October 30 (803) Down There By The Train

8309875-railroad-tracks

Play this show

There’s a place I know
where the train goes slow
where the sinners can be washed
in the blood of the lamb
there’s a river by the trestle
down by Sinner’s Grove
down where the Willow and the Dogwood grows
down there by the train
down there by the train
down there by the train
down there by the train
down there where the train
goes slow
                     Tom Waits

Last time on Great River Radio, I played the Tift Merritt version of Tom Waits’ “Train Song” and I’ve been listening to that thing a lot in the last couple of weeks.  It is the great lyrics and the wonderful guitar playing of Eric Heywood that keep me coming back.  Then it had another effect on me, and that was to ponder why there are so many songs about trains in American music.  You could do hours and hours of train songs, even if you just limited yourself to the good ones.  But why?  Is it the lure of escape?  “My daddy told me, looking back/’best friend you’ll have is a railroad track'”… or is it the sound of the whistle and that lonesome sound of steel wheels on a steel track, long after the engine has passed?  Is it because they are going to take us to paradise?   “This train is bound for glory”?

I’m not doing train songs today – there are too many.  In some ways, it is too easy a project.  But I will be sprinkling some train songs by Tom Waits into the list, including a return of that Tift Merritt cover.  It is also Halloween tomorrow and though most of you are probably not going to be dressing up and going out trick or treating, I’ll slip a couple of ghostly songs into the mix.

I’ve also got new music from Polica, The 1975, Linda Thompson (with son Teddy) and Goldfrapp (this one is awesome.)  You’ve probably heard some of the new Paul McCartney by now, and I’ll have a typically McCartneyesque track from that one.  There is new music from The Head and the Heart and something amazing from the 2013 release by Ben Harper and the great Charlie Musselwhite.

It’s a nice mix on this gloomy day – listen in live this afternoon or later on the blog.

Details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Web/Listen Later: https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio

Playlist
On The Road-Tom Waits
Cecil Taylor-Jonathan Wilson
Shake-The Head And The Heart
You Can’t Be Told-Valerie June
Sex-The 1975
New-Paul McCartney
Oh, The Joy-Trixie Whitley
Down There By The Train-Tom Waits
Three White Horses-Andrew Bird
Drew-Goldfrapp
Chain My Name-Polica
Werewolves Of London-Warren Zevon
I Scare Myself-The New Standards
In A Graveyard-Rufus Wainwright
Won’t Be Long Now-Linda Thompson/Teddy Thompson
Persuasion-Richard Thompson/Teddy Thompson
Train Song-Tift Merritt
Bottom of the World-Tom Waits
We Can’t End This Way-Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

October 9 (802) Finding Your Way Home

Sand-Island-Sunset-w-Moon-2-2

Play this show

A Spartan smile and westward stare hold a promise in the air
That’s the way they used to find their own way home
By the stars, on their own
By the stars, on their own

            The Milk Carton Kids “Hope of a Lifetime”

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks since the last Great River Radio, but I’m ready to return to the studio this afternoon with a great list of mostly new music, including that wonderful song from the Milk Carton Kids, two guys from California who opened for Over The Rhine last week. They have a sweet sound that might remind you of Simon and Garfunkel, and their stage presence is clever and smart, and I ended up thinking that Paul and Artie had somehow married the Smothers Brothers.  The music that night was incredible.  The night before, or was it the night after, we saw another duo – Shovels and Rope – husband and wife Michael and Carrie Ann from Charleston, South Carolina and they rocked the house, just the two of them trading off instruments and putting a tremendous energy into the show.

GRR will sample music from those shows and include an actual live track from Ry Cooder’s first live album in 35 years – from his brand new release “Live in San Francisco” with a great band that includes Flaco Jimenez on the accordion.  You’ll love the guitar work on “Crazy ‘Bout an Automobile.”  Amos Lee just released a new record, and we’ll hear something from that one that includes Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas in the background.

Also, a set of songs about birds from one of our favorite new compilations “Consider the Birds” from House of Mercy recordings here in the Twin Cities – this record is a companion to Debbie Blue’s new and beautiful book Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to Birds of the Bible.  More about that during Great River Radio this afternoon.

All that and more from Jack Johnson, Tift Merritt, Sarah Jarosz (my song of the week!), Valerie June, Best Coast and others.

Listen in live this afternoon or later on the blog.

