Monday, February 22, 2010

If: If I Had A Good Dog

Folksinger and painter Eric Von Schmidt seems sadly forgotten these days. A figurehead of the early sixties coffeehouse folk revival, some of his excellent early albums haven´t even gotten the cd reissue treatment yet, while most of his later output isn´t exactly easy to come by either.

There was a time though when Von Schmidt (1931-2007) was held in high esteem. By none other than Bob Dylan for instance, who learned Baby Let Me Follow You Down from Von Schmidt, and played harp on one of his albums under the pseudonym of Blind Boy Grunt. He prominently displayed one of his records on the sleeve of Bringing It All Back Home, and recorded a version of his Joshua Gone Barbados with The Band in their pink Woodstock basement.

In homage, Dylan also wrote that "He can separate the men from the boys and the note from the noise. The bridle from the saddle and the cow from the cattle. He can play the tune of the moon. The why of the sky and the commotion from the ocean. Yes he can."

In the bluesy and funny If I Had A Good Dog, also known as the Male Chauvinist Possum Song, Von Schmidt wishes he had a canine friend, so he´d be able to kill said possum for dinner. And then it would be up to her to skin and bake it of course, preferably with sweet potatoes...

"Bring it to the table, set it down,
And give it all to...

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