Tag Archives: Richard Thompson

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

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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

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Oct. 26 – Lucky Now (604)

I don’t remember were we wild and young
All that’s faded into memory
I feel like somebody I don’t know
Are we really who we used to be
Am I really who I was
               Lucky Now (Ryan Adams)

Ryan Adam’s is now about 36, but it is never too early to start reminiscing about being wild and young, is it?  In fact, Adams has been very prolific and has had lots of experiences as a musician, including a fairly long absence from music as he coped with hearing loss and dizziness as a result of Meniere’s disease.  So he can reminisce.

We’re going to reminisce a bit, too.  Brian just finished “Life” – Keith Richard’s recent sprawling autobiography and that has made us think of the Rolling Stones.  We’ll be taking a look back at their music and some newer interpretations of their music, including from Ryan Adams himself.

We’ll also give you a taste of the new Tom Wait’s cd – his first set of new songs since 2004.  As the NYT said this weekend, “Mr. Waits is acclaimed as an American marvel: a songwriter who can be smart and primal, raucous and meticulous, ethereal and earthy, bleak and comical…”  We’re going to hear “Last Leaf” from this record which was released last week.

Tune in for music from a hot and energetic young band from Alabama, the Alabama Shakes, along with Lana Del Rey, M83, Shelby Lynne (playing the Dakota tomorrow night), Laura Marling (credited by Ryan Adams as inspiring his return to songwriting), Dessa and others.

Whether you listen live today or to the archived edition, we look forward to doing this show for you this afternoon!

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Brian & Dan

Playlist
Helpless-Arcade Fire and Neil Young
Medicine Bow-Peter Ostroushko
Little Red Rooster-The Rolling Stones
Some Girls-The Rolling Stones
Best of Burden-Wild Flag
Brown Sugar-Ryan Adams
Last Leaf-Tom Waits
Revelation Road-Shelby Lynne
Sophia-Laura Marling
The Beekeeper-Dessa
Lucky Now-Ryan Adams
Hold On-Alabama Shakes
Don’t Owe You A Thang-Gary Clark Jr.
For 12-Other Lives
Fixed-Stars
Persuasion-Richard Thompson and Teddy Thompson
Video Games-Lana Del Rey
Wait-M83

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May 18 – Five Years of River Songs


The river to the ocean goes,
a fortune for the undertow.
None of this is going my way.
There is nothing left to throw
of Ginger, lemon, indigo,
coriander stem and rose of hay.
Strength and courage overrides
the privileged and weary eyes
of river poet search naivete.
Pick up here and chase the ride.
The river empties to the tide.
All of this is coming your way .
“Find The River” – R.E.M.

As humans, we are taught early in life to gauge success with tangible tools of measurement – grades, height, wealth, etc. But these measurements rarely take into account the intangible – emotions, happiness, satisfaction, love and friendship. Even music sets a structure of time, rhythm and beat. But the very best music makes us feel something else, something transcendent and beautiful. Today marks the end of the 5th season of Great River Radio. On our best days, we hope you discovered a song or two that made your heart swoon or allowed you to be lost in the moment – if just for a minute or two – during a busy day.

The constant, reliable flow of a river can also conjure up feelings of solace and grace, transporting us to places unexpected. But this spring we are again reminded that rivers can devastate and destroy, too. Perhaps, that is why so many artists are drawn to the river metaphor. Rivers represent a life cycle – often unpredictable – of birth, baptism, life, death and rebirth. Rivers run deep symbolism. For the last five years we have started most of our shows with a “river song.” Not surprisingly, we have had many wonderful songs to choose from. So, to celebrate the close of our fifth year, Great River Radio is pleased to present a very special afternoon of river songs.

Today you will hear deep south river songs by Bessie Smith, Aaron Neville and The Bottle Rockets. Great River Radio favorites Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Uncle Tupelo, Cloud Cult and The Decemberists will offer their take on the river song. And we’ll have river tracks from such diverse artists as Los Lobos, Brian Eno, Mavis Staples, Carrie Rodriguez, Robert Johnson and Richard Thompson. An eclectic mix to be sure. But would you expect anything less from the Great River Radio music staff?

As always, we are grateful that so many of you are able to tune into Great River Radio – either live or via the website. Please take a moment to join us today for our final show of the season. And have a great summer!

Peace … like a river.

