlds apart. 

Canada Flag

I thought I would start off this Monday with no other than Uncle Neil. Young had no trouble coming up with verses to this song. He has said…he came up with 126 verses and the trouble came with editing it down. His was first released as the B-side of Young’s first single as a solo artist, “The Loner.” He used it as a B-side on a few other singles, but did not put it on an album until his 1977 Greatest Hits compilation Decade.

Young wrote this song in a room at the Fort William’s Victoria Hotel in Ontario. He wrote the song on his 19th birthday on November 12, 1964. The song is about lost childhood but he had a firm grasp on being an adult going by the song.

Joni Mitchell has said that what prompted him to write this was that Neil really soon, could no longer visit an under-21 club that he favored. That is not to say that the said club would be “Sugar Mountain” itself. But being barred from the venue, according to Mitchell, would have been one of the factors that made the singer realize that some of the joys of childhood simply cannot be innocently replicated as we get older.

Speaking of Joni Mitchell. She wrote an “answer” song to this one called The Circle Game. Sugar Mountain is also on his Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968 released in 2008.

Neil Young on his new friend (which he doesn’t name)  at this time: “Mainly, he was the funniest person I’d met in years. He didn’t have another gig until next weekend, so he stayed in Thunder Bay and we played and he took us to see Buffalo. We lived on A&W cheeseburgers and root beer. Very Canadian.”

Neil Young:  “At first I wrote 126 verses to it. Now, you can imagine that I had a lot of trouble figuring out what four verses to use… I was underneath the stairs… Anyway, this verse that I wrote… It was the worst verse of the 126 that I wrote. So, I decided to put it in the song, to just to give everybody a frame of reference as to, you know, what can happen. What I’m trying to say here, by stopping in the middle of the song, and explaining this to you, is that… I think it’s one of the lamest verses I ever wrote. And it takes a lotta nerve for me to get up here and sing it in front of you people. But, if when I’m finished singing, you sing the chorus ‘Sugar Mountain’ super loud, I’ll just forget about it right away and we can continue.”

Neil Young: “I do ‘Sugar Mountain’ really for the people more than I do it for myself. I think I owe it to them, cos it seems to really make them feel happy, so that’s why I do that. They pay a lotta money to come and see me and I lay a lotta things on ’em that they’ve never heard before, and I think I owe it to them to do things they can really identify with. It’s such a friendly song, and the older I get and the older my audience gets the more relevant it becomes, especially since they’ve been singing it for 20 years. It really means a lot to them, so I like to give ’em the chance to enjoy that moment.”

Sugar Mountain

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon
You’re leaving there too soon

It’s so noisy at the fair
But all your friends are there
And the candy floss you had
And your mother and your dad

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon
You’re leaving there too soon

There’s a girl just down the aisle
Oh to turn and see her smile
You can hear the words she wrote
As you read the hidden note

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon
You’re leaving there too soon

Now you’re underneath the stairs
And you’re giving back some glares
To the people who you met
And it’s your first cigarette

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon
You’re leaving there too soon

Now you say you’re leaving home
‘Cause you want to be alone

Ain’t it funny how you feel
When you’re finding out it’s real

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon
You’re leaving there too soon

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon

Gordon Lightfoot – Early Morning Rain …. Canadian Week

Robbie Robertson“a cultural treasure of the Canadian nation.”

From now until Friday it’s going to be Canadian Week…with all Canadian artists. Two of which I’ve never posted on before and one at the very end…were all Canadian except a certain southern drummer. I hope you will join me this week whether you are Canadian or not…there will be some great artists.

I grew up with Lightfoot’s songs. He was one of the very few respected artists my sister liked so I was hearing his songs when I was around 5 or 6. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald is still a go-to song for me. From Sundown to If You Could Read My Mind and all the ones in between. This particular song is such a perfectly written number. I first heard this by Elvis Presley when I was a kid.

Gordon Lightfoot - Early Morning Rain

Bob Dylan covered this song on his Self Portrait album and it helped Gordon’s career. So many have covered this song. Here is a link to the second-hand songs website if you want to see them all.  Elvis Presley, Dylan, Jerry Reed, Steve Forbert, Jerry Lee Lewis, Peter Paul and Mary, and a TON more. You know you have written a great song when you have those quality artists covering it.

