September 24: Steve Earle released Jerusalem in 2002 – Great album!

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“I woke up this mornin’ and none of the news was good 
And death machines were rumblin’ ‘cross the ground where Jesus stood 
And the man on my TV told me that it had always been that way 
And there was nothin’ anyone could do or say

And I almost listened to him 
Yeah, I almost lost my mind 
Then I regained my senses again 
And looked into my heart to find

That I believe that one fine day all the children of Abraham 
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem”
– Steve Earle (Jerusalem)

Steve Earle released this “protest album” post 9/11, but contrary to widespread belief it is not a concept album about the tragic events on that date. Yes, there are some songs relating to it, but only three out of eleven (maybe four). There were som controversy when it came out, especially the song John Walker’s Blues were widely discussed and often slated in right wing media. It is not a song that takes sides, it is a song that tells us that an ordinary American kid fell in with the wrong crowd (in this case, the Taliban). Earle make us look at this boy, and he does not say that he is innocent, but he says that he should be treated like a human being despite his faults and despite his guilt. It is a fantastic song.

“…Earle has crafted a vision of America thrown into chaos, where the falling of the World Trade Center towers is just another symbol of a larger malaise which surrounds us. Before its release,Jerusalem already generated no small controversy over the song “John Walker’s Blues,” which tells the tale of “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh as seen through his own eyes. While “John Walker’s Blues” is no more an endorsement of Lindh’s actions than Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” was a tribute to mass-murderer Charles Starkweather, even though it’s one of the album’s strongest songs, if anything, it doesn’t go quite far enough.”
– Mark Demming (allmusic.com)

Photo AllDylan
Photo AllDylan

Steve Earle made a “state of the nation” album, and he is confused and he doesn’t come up with the answers, but he asks the important questions!

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September 21: I Second that emotion by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles was recorded in 1967

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I Second That Emotion” is a 1967 song written by Smokey Robinson and Al Cleveland. First charting as a hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles on the Tamla/Motownlabel in 1967.

“I second that motion” is a common phrase heard at meetings in America where policy is being determined. It’s what Motown producer Al Cleveland meant to say when he was on a shopping trip with Smokey Robinson. As Robinson recalls in his 1989 autobiography, he and Cleveland went to a Detroit department store called Hudson’s to do Christmas shopping in December, 1967. Smokey’s wife, Claudette, had recently given birth to twins that didn’t survive the premature birth, and he was looking to get her a gift. At the jewelry counter, Smokey picked out some pearls and asked Robinson what he thought. “I second that emotion” was his reply, and later that afternoon the pair wrote a song around the misspoken phrase. Robinson and Cleveland produced the song, and it was released in October, 1968, entering the US Top 40 in December, about a year after it was written. The song was also a #1 R&B hit. (Songfacts)
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September 20: Everyday/Peggy Sue the single was released by Buddy Holly in 1957

peggy_sue_nor_va_jak_1957

Peggy Sue” is a rock and roll song written by Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, and Norman Petty, recorded and released as a single by Holly in early July of 1957. The Crickets are not mentioned on label of the single (Coral 9-61885), but band members Joe B. Mauldin (string bass) and Jerry Allison (drums) played on the recording. This recording was also released on Holly’s eponymous 1958 album.

The song went to number 3 on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1957.

In 1999, National Public Radio (NPR) included “Peggy Sue” on the NPR 100, a list of the “100 most important American musical works of the 20th century”. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Acclaimed Music ranked it as the 106th greatest song of all time and the third best song of 1957. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number 197 on its list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2010.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum placed the song on its list of the “Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll”.

Peggy Sue (tv performance from Dec. 1957):
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September 20: Nick Cave released Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus in 2004

abattoir-blues--the-lyre-of-orpheus

I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.
~Nick Cave

People think I’m a miserable sod but it’s only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.
~Nick Cave

Everything’s dissolving, babe, according to plan
The sky is on fire, the dead are heaped across the land
I went to bed last night and my
moral code got jammed
I woke up this morning with a Frappucino in my hand
~Nick Cave (Abattoir Blues)

Get ready for Love:

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September 19: Daniel Lanois was born in 1951 – his 8 best productions

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Daniel Lanois was born September 19, 1951 in Hull, Quebec) he is a Canadian record producer, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter.

Daniel Lanois has released several albums of his own work. However, he is best known for producing albums for a wide variety of artists, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson. Three albums produced or co-produced by Lanois have won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Four other albums received Grammy nominations.

I have picked 8 favourites among his great work, listed in chronological order:

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September 17: Hank Williams birthday

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It can be explained in just one word: sincerity. When a hillbilly sings a crazy song, he feels crazy. When he sings, ‘I Laid My Mother Away,’ he sees her a-laying right there in the coffin. He sings more sincere than most entertainers because the hillbilly was raised rougher than most entertainers. You got to know a lot about hard work. You got to have smelt a lot of mule manure before you can sing like a hillbilly. The people that have been raised something like the way the hillbilly has…. knows what he sings about and appreciates it
~Hank Williams (on the success of Country Music)

Nobody had a talent for making suffering enjoyable like Hank Williams
~Kris Kristofferson

Hank Williams was the first influence I would think.
~Bob Dylan (to Billy James, Oct 1961)

I started writing songs after I heard Hank Williams.
~Bob Dylan (The Les Crane Show, 17 Feb 1965)

Check out this post: Bob Dylan covers Hank Williams

Cold Cold Heart:

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Hiram King Williams
Also known as The Lovesick Blues Boy
Lovesick
Luke the Drifter
Hank Williams, Sr.
The Hillbilly Shakespeare
Born September 17, 1923
Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama
Died January 1, 1953 (aged 29)
Oak Hill, West Virginia
Genres Country, Western, gospel,blues, honky-tonk, folk
Occupations Songwriter
Musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1937–1952
Labels Sterling, MGM
Associated acts Drifting Cowboys
Audrey Williams
Website www.hankwilliams.com

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