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He was able to take songs, particularly his upcoming single Home , and make them Phillip Phillips songs. Rather than mold himself to fit the material, he mastered the material and molded it to him. A fan favorite of hers, I was pleased to see she included a live version of it on her live album. The hardest working woman in bluegrass, her strong will and powerful personality comes out in everything she does, so Muleskinner Blues fits her like a glove. Another popular bluegrass version comes from Mr. Tony Rice. On the classic Cold On The Shoulder album, his version is a bit different than the standard Monroe rendition.
Jerry Reed, with special guest Chet Atkins, did a very bluesy edition of Blue Yodel No 8 , another distinctive take on the song.
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I definitely recommend finding this rare track. The Tony Rice recording of Muleskinner Blues has been an inspiration to many. Both his singing and guitar playing are superb, and his all-star cast of studio musicians make this a very memorable recording. On the anniversary of the passing of Jimmie Rodgers, hopefully you can dig out some music by The Singing Brakeman and remember his impact on American culture.
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Next Post. Other Related Articles in Bluegrass Today. One of my sons uses the George Carlin line about my misspending the money given me for singing lessons. But these behaviors are no barrier to my attempting to sing In the Jail House Now. That's how folk music often sounds. Jimmie Rodgers had been his link to home.
America's Blue Yodel
While cards were being dealt, we would get brief life lessons. And in that time to learn, somehow Jimmie Rodgers was a frequent source of inspiration. That's right, we took example from a guy who sang about rambling and gambling.
Roving and swigging. Character education.
As you might suspect this exposure was contrary to my association with the Cokesbury Hymnal and the family acquaintance with the Blackwoods. My step-mother's Dad, Alvin Carter, did gospel recordings in the s. Influences So why would one be surprised my five card stud buddies and I also enjoyed all-night gospel sings?
Somehow we were learning that music is not the exclusive domain of particular "groups. The music of Jimmie Rodgers is an example of multiple ripples. And that's true of the music he recorded and the continuing circle of performers his work reaches.
A Cappella Books
This year's Rodgers Festival lineup represents some of those multiple influences. Some of this diversity may not win applause from all festival supporters.
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I have known one or two country music "fans" who wanted to limit the scope of "their" music. That is sadly inconsistent with Jimmie Rodgers' openness to multiple influences.
While the Blue Yodeler did have a huge "hillbilly" following, his musical appeal was not limited to us sons of Appalachia. How about the T. There are at least a dozen blues tunes not counting the 13 blue yodels. I sort of like the Long Tall Mama Blues.
Jimmie Rodgers by Nolan Porterfield
One of our Atlanta friends hangs with a club musician named Hal Beaver. Hal's "thing" is a blend of African-American blues and Appalachian folk music which he tags "Blackgrass. John Lee Hooker in conversation with Jimmie Rodgers. Leadbelly and Hank, Sr. You bet, but familiar at the same time. I'm not entirely at home with the label "Blackgrass," but I do like the idea of recognizing multiple musical influences.
I also like the JRMF approach of using different performance venues. I'm among those who enjoys entertainment in more informal, club-like settings. As the producer of the Friday and Saturday night shows, Art Matthews has chosen to showcase the diverse influences of Jimmie Rodgers. This year's approach is different. Both in venue and content.