Tag Archives: music

T-Model Ford

At one time I listened to a lot of blues music. Back in the early 80s when I was in university, I would go into the listening room at the York U library and sign out all sorts of obscure blues records, and sit down at one of the listening stations – each one of them had a turn-table and head-phones, and listen while I worked on assignments (some days I may have done more listening and less working).

I was attracted to blues that emphasized the song and the groove and I was never much interested in extended blues guitar solos.   Over the years, my musical tastes changed quite a bit, and I found myself listening to less and less blues, but still there are some performers who get my attention anytime I hear them. T-Model Ford is one of those. Ford was born in the early 20s and passed last summer. He didn’t start a musical career until he was in his early 70s. Here are a few performances I really enjoy, found on YouTube…


The Log Jam Song

I like log driving songs almost as much as I like train songs. Here’s legendary Canadian songwriter Wade Hemsworth.

Here’s my favourite of Mr. Hemsworth’s tunes, The Land of the Muskeg

Of course he also wrote the Log Driver’s Waltz and the Blackfly Song, both tunes I’ve known as long as I can remember.

Valerie June

Tuffy P came across Valerie June’s music recently and we’ve been giving her recording, Pushin’ Against a Stone a good listen. She sings with a lot of confidence, strums guitar and uke, and carries around enough hair for 5 or 6 performers. I think maybe she’s the real deal.

Just because nobody writes songs about trains anymore….

…doesn’t mean we should forget all about the great train songs we have….

Tonight I’d like to feature some songs about train wrecks.Let’s start with Vernon Dalhart performing Wreck of the Old 97 from 1924…

I was just 3 when the great Hank Snow recorded the Wreck of the Number 9 in 1963

Here’s the Grateful Dead performing Casey Jones from 1978

And finally an earlier take on the Casey Jones story from Memphis bluesman Furry Lewis

Diamond Joe X2

There are two different tunes that I know called Diamond Joe.

I first heard this one performed by Ian Tyson…

Here’s another version, by Sam Bush..

This tune is apparently fairly young, written in the 1950s, possibly by Cisco Houston.

Now much later I heard a different Diamond Joe altogether – an older song that dates back at least to the 1920s. Here are Bruce Molsky and Ale Moller performing Diamond Joe and Blackberry Blossom

and here’s Bob Dylan performing it in his oddball film Masked and Anonymous

Curiously enough, Mr. Dylan also recorded the other Diamond Joe on Good as I Been to You

Dream, Dream, Dream

Let’s start off with Benton Flippen and the Smokey Valley Boys performing the Old Time standard, John Brown’s Dream

Then let’s slide into Series of Dreams. Somehow or another this fantastic song never made it onto the Oh Mercy recording and was only released later on. I think Old Weird Bob had a great groove going on this one.

Here’s Dinah Washington performing Dream

All I have to do is dream – The Everly Brothers

There are dozens of “dream” songs around, and some of them are even good. What are you favourite dream songs?