Let’s listen to some murder ballads where the central female character isn’t the one who gets killed…
Author’s Note: The title, as well as this mix in general, is inspired by the comic She Who Bleeds for Your Entertainment. Of course, I doubt that She’d consider songs about female murderers to be any better, but She’s a better person than I am.
01 Henry Lee - Nick Cave ft. PJ Harvey | 02 Caleb Meyer - Gillian Welch | 03 The Barnyard - Rachel Brooke |04 The Irish Ballad - Tom Lehrer | 05 The Ballad of Sara Berry - 35MM: A Musical Exhibition | 06 The Curse of Millhaven - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds | 07 Goodbye Earl - Dixie Chicks | 08 Shattercane and Velvet Grass - Lizzie the Musical | 09 Send Me to the Electric Chair - Bessie Smith | 10 To Keep My Love Alive - Ella Fitzgerald | 11 Swing Shift - Cherlene | 12 The Wound that Never Heals - Jim White | 13 Jellon Grame - Broadside Electric | 14 Heart on Her Sleeve - Rhubarb Whiskey | 15 The Outlandish Knight - Bellowhead | 16 The Taylorshop on Enbizaka Street - Rachied (English cover) | 17 Old Time Angels - Jim Lauderdale
People like to bitch and moan about the CMAs. But you know what? A shitton of people call that country and they love it. It’s what young kids who are actually from the country (and the ‘burbs) listen to - they relate and aspire to it. Aside from that, popular music is supposed to be simple and disposable so it’s easy for the next 3 minutes of whatever to infiltrate the airwaves.
You all know that’s not my scene. I used to put it down, but really, what’s the point? Seems that more positive energy can be put toward finding and promoting the country music that matters to me. Here are some of the great albums I’ve heard in 2014 that I would give awards to. Give 'em a try or find them on your favorite streaming service:
Ken Tucker on Jim Lauderdale’s ‘admirable and somewhat puzzling career’ and his new album I’m a Song:
“So with all these good songs and strong singing, why isn’t Lauderdale a bigger star? I think one answer is the absence of a consistent persona in his work. Look at his idols: George Jones is, in Jim’s phrase, the king of broken hearts; Gram Parsons is the sensitive tragic hero that Lauderdale is too optimistic and too wise to the ways of the music biz to emulate; bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, with whom Lauderdale recorded a Grammy-winning album, is the kind of formalist that Jim never aspired to be. Lauderdale rarely goes as bleakly dark as his pal Buddy Miller can, both on guitar and in lyrics with his wife Julie Miller. One reason Lauderdale is a successful songwriter for others is because he can slip into others’ skins, and write from different points of view and moods. On his own projects, and on the satellite radio show he co-hosts with Buddy Miller, he projects a sunniness that to some listeners may come across as lightweight. But it takes as much craft to sound resilient as it does to sound shattered and depressed.”
Download our show, ya’ll. It’s free, and it’s great. The most recent podcast features Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale, along with Corb Lund, the Chapin sisters and more. You can also download shows that feature Calexico, Kathy Mattea, Kathleen Edwards, Bruce Cockburn, Robert Earl Keen, Bonnie Prince Billy, Robert Cray, and Kelly Hogan - and those are just the recent ones. All recorded live, the way music happens best - in front of a live audience.