Archive for the ‘Tom Russell’ Tag

Its Veteran’s Day, 2022   2 comments

Sgt. 1st Class Lance Amsden, platoon sergeant for the 1st Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne),
25th Infantry Division, watches as CH-47 Chinook Helicopters circle above during a dust storm at Forward Operating Base Kushamond, Afghanistan, July 17,
during preparation for an air-assault mission.
— Army Flickr Stream

On this Veteran’s Day, in honor of those who served and died, I share this song written and recorded by Tom Russell, which was also recorded by Johnny Cash.

One of the blogs I follow is So Far From Heaven.  Old Jules writes about his old running buddy, Phil:

“I hadn’t thought about my old running buddy, Phil, for a while. That last blog entry got me chewing on thoughts of him. I’ll tell you a bit more about him.

Phil went to the Marine Corps as the result of being a 17-year-old driving from Temple, Texas, to Austin with a case of beer in the car. A Williamson County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped him on a tail light violation, asked for his driver’s license, and saw the case of beer. Old Phil, being a clever youth, gave the officer a Texas Drivers License with an altered date of birth so’s to keep from being arrested as a minor in possession of alcoholic beverages.”

Veteran’s Day

Well I used to hang out down at the VFW hall
And stare at the photographs up on the wall
Of the neighborhood boys that died
in the wars we’ve been through
And the hand lettered sign that said
remember Jimmy McGrew
Well Jimmy went to Nam back in 1965
But there’s a lot of men here that think
Jimmy McGrew’s still alive
Though they carved his name
on a stone in Washington DC
His brother said that stone
don’t prove a thing to me

It’s veteran’s day and the skies are gray
Leave the uniforms home cause
there ain’t gonna be a parade
But we’ll fill up a glass for the ones
that didn’t make it through
And leave a light in the window tonight
for Jimmy McGrew

Well I used to hang out down at the VFW hall
And stare at the photographs up on the wall
Of the neighborhood boys that died
in the wars we’ve been through
And the hand lettered sign that said
remember Jimmy McGrew
Well Jimmy went to Nam back in 1965
But there’s a lot of men here that think
Jimmy McGrew’s still alive
Though they carved his name
on a stone in Washington DC
His brother said that stone
don’t prove a thing to me

It’s veteran’s day and the skies are gray
Leave the uniforms home cause
there ain’t gonna be a parade
But we’ll fill up a glass for the ones
that didn’t make it through
And leave a light in the window tonight
for Jimmy McGrew

— Tom Russell

This Blue-winged Bird   1 comment

Eastern Bluebird (August 8, 2012) Image by kenne

He had a blue wing tattooed on his shoulder
Well, it might have been a bluebird, I don’t know
But he’d get stone drunk and talk about Alaska
The salmon boats and 45 below
 
He got that blue wing up in Walla Walla
Where his cellmate there was a Little Willy John
And Willie, he was once a great blues singer
And Wing & Willie wrote him up a song
 
     (They sang,)
     “It’s dark in here, can’t see the light
     But I look at this blue wing when I close my eyes
     And I fly away, beyond these walls
     Up above the clouds, where the rain don’t fall
     On a poor man’s dream”
 
— from Blue Wing by Tom Russell
 
 

Another Existential Moment — Charles Bukowski   Leave a comment

Charles Bukowski

Tom Russell has great respect for Warren Zevon’s work, but probably none more than “Carmelita,” which he combines
with Charles Bukowski’s, “Crucifix In A Deathhand,” on his Modern Art CD. By putting the two together, Russell
demonstrates his appreciation and understanding of Bukowski’s words and the lyrics of Warren Zevon. It just so happens
that “Crucifix In A Deathhand” is my favorite Bukowski poem.