Brian and Dan

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Going Down To The River-Fred McDowell
Backwater Blues-Bessie Smith
Louisiana 1927-Aaron Neville
Get Down River-The Bottle Rockets
A River Runs Through It-Mark Isham
Especially Me-Low
I Follow Rivers-Lykke Li
By This River-Brian Eno
Big River-Johnny Cash
Big Sun Falling In The River-Richard Thompson
Green River-M. Ward
Down On The Riverbed-Los Lobos
High Water-Uncle Tupelo
Down By The Water-The Decemberists
Find The River-REM
Wide River To Cross-Carrie Rodriguez
River Knows Your Name-John Hiatt
Black River-Amos Lee
Harlem River Blues-Justin Townes Earle
Travelling Riverside Blues-Robert Johnson
Many Rivers To Cross-The Walkmen
Ballad Of Easy Rider-The Byrds
Watching The River Flow-Bob Dylan
When Water Comes To Life-Cloud Cult

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April 20 – The Beauty of Imperfection

Why are we drawn to music? It’s a perplexing question, and one we’ve addressed on a personal level on Great River Radio. Is it simply a matter of taste? Or is it a desire to hear or witness perfection? After all, the general public seems to be in awe of the artist who can deliver a “clean” performance. It’s how we judge our athletes, mathaletes, celebrities and even parenting skills. Flawless = success. But there is new evidence that suggests that although we may be impressed with perfection, our emotional connection to a song arrangement may have more to do with the imperfections – or the unexpected – than a perfect rendition of that song. Dr. Daniel J. Levitin has been studying this phenomenon at McGill University in Montreal with the assistance of many of Great River Radio’s favorite recording artists. And the findings are fascinating.

In an interview, the singer Rosanne Cash said the experiments showed that beautiful compositions and technically skilled performers could do only so much. Emotion in music depends on human shading and imperfections, “bending notes in a certain way,” Ms. Cash said, “holding a note a little longer.”

She said she learned from her father, Johnny Cash, “that your style is a function of your limitations, more so than a function of your skills.”

“You’ve heard plenty of great, great singers that leave you cold,” she said. “They can do gymnastics, amazing things. If you have limitations as a singer, maybe you’re forced to find nuance in a way you don’t have to if you have a four-octave range.”

Before you dismiss Levitin as just another academic trying to force all of his “bias and complicated science stuff” on a favorite subject we’d prefer to just experience without thinking about too it too much, you might be interested to know that he once worked as a producer and engineer for rock legends Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Blue Oyster Cult, the Grateful Dead and many others. Not impressed? Well, he’s also played sax with Sting (one of Dan’s favorite artists) and Mel Torme (one of Brian’s), and some guitar with David Byrne. In other words, he comes at this from a performer’s perspective as well as a scientist.

Levitin may just be discovering what many of our most successful artists have always intuitively known: it is the elements of unique character and unexpected notes and rhythms that we often connect with.

Geoff Emerick, a recording engineer for the Beatles, said: “Often when we were recording some of those Beatles rhythm tracks, there might be an error incorporated, and you would say, ‘That error sounds rather good,’ and we would actually elaborate on that.

“When everything is perfectly in time, the ear or mind tends to ignore it, much like a clock ticking in your bedroom — after a while you don’t hear it.”

Perhaps, this is a lesson for all of us? We tend to get caught up in the rhythm of life, humming along in a ceaseless succession of regular tasks, duties and activities. It is only when that beat becomes altered that we pay attention to the music around us.

Take a little time today to embrace the imperfections in our lives – the unexpected moments that give meaning to our day. And tune in to Great River Radio to discover some of those voices who continue to surprise us in unexpected ways.

You can read the full article Levitin’s research in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/science/19brain.html

In a new Great River Radio programming twist, Dan and Brian were engaged in a music-library showdown this week. Brian challenged Dan to come up with favorite five songs from 1966 (the year Brian was born). Dan accepted and volleyed his own challenge, asking Brian to come up with five songs inspired by works of art or artists. You’re going to love the music we’ve come up with for these setlists.

And as always, we have a plethora of great new music. You’ll hear from Haley Bonar’s new LP, “Golder.” We’ll check in again with Lucinda Williams and play new tunes from Marissa Nadler, The Mountain Goats, The Belle Brigade and The Raveonettes.

Join us live this afternoon from 4:15-5:45 (CST) for a great new session of Great River Radio.

Peace,

Brian & Dan

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Black River (Live)-Amos Lee
Where Not To Look For Freedom-The Belle Brigade
Running With The Wolves-Cloud Cult
Kid October-Haley Bonar
I’ll Tag Along-Richard Thompson
War In Heaven-The Raveonettes
Baby, I Will Leave You In The Morning-Marissa Nadler
Fade Into You-Mazzy Star
The Age Of Kings-The Mountain Goats
96 Tears-? and the Mysterians
19th Nervous Breakdown-The Rolling Stones
Eight Miles High-The Byrds
God Only Knows-The Beach Boys
Two Trains Running-Paul Butterfield Blues Band
The Art Teacher-Rufus Wainwright
Painted From Memory-Elvis Costello
In The Gallery-Dire Straits
Art School-The Jam
Painting By Chagall-The Weepies

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Oct. 6 – We Used to Wait

and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder
From “I Am Waiting” (Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

The Great River Radio playlist always represents the mood of your hosts and the thoughts that are on our minds in the days before the show.   This week has been a thoughtful one for Brian and Dan.  We are in the midst of another stunning autumn day, apparently caught in some bubble of glorious weather.  In Minnesota we do not take days like this for granted, especially at this time of year.  We know what comes next…in the words of DeVotchKa –  “you already know how this will end”… so we find ourselves both savoring the present and waiting for what is around the corner.  We humans do spend a good amount of time waiting:  waiting to grow up, waiting to commence, waiting for that good thing to happen, waiting for that bad thing to stop happening, waiting for dawn to arrive, for peace, for a child to come home.

