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Three more from Lyle Lovett

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That last post got me thinking. So much of Lyle Lovett’s music was so present in my formative years there had to be more than one endearing turn of phrase or trippy two-step that’d yield itself to introspection. Upon having put my mind to it, and in recognition of the ubiquity of those songs of Lyle’s one might call legitimate hits, I came up with three (the magic number) lesser-known but memorable tracks.

 

‘This Old Porch,’ from his eponymous first album. With a name like that one is instantly put on guard against the sort of meaningless sentimentality one finds scattered amid the more memorable tracks of most freshman country albums, but in predictable Lyle Lovett fashion you’re instantly thrown into a world of “steaming, greasy plate[s] of enchiladas, with lots of cheese and onions, and a guacamole salad.”

This old porch is just a long time
Of waiting and forgetting
And remembering the coming back
And not crying about the leaving
And remembering the falling down
And the laughter of the curse of luck
From all of those sons-of-bitches
Who said we’d never get back up

 

‘Walk Through The Bottomland’ from Pontiac. Fans of vocalist Emmylou Harris are in for a treat as she winds her beautiful self around Lyle’s story and song:

The New Jersey lady knew he loved her too
And you know she tried to hold on
But the rodeo life was the life that he knew
He had to keep drifting along

She never married and she never would
And all of the people they’d say
The New Jersey lady she just ain’t no good
To follow a cowboy that way.

Sing me a melody
Sing me a blues
Walk through the bottomland without no shoes.
The Brazos she’s running scared
She heard the news
Walk through the bottomland without no shoes.

 

‘I Can’t Love You Anymore’ from The Road to Ensenada. A great example of the best of Lyle in all respects: superb musicianship, incisive lyrics, and a deft vocal performance:

It’s Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, or Baton Rouge
Hell I don’t know just where I’m at to tell the truth
But the good Lord up in heaven knows what you’ve been going through
And he’s whispering to me that he’ll take care of you.

My angel in distress, you look OK to me
I’ll send you my address, when I know what it will be
I could easily stay with you, on your side of heaven’s door
‘Cause I don’t love you any less, but I can’t love you anymore.

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Lyle Lovett – Farther Down The Line

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A favorite from my days at KXY, back when we were the only station outside the college radio sphere to play Lyle Lovett.

Let’s have a hand for that young cowboy
And wish him better luck next time
And hope we see him up in Fargo
Or somewhere farther down the line
This time he sure drew a bad one
One that nobody could ride
But by the way he pulled his hat on
You knew he’d be there for the fight

And it’s the classic contradiction
The unavoidable affliction
Well it don’t take much to predict son
The way it always goes
One day she’ll say she loves you
And the next she’ll be tired of you
And push’ll always come to shove you
On that midnight rodeo.

Reggae Covers: Bob Marley – One Cup of Coffee (Claude Gray)

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The 1961 Claude Gray original was one of his biggest hits, reaching #4 on the country charts. This 1961 cover is one of the earliest recordings of the great Ras Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley, his second single after “Judge Not.

One cup of coffee, then I’ll go;
Though I just dropped by to let you know
That I’m leaving you tomorrow;
I’ll cause you no more sorrow:
One cup of coffee, then I’ll go.

Texas Tornados – Hey Baby, Que Paso?

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Tejano kings Texas Tornados are an aggregation of some of the biggest names in Latino & country music, featuring Freddie Fender, Flaco Jimenez (“the Father of Cojunto Music”), and Augie Myers.

Freddie Fender characterized the band this way: “You’ve heard of New Kids on the Block?, we’re the Old Guys in the Street”.

Hey, baby, que paso?
Thought I was your only vato!

Joe Ely – Because Of The Wind

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Jimmy LaFave does great justice by this song, but nobody has ULed his rendition to the intertubes yet so here’s the original by Amarillo’s Joe Ely.

She is to me like the breeze
That blows from Corpus Christi
She is to me like the breeze
That blows up from the sea
Now if she is like the breeze
That blows from Corpus Christi
Then I must be like the trees,
‘Cause Caroline blows through me.

Townes Van Zandt – Tower Song

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It’s getting to be a pretty regular occurrence, this posting up of Townes Van Zandt lyrics. The standard I set long ago was to post great music or lyrics as they occurred to me, so this blog (at least the music feed part of it) is a product of a musical stream of consciousness. The problem is I listen to a lot of Townes Van Zandt and the man didn’t record shit music. Just so you know I don’t have some financial stake in turning the world on to the only Texas musician other than Bob Wills to rise to the level of king of his genre.

You close your eyes and speak to me
Of faith and love and destiny
As distant as eternity
From truth and understanding
The wind blows cold outside your door
It whispers words I’ve tried before
But you don’t hear me anymore
Your pride’s just too demanding.

You built your tower strong and tall
Can’t you see, it’s got to fall someday

Townes Van Zandt – You Are Not Needed Now

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There’s no way to pick a favorite Townes Van Zandt song. If you’re a fan you’re bound not just to the song but the singer. This singer was more than the sum of his parts. He represented, indeed typified, a point of view on land, living, heart-ful-ness. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a song of his I didn’t like, much less admire like this one from his titanic 1972 recording ‘High, Low & In Between’:

Well, the birds were talking all at once
and the old man mowing down his lawn
he didn’t look like much too bad a guy
And I was thinkin’ Hang on, man, something’s wrong
your blues seems to be gone
heaven ain’t bad but you don’t get nothing done.

Lay down your head a while
you are not needed now
you are not needed now

Well, Allison laid an egg on me
and every time I turn around
it’s swimming through the air above my bed
I told Miss Higgs and she said fine
as long as you’re back in your room on time
I keep you clean and the girls will keep you fed

Lay down your head with mine
you are not needed now
and we got things to do

Between the blankets made of wool
the trains roll by every half an hour
and the body can get no restin’ done, it’s true
so I spend my time as best I can
thinkin’ big and making plans
and wondering where them trains are rolling to.

Lay down your head poor boy
and feel how the ground does move
and hear how them drivers sing

Well, goodbye friends, it’s time to close
everybody knows that’s the way it goes
where was it you lived in case I’m ever there
Well, three doors down and two behind
and it gets a little bit out of hand sometimes
don’t let it fool you into thinkin you don’t care.

Lay down your head and fly
and I’ll quietly pass you by
you won’t even see me go.

If I thought about it long enough
I just might make some kind of move
watchful lies are too hard on the soul.
With the smoke house just across the way
and this fog upon the light of day
I’d be hard put comin’ up with where to go.

Lay down your head poor boy
feel how the ground does move
hear how them drivers sing

What now, my darling one
go find a little fun
you are not needed now.