Details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Web/Listen Later: https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio

Playlist

Mississippi-The Griswolds
The Walker-Fitz & The Tantrums
Meet Me in the City-North Mississippi Allstars
This is a True Heart-Julia Holter
Your Head and Your Heart-The Saint Johns
Sonsick-San Fermin
The Only Place-Best Coast
I Got You-Jack Johnson
Finster Saw the Angels-Laura Veirs
Birmingham-Shovels & Rope
Hope of a Lifetime-The Milk Carton Kids
Crazy ‘Bout an Automobile-Ry Cooder
Chill in the Air-Amos Lee
Train Song-Tift Merritt
Simple Twist of Fate-Sarah Jarosz
Somebody to Love-Valerie June
The Dreamer-The Tallest Man On Earth
Lonesome Bird-Jon Rodine
I’ll Follow You-Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers
Awake-John Hermanson

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

September 18 (801) – Miss the Mississippi?

mississippi

[audio http://personal.stthomas.edu/drgjelten/shows/GRR801.mp3]

Mockingbirds are singing ’round the cabin door
While I dream of Mississippi and you
And my memories are bringing happy days of yore
I have spent in Mississippi with you

Roaming the wide world over
Always alone and blue, so blue
Longing for my homeland on that muddy water shore
Yes, I miss the Mississippi and you
The Mississippi and you

                Jimmie Rodgers

 

It has been too long since Great River Radio sent out some songs to our friends, but the wait is over.  We’ve missed you and hopefully, you missed us.  This afternoon, GRR is back with a compilation that includes the Singing Brakeman, Jimmie Rodgers, along with young and old artists doing old and new music.

It was a wonderful summer and I hope everyone is safe and happy and looking forward to the cool nights of September.  The playlist today is a collection of songs that just free associated together, some inspired by shows over the summer, some harbingers of fall shows and some just randomly accessed.

We’ll have music from The Civil Wars, Bill Frisell, a duet with John Fogarty and Miranda Lambert, and something from the French singer Lou Doillon (half-sister to Charlotte Gainsbourg.) I guess there are a lot of women on today’s show, as you’ll also hear Patty Griffin, Holly Maher, Jane Siberry, Cassandra Wilson and Sharon Robinson.  Rockabilly star Rosie Flores will do “Working Girl’s Guitar” which we heard outdoors a couple weeks ago at the Minnesota State Fair and were knocked out by.

All that and more, of course, this afternoon on Great River Radio.

Please join me today from 4:15-5:45 p.m.

Details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Web/Listen Later: https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio

Playlist
Miss the Mississippi-Jimmie Rodgers
On the Road-Houndmouth
Lightning Bolt-Jake Bugg
Went to See the Gypsy (Demo)-Bob Dylan
Howlin’ for You-Albert Lee
The Big One-Bill Frisell
The Man I Knew-Dessa
Wrote a Song for Everyone-John Fogarty/Miranda Lambert
The One That Got Away-The Civil Wars
Hard to Find-The National
ICU-Lou Doillon
Meet Me at the Edge of the World-Over The Rhine
I Want to Be Loved-Cassandra Wilson
Working Girl’s Guitar-Rosie Flores
Born Under a Good Sign-The Suburbs
Three Angels-Will Kimbrough
Pontchartrain-Jane Siberry
Go Wherever You Wanna Go-Patty Griffin
Always Be-Holly Maher
Alexandra Leaving-Sharon Robinson

Leave a comment

Filed under Great River Radio - Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.

March 27 – Spring is loading… (708)

application loading

[audio http://personal.stthomas.edu/drgjelten/shows/GRR708.mp3]

You can never hold back spring
You can be sure I will never stop believing
The blushing rose, it will climb
Spring ahead or fall behind
Winter dreams the same dream, every time

Baby you can never hold back spring
Even though you’ve lost your way
The world is dreaming, dreaming of spring

So close your eyes
Open your heart
To the one who’s dreaming of you
And you can never hold back spring
Remember everything that spring can bring
Baby you can never hold back spring

(Tom Waits)

It is spring break week on campus, but not nearly spring-like, really.  The ground is still covered in snow and ice and the temperature struggles to rise up above forty degrees.  Still, the sun is shining, and there is water running in the gutters, down towards the river.  Tonight the moon will be full over the Mississippi – maybe that will wake up the earth.

