Options Steve Krinsky: Playlist from October 15, 2016 Options

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Options October 15, 2016: Waiting for a Train: My Tribute to Rich Minus (1940-2016)
Two theme sets, in the 2nd & 3rd hours of the show: First, a bunch of songs inspired by Harry Smith's "Anthology of American Folk Music" on Folkways (1952). Harry Smith was a beatnik artist music collector; the 84 tunes he gathered helped trigger the folk revival of the 1950s & 60s. Then, a tribute to my old friend, Rich Minus, who died this past summer. Rich was a colorful character, a charming and talented country songwriter who grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and lived in Austin most of his live. Check out my short essay about Rich below the playlist.

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Artist Track Comments Approx. start time
Big Guitars from Texas  Ride of the Ruthless   Options You're supposed to recognize Big Guitars from Texas and say, hey, Steve Krinsky is on the radio!  0:00:00 ()
Beninghove's Hangmen  Roebuck   Options Excellent band out of Jersey City; the entire band is top quality but hornman Beninghove is a standout! From "Pineapples & Ashtrays" (2014)  0:02:47 ()
Peter Ostroushko   Baghdad Blues   Options Like Bob Dylan, mandolin player Ostroushko is from northeast Minnesota. According to Wikipedia, his first recording session was an uncredited mandolin player on Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" album. He records for Red House Records out of St. Paul.  0:08:27 ()
Aurora Nealand/Tom McDermott  Opulence   Options Two terrific musicians out of New Orleans: Aurora is a multi-instrumentalist with a lot of personality, Tom is a piano master. He wrote this tune.  0:11:21 ()
Aurora Nealand/Tom McDermott  Moanin' Low   Options We saw Aurora Nealand this past winter at a small club on Frenchman Street. These two songs are from "City of Timbres" (OPM Music, 2015)  0:14:19 ()
Amy Helm  Didn't It Rain   Options Title cut from a great debut album, with help from some great musicians helping out: Bill Payne, Catherine Russell, Larry Campbell, John Medeski and-- even though he died before the album came out-- Levon Helm  0:19:39 ()
The Frightnrs  Hey Brother (Do Unto Others)   Options Cool cut from cool album on Daptone: "Nothing More to Say" (2016). Read the sad sweet story of the band and the loss of lead singer Dan Klein: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/arts/music/the-frightnrs-dan-klein-daptone.html?smid=tw-nytimesarts&smtyp=cur  0:23:23 ()
 
Lula Wiles  Sorrow Be the Bird   Options Folk trio out of Boston  0:31:14 ()
Peter Case  Steel Strings   Options Peter used to be in the Plimsouls, then went back to the roots. This is a re-issue of his 1986 solo album; he still makes great music  0:34:13 ()
Bob Weir  Only a River   Options A new Americana twist on "Oh Shenandoah"-- a popular sea shanty, even though Shenandoah is far from the sea. Probably traders & trappers on the rivers sang it first. From "Blue Mountain," a new solo album on Columbia.  0:38:30 ()
Madeleine Peyroux  The Highway Kind   Options Cover of a Townes Van Zandt tune, from "Secular Hymns" (Impulse/Verve, 2016); I know it from the terrific Robert Plant/Alison Krauss album. I know Jeffrey already played this but great minds think alike!  0:43:31 ()
Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur  Just a Little While to Stay Here   Options They're back: These two veterans of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, who I used to see regularly in Harvard Square in the 60s, have a new album: "Penny's Farm" (Kingswood Records, 2016)  0:46:37 ()
Bascom Lamar Lunsford  I Wish I Were a Mole in the Ground   Options From Harry Smith's "Anthology of American Folk Music" on Smithsonian. Sounds like he is saying, "Hippie, let your hair hang down" only it was 1928!  0:49:22 ()
 
Toshi Reagon  The Coo Coo Bird   Options In 1997, a bunch of top notch players did a tribute concert for the Harry Smith anthology. This is from the album: "The Harry Smith Connection" on Smithsonian/Folkways  0:58:59 ()
Cannon's Jug Stompers  Minglewood Blues   Options From the Harry Smith anthology. Gus Cannon was born in Mississippi and worked as a sharecropper. His band was one of the most popular on Beale Street in Memphis in the 1930s.  1:02:20 ()
Jeff Tweedy, Roger McGuinn and Jay Bennett  James Alley Blues   Options Another from the Harry Smith tribute album. These three guys are pretty talented: Tweedy Bennett from the band Wilco, McGuinn played with the Byrds in the 60s & has had a notable solo career since then.  1:06:03 ()
Greg Hooven String Band  A Lazy Farmer Boy   Options Performed at the 1997 tribute concert  1:09:49 ()
Charlie Poole & His North Carolina Ramblers  White House Blues   Options Sometimes known as "Buffalo to Washington," this tune tells the story of the assassination of of President William McKinley in 1901. "McKinley in the graveyard, he's taking his rest"  1:13:11 ()
 