Crucifix In a Death Hand

yes, they begin out in a willow, I think
the starch mountains begin out in the willow
and keep right on going without regard for
pumas and nectarines
somehow these mountains are like
an old woman with a bad memory and
a shopping basket.
we are in a basin. that is the
idea. down in the sand and the alleys,
this land punched-in, cuffed-out, divided,
held like a crucifix in a deathhand,
this land bought, resold, bought again and
sold again, the wars long over,
the Spaniards all the way back in Spain
down in the thimble again, and now
real estaters, subdividers, landlords, freeway
engineers arguing. this is their land and
I walk on it, live on it a little while
near Hollywood here I see young men in rooms
listening to glazed recordings
and I think too of old men sick of music
sick of everything, and death like suicide
I think is sometimes voluntary, and to get your
hold on the land here it is best to return to the
Grand Central Market, see the old Mexican women,
the poor . . . I am sure you have seen these same women
many years before
arguing
with the same young Japanese clerks
witty, knowledgeable and golden
among their soaring store of oranges, apples
avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers –
and you know how
these look, they do look good
as if you could eat them all
light a cigar and smoke away the bad world.
then it’s best to go back to the bars, the same bars
wooden, stale, merciless, green
with the young policeman walking through
scared and looking for trouble,
and the beer is still bad
it has an edge that already mixes with vomit and
decay, and you’ve got to be strong in the shadows
to ignore it, to ignore the poor and to ignore yourself
and the shopping bag between your legs
down there feeling good with its avocados and
oranges and fresh fish and wine bottles, who needs
a Fort Lauderdale winter?
25 years ago there used to be a whore there
with a film over one eye, who was too fat
and made little silver bells out of cigarette
tinfoil. the sun seemed warmer then
although this was probably not
true, and you take your shopping bag
outside and walk along the street
and the green beer hangs there
just above your stomach like
a short and shameful shawl, and
you look around and no longer
see any
old men.

– – Charles Bukowski (Source: Oldpoetry.com)

There’s a video on YouTube of Russell in a live performance talking and singing about Charles Bukowski, Warren Zevon, and Dave Van Ronk that will give you a better feel for this morning distraction.

— kenne

Yellow-eyed Junco On Old Mining Wheel   2 comments

Yellow-eyed Junco On Old Mining Wheel — Image by kenne

Old friends? They mostly vanish, they are ghosts out on the road
Some turned around, threw up their hands, and disappeared
Like old folk songs, their stories change, fairytales of love and pain
Another verse, another chorus, one more year.

— from The Light Beyond the Coyote Fence by Tom Russell

Blue Wing   Leave a comment

Eastern Bluebird — Photo-Artistry by kenne

He had a blue wing tattooed on his shoulder
Well, it might have been a bluebird, I don’t know
but he’d get stone drunk and talk about Alaska
The salmon boats and 45 below

Well, he got that blue wing up in Walla Walla
and his cellmate there was a Little Willy John
and Willie, he was once a great blues singer
so Wing & Willie wrote him up a song

— from Blue Wing by Tom Russell

New Orleans Art (12/26/07)   1 comment

New Orleans 2007Kenne & Joy In New Orleans (12/26/07) — Photo-Artistry by kenne

New Orleans 2007Decatur Street, New Orleans (12/26/07) — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Heart Within A Heart

Ther is a heart within your heart
A place go when all the trouble starts
When your world spins upside down and falls apart
There is a heart within your heart

There is a soul within your soul
A secret room only angels know
Come on baby, leave your fear, rise up and go
To the soul within the soul

— Tom Russell

Folk Singer   Leave a comment

Tucson Folk Festival 2013“Folk Singer” — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall? by Tom Russell on His Album Wounded Heart of America (2007)

 

“Maybe it’s not about happy ending.

Maybe it’s about the story.”

— Albert Camus

“She Liberated Me To Life”   2 comments

Joy&Ken -04-Art-72.jpgPhoto-Artistry by kenne (Early 2000’s In The Woodlands, Texas))

Look how far we’ve come
Do we know who we are?
Stranded on a mountaintop
Trying to catch a falling star

Here’s to what we’ve left behind us
Here’s to what we keep inside
May the road that lies before us
Lead to a place where love abides.

— from Love Abides by Tom Russell

Posted February 14, 2020 by kenneturner in Beauty, Information, Love, Love Abides

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A Solute To The Common Man   Leave a comment

The Common Man-Art-IMG-4747-72“The Common Man” — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Poetry and Music Soluting The Common Man.
Julian Tuwim’s poem nails it.
In my younger days,
I worked with many a Harlan Clancy —
Tom Russell writes and sings
about in the album “Folk Hotel,”
referencing Aaron Copland’s anthem,
“Fanfare for the Common Man.”

In those early days,
the winters could be harsh,
and having spent many
a Christmas in the cold north,
I end this trilogy to The Common Man
with Merle Haggard,
“If We Make It Through December.”

— kenne

The Common Man

When plastered billboards scream with slogans
‘fight for your country, go to battle’
When media’s print assaults your senses,
‘Support our leaders’ shrieks and rattles…
And fools who don’t know any better
Believe the old, eternal lie
That we must march and shoot and kill
Murder, and burn, and bomb, and grill…

When press begins the battle-cry
That nation needs to unify
And for your country you must die…
Dear brainwashed friend, my neighbor dear
Brother from this, or other nation
Know that the cries of anger, fear,
Are nothing but manipulation
by fat-cats, kings who covet riches,
And feed off your sweat and blood – the leeches!
When call to arms engulfs the land
It means that somewhere oil was found,
Shooting ‘blackgold’ from underground!
It means they found a sneaky way
To make more money, grab more gold
But this is not what you are told!