Today on Great River Radio, we’ll be doing a set of songs on waiting, from some of our favorite bands: Dawes, Delta Spirit, Steve Earle (and his sister Stacey), Arcade Fire, Mavis Staples and Patty Griffin.  We’ll also be listening and talking about the new Sufjan Stevens album “The Age of Adz”.  There’ll be a set of songs about letters (the kind you write to people, on paper…remember those?) from Arcade Fire and Wilco and others and some songs with horns – tune in to hear three of the greatest horn solos of all time.  Finally, you think you’ve heard the old Stephen Foster song “Oh Susannah”?  Think again!

We are always excited about GRR, but today will be special. (In fact, we can’t wait!)

We hope you join us.

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Brian & Dan

Playlist
Big Sun Falling in the River-Richard Thompson
How It Ends-DeVotchKa
Futile Devices-Sufjan Stevens
Solitude Is Bliss-Tame Impala
Before I Die-Roma di Luna
Penny Lane-The Beatles
Shipbuilding-Elvis Costello
What Does It Take To Win Your Love-Junior Walker and the All Stars
When My Time Comes -Dawes
I’m Waiting-Delta Spirit
Waiting-The Feelies
I Can Wait-Steve Earle
Waiting-Stacey Earle
Waiting For My Child To Come Home-Mavis Staples and Patty Griffin
Oh! Susannah-Ruthie Foster
Pilot Light-Chris Koza
We Used to Wait-Arcade Fire
Box Full of Letters-Wilco
Letter Never Sent-REM
Conversation 16-The National

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March 23 – Awakening

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.
– “The Waking”  (Theodore Roethke)

Are you wide awake?  Have you recovered from losing an hour of sleep in our “spring ahead”?  In a different sense, are you aware of the world waking up around you?  Have you seen green shoots rising through dead leaves in your yard?  How about that river?  It’s waking up and rising, too.  The experience of seeing the world again after you (or it) has slept can be a wonderful and also somewhat strange one.

Today on Great River Radio, we are going to explore the concept of wakefulness.  Here is a tip on a word you might hear this afternoon:  hypnagogia – that state between sleep and wakefulness – the dreamy area we pass through on the way into and out of sleep.  As you probably know, we often free associate on our themes on GRR and that will be true for the first hour today when Dan will be playing out tunes from The Bottle Rockets, The Dropkick Murphys, Cloud Cult, two Elvises and new music from John Hiatt and  the Danger Mouse/James Mercer (Shins) project called The Broken Bells.

In hour two, Brian will be trying out a new concept – call it a concept album, call it a rock opera – in which he’ll be telling a story through song – from awake to hypnagogia to sleep to confusion to…well, you’ll have to tune in to see how it ends.  We’ll be playing that set of songs straight through without interruption.  This should be interesting.

Finally, we’ll close the show with a set of tunes in tribute to Alex Chilton who passed away last week.

This is going to be a special show – we hope you can join us this afternoon, or listen later on the blog.

Listen live at http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Chat live via AIM or iChat: kustradio

Thank you!

Brian & Dan

Playlist
Get Down River-The Bottle Rockets
Dirty Water-Dropkick Murphys
October-Broken Bells
July Flame-Laura Veirs
Movin’ On-John Hiatt
When Water Comes to Life-Cloud Cult
While You Were Sleeping-Elvis Perkins
Sleepless Nights-Elvis Costello
Walking Blues-Robert Johnson
If You Were To Wake Up-Lyle Lovett
I Can’t Wake Up to Save My Life-Richard Thompson

Hypnagogic Song Cycle
The Wake Up Song-The Submarines
Please Wake Me Up-Tom Waits
Awake My Soul-Mumford & Sons
Wake Up-Arcade Fire
Wake Up Dead Man-Scala & Kolacny Brothers
Flash Delirium-MGMT
Woke Up Near Chelsea-Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
When You Wake Up Feeling Old-Wilco
Hazelton-Justin Vernon
One Day When the Weather is Warm-Joe Henry
Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream-Johnny Cash
On A Good Day-Joanna Newsom
A Day In The Life-The Beatles

Alex Chilton – R.I.P.
Alex Chilton-The Replacements
The Letter-The Box Tops
September Gurls-Big Star

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