It didn’t chart for Lightfoot but other artists took the song to the charts. According to Wiki… Ian and Sylvia #1 on the Canada AC Charts in 1965, Peter, Paul, and Mary #39 in Canada and #91 on the Billboard 100, George Hamilton IV #9 on the Billboard Country Charts in 1971, Oliver #28 in the Billboard AC Charts in 1971, Paul Weller #40 in the UK in 2005… even the Grateful Dead covered this song.

Gordon died on May 1, 2023. The music world lost a huge legend with Gordon Lightfoot. It’s hard to put into words how great of a songwriter the man was.

Gordon Lightfoot on Bob Dylan recording this song:  “I was totally blown away that he would record one of my songs in the first place. It helped my career – I’d not had a hit single myself at that point. His cover was a linchpin in that whole process because it made people in the industry aware that I was producing good songs.”

Robbie Robertson“a cultural treasure of the Canadian nation.”

Bob Dylan: “I can’t think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don’t like. Every time I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever. “

Bob Dylan: Lightfoot died “without ever having made a bad song”

Early Morning Rain

In the early mornin’ rain
With a dollar in my hand
With an aching in my heart
And my pockets full of sand
I’m a long ways from home
And I missed my loved one so
In the early mornin’ rain
With no place to go

Out on runway number nine
Big seven o seven set to go
Well I’m stuck here on the grass
With a pain that ever grows
Where the liquor tasted good
And all the women all were fast
There, there she goes my friend
She’s rolling down at last

Hear the mighty engines roar
See the silver wing on high
She’s away and westward bound
For above the clouds she’ll fly
Where the mornin’ rain don’t fall
And the sun always shines
She’ll be flying over my home
In about three hours time

This ol’ airport’s got me down
It’s no damn good to me
And I’m stuck here on the ground
As cold and drunk as I can be
Can’t jump a jet plane
Like you can a freight train
So I best be on my way
In the early mornin’ rain
Can’t jump a jet plane
Like you can a freight train
So I best be on my way
In the early mornin’ rain

Allman Brothers – It’s Not My Cross To Bear

In 1969 Duane Allman hand-picked the members he wanted in his band. The first member he picked was drummer Johnny Lee Johnson…better known as Jaimoe or Jai Johanny Johanson. He then looked at a band called “The 2nd Coming” and he got members guitarist Dickey Betts and bassist Berry Oakley out of that band and continued. He also picked another drummer named Butch Trucks out of the band The 31st of February.

Duane wanted the best band possible. People were confused that he wanted two drummers and a guitar player who could play almost better than him. He didn’t care about that as much at all…as long as it sounded good. Dickey Betts was not the easiest person to get along with but he respected Duane so much that they never had any problems. They spurred each other live to go further.

They needed a singer and Duane automatically thought of this brother Gregg. Gregg was living in LA at this point with Jackson Browne sharing an apartment. He told Gregg to come to Macon Georgia with this band. Gregg came armed with songs and walked into the door. He heard the band and didn’t know if he was good enough to do it. The big brother Duane jumped on Gregg and told him not to embarrass him and get behind the keyboards and do his thing. Gregg as always listened to Duane and of course, he fit perfectly. Duane knew exactly what he was doing.

On a side note…the band had a keyboard player named Reese Wynans. Reese knew his stint with the band was done with Gregg joining. They already had two guitarists and two drummers…they didn’t need another keyboard player with Gregg joining. Duane helped him get some studio work and hooked him up with other musicians. Reese’s career was only starting. Later on, Reese joined Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble in 1985, playing keyboards on Soul to Soul and In Step. He performed live with the group until Stevie’s death in 1990.

Allman Brothers - It's Not My Cross To Bear B

He moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1992, Reese has played keyboards for a number of country artists including Brooks & Dunn, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, and Hank Williams Jr. He has also played for blues artists Buddy Guy, John Mayall, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Colin James, Ana Popovic, Dudley Taft, Eli Cook, and Los Lonely Boys. I personally met Reese at my guitar tech’s business… a great guy. 

The Allman Brothers toured relentlessly through 1969-1971 playing at clubs and also doing free shows in the park in what town they were at…the same thing that The Grateful Dead did also. Money wasn’t the thing…they built a grass roots following and they were probably more popular in New York than anywhere else.

This song was on their debut album The Allman Brothers Band released in 1969. The album was hailed by critics but it didn’t sell but 35,000 copies at the time. When you look at the album now…it’s full of songs that would be their bedrock for years. Whipping Post, Dreams, and Trouble No More to name but a few.