Memphis Jug Band  Memphis Shakedown   Options Recorded in Chicago, November 8, 1934. Listen to the kazoo.  1:18:46 ()
Balfa Toujours  La Vieux Soulard Et Sa Femme   Options These are the children of Cajun master Dewey Balfa, doing a song about the drunkard and his wife on the 1997 tribute album. For a lot of people, Harry Smith's records were the first time you could hear Cajun music outside of southern Louisiana.  1:21:57 ()
Dave Van Ronk  Gambler's Blues   Options Nobody took folk music more seriously than Dave Van Ronk. In his excellent autobiography-- "The Mayor of McDougal Street" written with Elijah Wald-- Van Ronk calls the Harry Smith anthology "our bible" and without it, he adds, "we could not have existed." This song is from a great 3-CD collection of Van Ronk's music on Smithsonian-Folkways.  1:24:17 ()
Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker  Fly High   Options One guy who did not need the Harry Smith anthology to produce great folk music was Woody Guthrie. This song is from yet another effort to put new words to old Woody Guthrie lyrics. From "New Multitudes" (Rounder, 2012)  1:28:59 ()
Spirit Of Life Ensemble  Victory (Is Certain)   Options This Jersey City-based ensemble has been playing "ebullient" jazz since the 1970s. This number is from one of their many albums: "Inspiration" (RUP, 1992)  1:31:08 ()
Yo La Tengo  Popcorn   Options For years, Yo La Tengo has worked the WFMU fundraising marathon by playing requests live on the air. This tune is one of those.  1:37:48 ()
Southern Culture on the Skids   Rice & Beans   Options They're back: "The Electric Pinecones" (Kudzu, 2016)  1:39:23 ()
Southern Culture on the Skids   Dirt Road   Options Formed in the 1980s, this Chapel Hill, NC, band plays terrific twang with a wry sense of humor. Glad to see they are still around.  1:41:42 ()
The Turnabouts with Ike Turner  Cott'n Pick'n   Options This is from the "Bad Man" CD, a collection of early 60s work by guitar master Turner.  1:45:03 ()
Fred Wesley  Rockin' in Rhythm   Options Fred Wesley was the longtime leader of the JB's, the backup band for James Brown.  1:51:37 ()
Roger Wagner Chorale  Loch Lomand   Options "Ye take the high road, I'll take the low road and I'll be in Scotland before ye."  1:53:50 ()
 
Rich Minus  Borderline Blues   Options This is the title cut to Rich's 1992 album on the French label, New Rose. A lot Texas songwriters were more popular in Europe than in the USA. Two longtime Doug Sahm sidemen-- Ernie Durawa on drums & Speedy Sparks on bass-- help out, as well as two Hancock sisters, Conni & Traci (daughters of Tommy X)  2:02:20 ()
Texas Tornados  Rosa de Amor   Options Doug Sahm & the boys-- Freddy Fender doing vocals-- do a Spanish version of Rich's "Laredo Rose" on their first album. The Tornados re-recorded their entire first album in Spanish on Reprise (1990)  2:08:07 ()
Jimmie Rodgers  Waiting for a Train   Options Every time I hear this song, from the 1920s, I think of Rich. In 1969, when I moved to Austin and met him, this was the tune he loved to sing.  2:10:48 ()
Bill Neely  Big Yellow Moon Over Texas   Options In the 60s, Bill Neely (1916-1990) used to hang out in Austin playing his songs. Bill told a story about how Jimmie Rodgers gave him a guitar lesson when he was 13 years old. Rich has a song about him called "Texas Bill" on one of his albums,  2:12:27 ()
Rich Minus  Dirty Windshield   Options People often thought of Rich as a redneck country singer, a role he relished. In fact, he was a left winger anti-war troublemaker. In the 1970s he (and I) got busted for attacking an ROTC parade with squirt guns. Pat Mears helps with vocals on this tune.  2:14:46 ()
Sir Douglas Quintet  Be Real   Options Rich grew up in San Antone, went to high school with people like Doug Sahm & Ernie Durawa. This great Doug Sahm song comes from a Sir Douglas Quintet Album'-- "SDQ "1+1+1=4" -- from 1970. Check out the YouTube version for some great photos of Doug. Thanks to Matt Fiveash for turning me on to this.  2:18:02 ()
Calvin Russell  I Should Have Been Home   Options This is a Blaze Foley tune. Calvin was one of Rich's pals/drinking buddies-- and his label mate on New Rose Records out of France. Calvin died of liver cancer a few years ago.  2:21:09 ()
 
Calvin Russell  Nothin'   Options A Townes Van Zandt song, covered by Robert Plant & Alison Krause on their superb "Raising Sand" album. Calvin does a pretty good job on this too.  2:29:28 ()
Los Jazz Vatos  Bluellespie   Options Ernie Durawa is the drummer for this jazz combo; the tune is a Paquito D'Rivera number. Ernie lives in Austin & gigs regularly at Strange Brew on Manchaca. Go see him and say hello for me.  2:32:58 ()
Texana Dames  Get Up and Go   Options Taxana Dames is three Hancock sisters-- daughters of Lubbock luminary Tommy X Hancock-- with help from Austin stalwarts John Reed on guitar, Frosty on drums, Ponty Bone on accordian. Connie & Traci both play on Rich's albums. Connie & Traci both play on Rich's albums.  2:37:22 ()
Rich Minus  Woke Up This Morning   Options A sweet sad song from Rich, on his "(Still Alive in) Texas" on Last Call/New Rose (1996)  2:39:51 ()
 
Beninghove's Hangmen  La Girafe   Options An amusing tune, written by Brian Beninghove, with vocals by Mattias Gustaffson. Recorded by Nicola Stemmer at 9 Lives Studio in Jersey City.  2:47:03 ()
Manouche Bag  Songe D'Automne   Options Manouche Bag-- with Mattias Gustafsson & Brian Beninghove-- play every Tuesday & Thursday at Madame Claude Bistro on 4th Street in Jersey City, right behind the (new and soon to open?) White Eagle Hall.  2:49:54 ()
Debashish Bhattacharya with Mark Humphrey  Shenandoah   Options This 1996 album is "Calcutta to California" and features Indian slide guitar virtuoso Debashish Bhattacharya doing a bit of Americana combined with "Bhatiali (Bengali Boatman\'s Song)." I misjudged how long the tune was and had to fade it halfway through. Sorry.  2:52:34 ()
       
I JUST FOUND OUT THAT MY OLD FRIEND RICH MINUS DIED THIS PAST SUMMER. ***** Rich was a smart guy who wrote smart songs but he also drank himself to death. My kids knew him as the drunk guy who would call us in NJ a few times a year to say hello. He lived in NYC for a year or so, around 1980, trying to make it in the music scene. When a bunch of us went to see him— at Kenny's Castaways, I think— he was so loaded he couldn't remember the words to his own songs. He crashed at our place in Montclair a few times and was quite the character. His story has a sad ending but it wasn’t always like that. ***** When I first met Rich in Austin in 1969, he already had a Master’s Degree from St. Edwards University and he was, like me, now in the graduate program in Sociology at the University of Texas. His parents were both school teachers in San Antonio, where he grew up on the edge of the Tex-Mex community, alongside people like DOUG SAHM and ERNIE DURAWA. In those days, Rich wore a JIMMIE RODGERS train hat and did a mean version of “Waiting for a Train.” He really knew his music and we spent many nights, for many years, honky tonkin’ together at the Split Rail and other Austin music joints.***** In the spring on 1970, a bunch of us drove out to Big Bend National Park. We took some acid there and I had my only bad trip, out in the middle of the desert. But we hiked and camped, saw roadrunners, coyotes and javalinas—and took a wooden flatbed ferry across the border to drink beer in a little cantina on the Mexican side of the river. When some of the Mexican men in the bar started to fight over who would dance with Rich’s then-wife Molly, it was time to split. ***** In 1972, a bunch of us got busted for attacking an ROTC parade with squirt guns. We didn’t spend any time in jail but Rich and some others lost their teaching assistant jobs and had to quit UT; Rich stuck around Austin but Roy (now Raul) Breaux headed back to Louisiana to work on the oil rigs and Dave Dye left for Alaska. Raul now lives in Lafayette, LA, and does an excellent blues show on KLRS radio. Dave became a lawyer in Alaska and, I think, a Republican. I’d like to find out about that. Ironically, I had a National Defense fellowship but they didn’t mess with that. ***** Rich had already written a bunch of songs by the time he left grad school. He recorded a 45, with his “big hit”— “How Can I Dance When I Get Inside, I Gave an Arm & a Leg at the Door?” I still have a copy and played it on WFMU a few times. In the 1980s & 90s, he wrote lots of songs, played the Austin clubs regularly and recorded a number of albums, on the New Rose label out of France.***** One of his songs—“Laredo Rose”— was recorded by his pals, the Texas Tornados. He didn’t get paid much from that but he did receive a regular check from Warner Brothers, which he called his “Bugs Bunny money.” After I moved to NJ in 1973, I would visit Austin regularly. Sometimes I would stay with Rich, although one time he didn’t have a real place to live so we crashed on a couch at Texas Tornado drummer Ernie Durawa’s place. Mostly I stayed with my friends Billy Pope or Gail Caldwell but usually when I visited Austin, Rich and I would meet around 10 or 11 to hit the clubs. I remember one time he took me to the Skyline Club—“Hank Williams played here,” he would brag—to see DELBERT MCCLINTON. His friend Ernie was Delbert’s drummer in those days so Rich got in for free. I had to pay. ***** Rich was part of an amazing scene in Austin. He hung out and played with BLAZE FOLEY, CALVIN RUSSELL & TOWNES VAN ZANDT. Rich told me a story about the time he was driving a cab and picked up Townes, who was on his way to a club. Townes had been drinking and Rich joined in. He abandoned the cab and tagged along with Townes for the rest of the night. He lost that job the next day. ***** It’s an understatement to say that Rich was not a reliable performer. There’s an online story— uspest.org/coopl/tvzcactrib.html—about a tribute to Townes at the Cactus Café shortly after his death: “Rich Minus played both nights. He did well on Wednesday, telling an anecdote about a time when Billy Joe Shaver called Townes up for a couple of guest songs. Townes created pandemonium by saying that Billy Joe wanted everybody to have a drink on the house. On Thursday, Rich told every third word of the story, and stumbled through "No Lonesome Tune," singing the "In the kitchen mama sneezed" verse twice. Then he passed out on the stage. After Rich was helped off stage, Mark Ambrose sang the most appropriate Townes Van Zandt song to follow that bit of unease: "If I had no place to fall, And I needed to, Could I count on you, To lay me down..." ***** When my family went down to Austin a few years ago, we tried to find Rich. Ernie didn’t know where he was staying but he gave me his mom’s phone # in San Antone. When I called, she said Rich was living in a homeless shelter but she didn’t know the name. Rich hadn’t called me in NJ for a few years and I wondered if he was still around. ***** On the one hand, it’s a sad story. The death of an old pal. But it’s also a reminder of a life and legacy: Rich was a warm and witty guy, a dreamer and a doer, a clever wordsmith and a caring friend. So long, buddy. ***** Obit: http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/music-stage/article/Laredo-Rose-songwriter-Rich-Minus-dead-8332913.php

Listener comments!

Avatar    Sat. 10/15/16 6:16am duke:

HI Steve Nice to hear you
Avatar Sat. 10/15/16 6:21am Sem Chumbo:

Good morning, Steve. Hello, duke.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 10/15/16 6:28am annie:

steve!! i forgot this was your day! woot!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 10/15/16 6:29am annie:

hi duke, hi sem!
Avatar    Sat. 10/15/16 6:41am duke:

There's a good documentary about Bob Weir: The Other One
  Sat. 10/15/16 7:00am Steve Krinsky:

G'mornin all. I'm having fun; hope you are too.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 10/15/16 7:01am annie:

it's great to have you here steve.
Avatar Sat. 10/15/16 7:10am Sem Chumbo:

Wonderful music, and a moving remembrance of your friend. Thanks so much for both.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 10/15/16 7:16am Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Yes - a privilege.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 10/15/16 7:38am Ken From Hyde Park:

Nice variety this morning, Steve. Glad you're the fill-in today.
  Sat. 10/15/16 7:45am LORD FREAKINGTON:

hey dont forget to donate to the silent fundraiser
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 10/15/16 8:19am Mike East:

2 or 3 days ago, a nice young man came into my work and complimented my wfmu shirt. I told him I'm having a hard time deciding which of the new ones to get. He said his friend's Dad is a DJ there. I asked him who...he told me Steve Krinsky. True story.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 10/15/16 8:21am Mike East:

Good morning, and thanks for the good music.
  Sat. 10/15/16 8:25am Mike tp:

Morning Steve. Woke to the good sound.
Avatar Sat. 10/15/16 8:26am Sem Chumbo:

Diggin' this set, thanks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 10/15/16 8:32am annie:

i'm just loving the nostalgia-talk, steve.
  Sat. 10/15/16 8:33am Steve Krinsky:

Hey Mike East: Nice coincidence. Abbie was one of the first kids to be interviewed on Greasy Kid's Stuff way back when.
  Sat. 10/15/16 8:36am Steve Krinsky:

Don't get me started telling stories! Actually anyone wants to buy me a beer can get an earful.
  Sat. 10/15/16 8:47am fustercluck:

hey Steve great to hear you man - since the 197O's !
  Sat. 10/15/16 8:58am fustercluck:

thanx for the BB tune - he's at the Fox and Crow later on tonight
Avatar    Sat. 10/15/16 9:03am duke:

thanks for a great show!
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