Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Remember the Great Folk Scare of the 60s? That Shit Almost Caught On!

There was a very interesting piece on cult folkie Jackson C. Frank in MOJO last month; I must confess I'd never heard of the guy, but he was/is highly regarded by a lot of people and his story was genuinely heartbreaking.

Here's "Blues Run the Game," his most famous song (from 1965) and produced by Paul Simon, no less. Apparently it's been covered by all sorts of folks including Fairport Convention, Bert Jansch and even Counting Crows.



I haven't quite made up my mind whether it's kind of existentially poignant or just sort of maudlin in a period way. I'd be curious to know what you guys think...

11 comments:

Peter said...

maudlin in a period way.

Peter said...

Of course, I feel the same way about Nick Drake, and yet there are times when literally nothing else will do....

You want to love the guy's work if his story is so horrible. And sometimes you don't.

steve simels said...

I don't think this is remotely as good as Nick Drake, but I'm finding it hard to shake nonetheless.

Gummo said...

I can't decide if his voice is affecting or annoying but the fingerpicking is very Simonesque, to be sure.

Peter said...

With Nick Drake the same song can be unlistenable, unbearable to me on some days and utterly crucial on others. I'm that way about "Blood on the Tracks," too. There are times when the faults overshadow everything, times the same faults heighten the impact.

Anonymous said...

I like, Steve, very mellow.

Like I said, sort of reminds me of Phil Ochs only he has a better voice.

(Got a little Tom Rush in there to boot)

CovetedNOPrizeWinnerWithOakLeafCluster said...

This reminds me of Doug Hoekstra, currently of the Southeast, neither existentially poignant nor fleeting.

steve simels said...

You know Doug? Super nice guy...reviewed a couple of his albums and saw him at a club in NYC in the 90s.

TMink said...

Great voice, nice, evocative finger picking. I am not a folk guy, though I have a little and listen to it on occasion. I was listening to "When I Was A Boy" by Dar Williams last night, that is a cool song for sure.

As this track finishes, the morose world view is not my cup of tea, but I think this is a well done, evocative song.

It does not sound at all fake, and fake folk is the worst. Well, some of the worst.

Trey

MBowen said...

It's one of those hard calls because if you know his sad, weird story, you can't help but know that his fatalism is earned.

He was also Sandy Denny's first real boyfriend and introduced her into the folk scene, as well as to the booze that she loved so well.

Dave Lifton said...

First heard this song as one of the unreleased tracks on Simon & Garfunkel's Old Friends box set. I figured Paul had heard it during his time in England, but I never knew the exact source. Thanks for digging this up.