I’ll set you up for a reluctant full moon evening with some music from Great River Radio. There will be a mix of new and not so new music this week.  The Royal Southern Brotherhood, a uniting of two of the South’s great musical bloodlines, the Nevilles and the Allmans, kick off the show with “Moonlight Over the Mississippi” and from there we’ll hop on a train that will include Mavis Staples, The Slide Brothers and Hollis Brown.  We’ll get off the train for a set with The Pines, Alexi Murdoch and Son Volt (delivering “Angel of the Blues” from their new record. Did you see the movie “Chasing Ice”?  If so, you may remember the haunting music over the closing credits – J. Ralph’s “Before My Time” featuring Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell – the song was nominated for a 2013 Oscar for best original song.    You can hear it this afternoon on GRR.

Prince has called Lianne La Havas “my new Joni Mitchell” and that is enough for me to sit up and give her a listen.  She’ll be in town next Sunday night, and I’ll give you a preview this afternoon from her new record “Is Your Love Big Enough?”

I will also note the significance of the week with a set of quiet hymns before we get to hear Tom Waits with his lovely reminder that the roses will bloom again.

That and more, of course.  It will be a good show, relaxed and spacious, and will set you up for whatever you have planned for the rest of this full moon spring evening.

Today on Great River Radio, coming to you from the University of St. Thomas’ KUST.

Tune in live, or listen later on the blog.

The details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/live/liveStream.html
Web/listen later: https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio

iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Moonlight Over the Mississippi-Royal Southern Brotherhood
Earth Blues-Jimi Hendrix
Move Along Train-Mavis Staples
Catch That Train-The Slide Brothers
Heart & Bones-The Pines
All My Days-Alexi Murdoch
Angel of the Blues-Son Volt
Before My Time-J. Ralph featuring Scarlett Johansson
Guilty-Madeline Peyroux
Inolvidable-Bebo & Cigala
Is Your Love Big Enough?-Lianne La Havas
Just Make It Stop-Low
Back When We Were Beautiful-Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
They Told Me-Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside
O Sacred Head Head Now Wounded-Jim Brickman
Keep Us Steadfast-Lyle Lovett
The Unclouded Day-Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers
You Can Never Hold Back Spring-Tom Waits

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

March 6 – From Bessie to Badu (707)

bessie

 

badu

[audio http://personal.stthomas.edu/drgjelten/shows/GRR707.mp3]

Bessie Smith sang

I’ve got what it takes
But it breaks my heart to give it away
She said I’ve got what it takes
But it breaks my heart to give it away
It’s in demand
Folks cryin’ for it every day
I’ve been saving it up for a long long time
To give it away would be more than a crime


and Robert Johnson wrote

When a woman gets in trouble, everybody throws her down
Lookin’ for her good friend, none can’t be found
You better come on in my kitchen, baby, it’s goin’ to be rainin’ outdoors

and Maya Angelou wrote

I say,
It’s the fire in  my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally,
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I’ll be honest, when I started thinking of this week’s show, I’d forgotten that March is Women’s History Month.  I was actually inspired by a connection from our last show, in which I realized that there was a strong line of influence between some of the artists I played.  Laura Nyro was inspired by Nina Simone and Nyro, in turn, inspired many musicians.  And Simone was influenced by the huge artists that came before her: Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and others.  So I started thinking “Can we draw a line from Bessie Smith to the contemporary singers of today?”  And I decided that we could.

Now, I could have spent weeks preparing a scholarly musical lesson on women in popular music of the twentieth century.  I’m sorry, but I have neither the time nor the expertise.  So, here’s what we’re going to do.  I’ve picked songs from women artists starting with Bessie Smith and moving chronologically through the century to Erykah Badu, and I think that you can argue that each successive artist was influenced by the previous one(s).  We’ll hear from Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, Ruth Brown, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, and move into Nyro, Mitchell, Joplin, Raitt, and eventually Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill and wind up with Mary J Blige and we’ll close with Erykah Badu.

I’d be starting arguments if I said I was including the most important women singers/songwriters of the twentieth century here.  Don’t want to do that. This is subjective.  But there is something for everyone on this show, and I do think this is at least a good faith effort to connect the dots between Bessie and Badu.

I hope you like it.  Let me know what you think, as always.

Today on Great River Radio, coming to you from the University of St. Thomas’ KUST.

The details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream:http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/live/liveStream.html
Web/listen later: 
https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook: 
http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio

iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Bessie Smith-Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)
Billie Holiday-Lover Come Back To Me
Mahalia Jackson-Didn’t It Rain
Ruth Brown-Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean
Etta James-Lover Man
Aretha Franklin-A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel…)
Nina Simone-I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free
Laura Nyro-Stoney End
Janis Joplin-Try (Just A Little Harder)
Bonnie Raitt-Women Be Wise
Karen Dalton-God Bless The Child
Joni Mitchell-Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody
Rickie Lee Jones-Last Chance Texaco
Lauryn Hill-Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You
Amy Winehouse-You Know I’m No Good
Cassandra Wilson-Come on In My Kitchen
Black Dub (Trixie Whitley)-I Believe In You
Mary J. Blige-Real Love
Erykah Badu-On and On

Leave a comment

Filed under Great River Radio - Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.

