Thursday, November 22, 2018

Arlo: Shredded Turkey - Jeff Fiorentino

check out [ JFRocks]

Begun well before Thanksgiving, it only now occurs to me that many of you have by now shredded your turkey - that is what happens by the end of the day, no? But that wasn't what was on my mind as I chose/ran across this variation of "Alice".

I play both nylon string guitars as well as steel string electrics. In the past, I had a steel string 12-string as well as a 6-string steel: Neither of which I can still play (can't afford a "sweet" guitar of any kind 'cause of the cost, and my age makes it harder to finger cheap steel) Never considered myself more than an amateur, so the "shredded" style is way beyond me.

"Shredded"": a virtuoso lead guitar solo playing style for the guitar, based on various advanced and complex playing techniques. The result is a recognizable but raucous version of the original: This particular "shred" strikes me as a perfect example: it shreds the laid-back folk tones of the original into something highly recognizable but so perverted that is comes across as being torn to shreds.

Arlo mostly picked - not generally/particularly suited to raucous guitar as heard here. Sure ... you can pick an electric guitar (prime example: Hot Tuna), but generally, picking is for acoustic.

And so .. Jeff's music is interesting in how it bridges the divide: a little of both - rock style picking

Interesting to me: before looking up definitions of "shred", I would have assumed it meant to pull apart a song (in some unique way). I have since learned that the term only applies to fast play. So ... OK. the post still qualifies, but me-thinks it would even better qualify under the category of a uniquely piece-mealed version of a previously popular song.

At any rate .. enjoy ...

Monday, November 19, 2018

Arlo: Low & Lonely

Rick Robbins: Low & Lonely

You know how in “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” Arlo sings that it:

all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on - two years ago on Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the Restaurant?

The friend at issue, an unindicted co-conspirator in the criminal garbage dump, was named Rick Robbins. They had been friends since the early 1960s, when they both attended the Stockbridge School, where the librarian was a woman named Alice Brock. That Alice. At the Stockbridge School, Robbins was exposed to American music from Bessie Smith to Arlo’s dad, to current stars such as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.  He's the guy on the left.

In 1965, Robbins and Guthrie set off on the road to discover music and themselves, and spent a lot of time singing and playing folk music and the blues. But rather than opt for the life of a professional musician, Robbins settled down to build houses and learn architectural design.

Fast forward to 1995, when Robbins was trading construction work at a music studio for recording time to create a record of some songs for his family.  Rory Block, the blues guitarist and singer (who I saw the other day, opening for Richard Thompson), happened to hear him playing, added some vocals, and persuaded Robbins to release an album. Block produced the album, Walking Down The Line, which also features Ramblin' Jack Elliott, John Sebastian, Eric Weissberg, and Larry Campbell, as well as old buddy Arlo. Not bad for an unknown carpenter/folk singer, right?

Robbins and Guthrie perform a fun, jaunty version of “Low & Lonely,” a song written by “the father of the Nashville music business,” Fred Rose, who wrote, under his own name, and as “Floyd Jenkins,” a number of legendary songs including "'Deed I Do" and "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” He’s the “Rose” in the name of famed music publishing firm Acuff-Rose.

“Low & Lonely” was originally released in 1942 by Rose’s partner, Roy Acuff and His Smoky Mountain Boys, and has been covered a few other times, notably by Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, one of Robbins’ main mentors and influences, Hank Williams, and George Jones, who recorded the song with Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys.

Robbins has released two more albums of music, most recently an album of original songs, in 2006.