Don’t spill your blood for bucks or oil
Break, burn your rifle, shout: ‘NO DEAL!’
Let the rich scoundrels, kings, and bankers
Send their own children to get killed!
May your loud voice be amplified
By roar of other common men
The battle-weary of all nations:
WE WON’T BE CONNED TO WAR AGAIN!

Julian Tuwim

 

 

 

 

Tim Russell writes, Harlan Clancy
“. . . out there in the middle of Ohio,
a place you’ll never likely go . . .
Euro tourists never make it there . . .
the America of the shit jobs, farms,
remote ranches, wrecking yards,
inner-city brothels, shooting galleries,
used car lots, and back street bars that
still have Narco corridos, or Otis Redding,
or George Jones on the jukebox.” 

Desert Scene Painting   Leave a comment

Desert Scene-Art-Edit-1-blog“Desert Scene” — Photo-Artistry by kenne

“The sky above, the mud below
The wind and rain, the sleet and snow
Two horse thieves from Mexico
Drinkin’ hard and singin'”

— from “The Sky Above, The Mud Below” by Tom Russell

Blue Wing — Might Have Been A Bluebird   7 comments

Western Bluebird-0518 Framed blogWestern Bluebird — Image by kenne

I can’t think of bluebirds without thinking of Tom Russell’s song, “Blue Wing” — one of my favorite. Both help me see the sky above.

— kenne

Blue Wing by Tom Russell

He had a blue wing tattooed on his shoulder
Well it might have been a bluebird I don’t know
But he’d get stone drunk and talk about Alaska
The salmon boats and 45 below

He said he got that blue wing up in Walla Walla
And his cellmate there was Little Willy John
And Willy he was once a great blues singer
And Wing and Willy wrote ’em up a song. They said…

CHORUS:
It’s dark in here; can’t see the sky
But I look at this blue wing and I close my eyes
And I fly away beyond these walls
Up above the clouds where the rain don’t fall
On a poor man’s dream.

They paroled Blue Wing in August, of 1963
He moved north picking apples to the town of Wenatchee
Then winter finally caught him in a run down trailer park
On the south side of Seattle where the days grow gray and dark

And he drank and he dreamt of visions when the salmon still ran free
And his fathers’ fathers crossed that wild old Bering Sea
And the land belonged to everyone and there were old songs yet to sing
Now it’s narrowed down to a cheap hotel and a tattooed prison wing

CHORUS:
It’s dark in here; can’t see the sky
But I look at this blue wing and I close my eyes
And I fly away beyond these walls
Up above the clouds where the rain don’t fall
On a poor man’s dream.

Blue Wing by Tom Russel Video

Coyote Fence — Computer Painting   Leave a comment

Doubtful Canyon Weekend Dec 2012Computer Painting by kenne

You ask me what’s a coyote fence? A crooked line of cedar poles
Surrounding our adobe, our refuge from the road
Some nights we can see light of fires as Indians dance
And the eyes of God shine through the coyote fence.

— from “The Light Beyond the Coyote Fence” by Tom Russell

An Old Red-clay Boy   2 comments

Kenne_ Art blog II“On The Roads Outside Of San Diego” 

On the roads outside Oshiobo,
I fell down on my knees
There were female spirits 

In old mud huts, iron bells
Ringing up in the trees and
An eighty-year white priestess,

Who made juju all night long
East of Woodstock,
West of Viet Nam.

— from “East of Woodstock, West of Viet Nam” by Tom Russell

It’s Always The Poet Than Tells Us — If Only We Would Listen!   1 comment

Whether they write it,

read it or sing it

we could see the future 

if only we would listen

to the poets!

— kenne

“A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”   Leave a comment

Tom Russell posted the following on Facebook and I felt a need to share it — a collaborative effort of three great singer-songwriters:

“Exciting news….we were walking through the old Greenwich Village this afternoon, vastly changed, and I thought – “it would be great to do an album release show at The Bitter End.” So we walked into The Bitter End, and out walks the owner. He warms up to us and I tell him I used to work there every Sunday…so we might hook the opening gig there for the next album release tour.
Maybe a return to The Bitter End! Lets make Greenwich Village great again! This is Lucinda Williams and myself doing Bob Dylan‘s “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” off of the record “Mesabi.” All records and books: www.fronterarecords.com
Your reporter for Nova Beat at the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal….”

Posted December 10, 2016 by kenneturner in Information, Music

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