February 20 – Wintery Mix (706)

frosty trees valentine

[audio http://personal.stthomas.edu/drgjelten/shows/GRR706.mp3]

Just a quick note to alert you to a new GRR this afternoon – we’ve got a wonderful opener today – Tom Waits and Keith Richards singing “Shenandoah” – you’ve got to hear it!  And then, for the next hour or so, you’ll get a mix of new and old songs from Holly Williams (Hank’s granddaughter), Richard Thompson, Yo La Tengo, Trixie Whitley, Laura Nyro, Nina Simone, Jim James, Mary Gauthier, The Lone Bellow and others.

I’m excited about this one, and I think it will perk you up on this chilly February afternoon.

Today on Great River Radio, coming to you from the University of St. Thomas’ KUST.

Tune in live, or listen later on the blog.

The details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/live/liveStream.html
Web/listen later:
https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio

iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Shenandoah-Tom Waits/Keith Richards
The Highway-Holly Williams
Straight and Narrow-Richard Thompson
Feeling Mortal-Kris Kristofferson
You Never Need Nobody-The Lone Bellow
What Would I Do Without You-Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
Oh, The Joy-Trixie Whitley
You Don’t Love Me When I Cry-Laura Nyro
Love Me or Leave Me-Nina Simone
State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.-Jim James
Wheel Inside The Wheel-Mary Gauthier
Sleepy Sea Of Indigo And Blue-Antje Duvekot
Sweeter Than This-Katie Herzig
Who’s Who-The Weight & Hurry
Blue Ice-Shout Out Louds
Before We Run-Yo La Tengo
Los Angeles-Peter Bradley Adams

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

January 30 – Favorites of 2012 (705)

 

sunrise
[audio http://personal.stthomas.edu/drgjelten/shows/GRR705.mp3]

Every morning is a fresh beginning,
Listen my soul to the glad refrain.
And, spite of old sorrows
And older sinning,
Troubles forecasted
And possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again.

                        Susan Coolidge

 Happy New Year from Great River Radio!  We are coming back to you this afternoon with our favorites (we aren’t going to use the word ‘best’ for this list) from 2012.  It was a very good year for music, in our opinion.  From a long list of great songs, we’ve come up with a playlist that you’re going to love.

If you’ve been listening and paying attention to GRR in the last year, you’ll know many of these songs, but I guarantee that you’ll hear some things that will be new to you, as well.  Nick Waterhouse and Australia’s Tame Impala will kick the show off with energy and their neo sounds of R&B and psychedelia.  Trampled By Turtles, The Pines and Chastity Brown will represent the many local artists who had a good year in 2012.  The old masters will be represented by Leonard Cohen, Greg Brown, Dr. John and Mr. Bruce Springsteen.  Young artists we saw and loved last year are on this list, too, including Patrick Watson, John Fullbright and Field Report. And if you are expecting Dylan, here is what I’ll do for you:  two of the best Dylan covers I’ve ever heard.

I think you’ll like this show – and let me know what you loved in 2012 that I missed.

This afternoon on Great River Radio, coming to you from the University of St. Thomas’ KUST.

Tune in live, or listen later on the blog.

The details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.Watch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/live/liveStream.html
Web/listen later:
https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio

iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Nick Waterhouse-Is That Clear
Tame Impala-Elephant
Trampled By Turtles-Midnight on the Interstate
The Pines-Cry, Cry, Crow
Chastity Brown-After You
Rosanne Cash-Biloxi
Patrick Watson-Into Giants
Black Prairie-How Do You Ruin Me?
Field Report-I Am Not Waiting Anymore
Mumford & Sons-Will Wait
Matthew E. White-Will You Love Me
Lucia Micarelli & Steve Earle-One More Cup of Coffee
Leonard Cohen-Darkness
John Fullbright-Nowhere To Be Found
Greg Brown-All of Those Things
Dr. John-Big Shot
Diana Krall-Simple Twist of Fate
Bruce Springsteen-Wrecking Ball
The Tallest Man On Earth-There’s No Leaving Now
Anais Mitchell-Young Man In America
Bonnie Raitt-God Only Knows

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized