Friday, September 14, 2018

Not Marty

I went to a reunion of old picking buddies and some folks I'd not met were singing songs on Tom Shepard's cabin porch when we stopped by to say hey. Tom handed me his guitar saying "len's been known to pick a song or two" and reluctantly I did (unless I warm up, I have vocal control issues these days, so I don't like to do this).   After some kidding from these folk, I played one of mine, Mandy Blue, because I can actually remember those lyrics. 

When done there was a discussion about my voice and these folks all decided it was Marty Robbins. That's no insult but nor is it particularly true. My thought was they keyed on the song being a sort of tex-mex mariachi which it is. The studio version is even more mariachi but I get what they said although I don't and wish I did have a voice like Marty. 

That sound is associated with Marty but is really the sound of the Glaser Brothers who were the session players and backup singers on many of Marty's hits. Also, they were one of the unsung groups who founded the so-called Outlaws who tired of Nashville slick and went their own way. While carefully copied by others, they were an original sound more derived from cowboy music (thus Tex-Mex) than what prevailed in country at the time. Here they are in their last performance in 1990.

Sunday, September 09, 2018


What is the profile of a Trumptown? Political rallies are not random events. The locations are meticulously selected to ensure the biggest and most overly supportive audience. So what about a town makes it delicious for Trump rallies?

There is a wide perception that Trump supporters are ignorant.   This photo was taken in the so-called, Rocket City, Huntsville, Alabama.   Huntsville touts itself as an example of the New South, progressive, well-educated, and frankly, very very rich.   The last two are certainly true; yet, Trump held two of his largest rallies in the state here and in neighboring Madison Alabama.  So that perception is wrong in the particulars of these events.

Because I was born and raised here, I can speculate but having lived under the dome all of my life, I am too close to the subject.   I am appalled and that is not an objective state of mind.   But I do wonder if anyone has looked at the cities where Trump can get such energetic support and asked that question:  what makes a Trumptown?  More important, what happens to that city after Trump leaves office?

Just for historical reference, Huntsville is where Nixon came to start his fruitless comeback and was christened "Fritters, Alabama" in Doonesbury.   Whatever the profile is, it is baked in.

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