Songwriters....

.... sitting in the garage with the door open and Townes Van Zandt's voice rolling out across the grass between the parked cars down towards the mailbox.... what an afternoon...

... "Pancho and Lefty" a few minutes ago... and right now, well, he's talking...

... it seems that when you listen to a songwriter performing their music, it always just makes more sense...

.... sure, some Big Star might come along later and re-record their song... and hey, they might make a million bucks.... but those songs have lost some of their bite at that point.... some of their soul.... when someone else records a songwriter's poetry, it loses a part of the writer's inflection....

... if you like a song, search out the writer.... and then listen to a recording of THEM playing it.... playing it as they meant it to be heard.... If you liked the song before, then more than likely you will LOVE the song after you have heard how it was supposed to be played.... often with just a guitar and a singer on stage....

... I think that is why I like Townes, Prine, Zevon, and Waits... their voices may not be the most melodic out there... and their deliveries might be less polished... but when others cover their tunes, well, they soften the edges.... and it is those very edges that make the songs to begin with.... those edges connect the song and songwriter....

... wow.... right now, he is almost finished with "If I Needed You".... a great love song.... Loop and Lil were parakeets?... that is wonderful... see?.. THAT is the beauty of hearing a song being sung by the writer rather than just the smooth cover artist.... when Townes sings it, he connects.... he wrote it while his parakeets watched on..

... anyway, the ribs are almost done now... time to put the grill away... and it's time to eat.... g'night, boys and girls... thus endeth tonight's sermon.... If you want the coolest water, you gotta find the source.....

... by the way, hit Mr. Hooker's tip jar if you like his music.... it's free until you feel guilty.... and he is a great songwriter....

by Eric on April 15, 2006 | Bullshit (3) | TrackBack (1) | Music
ยป Gut Rumbles links with: the horse's mouth?
Bullshit So Far

Poncho and Lefty, my God - the trips I've made from San Antonio to Nuevo Laredo, with a fifth of Cuervo between my thighs, and 10mg of Valium coursing through my bloodstream, with that song blaring over the rental car's speakers.

Well Poncho needs your prayers, it's true...but say a few, for Lefty too - he only did what he had to do...and now, he's growing old.

Haggard's voice on that line gives me goosebumps, bro.

Bullshitted by Joe on April 15, 2006 09:04 PM

I beg to disagree with you. Kris Kristofferson is my case in point. He's written some truly GREAT songs, but he can't play guitar, he can't sing, and he makes his own songs sound like shit.

He's better when somebody else plays his songs.

Bullshitted by Acidman on April 15, 2006 11:02 PM

Ah, Rob, I've always had a soft spot for old Kris gravelling out his own stuff -- for exactly the reasons that Eric cites -- they're HIS songs and his life and I always liked the way he sang(sic)them (except for Me & Bobby McGee which I hate by ANYone!) But one day years ago I came across a record in a sale rack somewhere called "Jimmy Webb SINGS Jimmy Webb" (you know, McArthur Park and the cake melting in the rain and all that shit?) Several people covered McArthur Park including Richard Harris -- and Webb wrote a lot of good stuff for Glenn Campbell and the Fifth Dimension among others, but the singing on this poor album was the most excrable garbage I've ever heard. Just awful. I agree with ya the other 99% of the time -- go to the source! Generally speaking, I'd always much rather hear someone sing their own work -- Dylan, Prine, Zevon, et. al. I don't care HOW much money somebody more famous makes off their work!

Bullshitted by Marianne on April 15, 2006 11:55 PM