Gregg Allman was the main songwriter in the band at first. Dicky Betts would soon start writing more around the second album. Allman wrote this about a girlfriend and wrote a song called Blackhearted Woman about that same girlfriend. They recorded the album in two weeks total…played it and mixed it.

They would release their second album the following year. That album did a little better but it still didn’t take off despite having many songs (Midnight Rider, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, and more) that would make them famous later. It was in 1971 when they released At Fillmore East that all the years of touring paid off. It was a massive hit peaking at #13 and they were set up for a great career. Up until then, the record company had been advancing them money since 1969 and that album paid everything off. They finally had money coming in and the ability to get what they wanted.

Then on October 29, 1971, Duane Allman was killed on a motorcycle in Macon Georgia. They thought about breaking up but they stayed together and had a huge career with albums Eat A Peach (which Duane is on a few tracks) and the massive Brothers and Sisters. Around a year later…their bassist Berry Oakley died on a motorcycle within a few blocks of where Duane crashed.

When punk came in the late seventies they struggled because no one wanted blues jams anymore even if the musicianship was top notch and it was. That is something about the punk and New Wave movement I didn’t like. Some bands like this who were musically superior got swept away for a while.

Classic radio started to get popular and all of these bands that were ignored during punk and new wave were sought after again. In the late eighties, Gregg had a huge hit with I’m No Angel and the band reformed and played until Oct. 28, 2014 when they officially retired as a band.

I truly think they had more talent in that band than most of their peers. I have to add that I think Gregg could be the best white blues singer of his era.

It’s Not My Cross To Bear

Yeah, yeah, yeah

I have not come, yeah
To testify
About our bad, bad misfortune
And I ain’t here a wond’rin’ why
But I’ll live on and I’ll be strong
‘Cause it just ain’t my cross to bear

I sat down and wrote you a long letter
It was just the other day
Said, sure as the sunrise, baby
Tomorrow I’ll be up and on my way
But I’ll live on
And I’ll be strong
‘Cause it just ain’t my cross to bear
Oh no

Oh, but I’ll live on and I’ll be strong
‘Cause it just ain’t my cross to bear
Yes now baby

But in the end, baby
Long towards the end of your road
Don’t reach out for me, babe
‘Cause I’m not gonna carry your load
But I’ll live on and I’ll be strong
‘Cause it just ain’t my cross to bear
Yeah, yeah
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah

Steve Earle – Someday

Power Pop Friday will be back in two weeks. 

Ever since I heard him in the mid to late 80s I liked Steve Earle. He opened up for Bob Dylan in 1988 and he was fantastic. His music was between country, folk, and rock. You can’t really put Earle in a box…and you shouldn’t. I’ve read reviewers compare him to Randy Newman, Bruce Springsteen, and Waylon Jennings in the same review. That is a great span of artists.

The song is about escaping the town you are living in. I knew a lot of people who wanted to escape the small town I grew up in. The song reminds me a little of The River by Bruce Springsteen in content. It’s a song that many people will be able to relate to.

The song was from his debut album Guitar Town. I remember he was being played on country radio and WKDF…Nashville’s number-one rock station back in the 80s. The album is ranked 489 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 500 albums. They called it a rocker’s version of country. The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard Country Charts, #89 on the Billboard Album Charts, and #82 in Canada.

Four singles were pulled off of that album. Hillbilly Highway, Guitar Town, Someday, and Goodbye’s All We Got Left. All were in the top 40 in the Billboard Country Charts and two of them were top 10. Someday peaked at #28 on the Billboard Country Charts and #31 on the Canada Country Charts.

His next album Exit-0 is one that pushed him closer to the rock genre. His third album Copperhead Road broke him in the rock genre. Earle himself calls his music the world’s first blend of heavy metal and bluegrass…according to Wiki…Rolling Stone magazine called his music “Power Twang.”


There ain’t a lot that you can do in this town
You drive down to the lake and then you turn back around
You go to school and you learn to read and write
So you can walk into the county bank and sign away your life

I work at the fillin’ station on the interstate
Pumpin’ gasoline and countin’ out of state plates
They ask me how far into Memphis son, and where’s the nearest beer
And they don’t even know that there’s a town around here

Someday I’m finally gonna let go
‘Cause I know there’s a better way
And I want to know what’s over that rainbow
I’m gonna get out of here someday

Now my brother went to college cause he played football
I’m still hangin’ round cause I’m a little bit small
I got me a 67 Chevy, she’s low and sleek and black
Someday I’ll put her on that interstate and never look back