Search Results for "Nations Brothers"

The Hodges Brothers, Jesse James’ Women, and the Nations Brothers

The journey to Clifftop renewed my interest in old-time music, and a recent search reminded me of this post on Bogue Chitto Flingding, an old album by the Hodges Brothers. Arhoolie has re-released the album Bogue Chitto Flingding on CD. I await the arrival of my copy. Watermelon Hangin’ on the Vine is available on eBay. The band had slipped my mind for several years. I decided to repeat my search for more information on the band.

The band played old-time and bluegrass, as I knew. To my surprise, they had recorded some rockabilly, too. The blog boppingbopping has this post about their rockabilly singles. The German, but not the English, Wikipedia has this entry on them. Several of their singles have been posted to YouTube, including “Honey Talk,” “My Heart Fell at Her Feet” and “It Won’t Be Long” on Trumpet Records in Jackson, Mississippi and “I’m Gonna Rock Some Too.” It lists Mississippi Records, Box 101, Osyka, Miss. on its label. They recorded many of their tracks at WAPF, the radio station that was still standard morning listening in my home when I was growing up.

I also stumbled across Sippiana Succotash. The blog is dedicated to memories from Brookhaven, Mississippi, the next big town north of my hometown. This blog post Bogue Chitto’s Own Recording Artists — Or Should We Say Ruth’s? pins their origins to the community of Ruth, Mississippi. Sippiana Succotash also has this post on the McGraw Family, a string band about whom little is known. That same blog had this post about Jesse James’ Women. It was filmed in Silver Creek, Mississippi. The whole thing is available on YouTube although it is not a memorable movie.

My YouTube search also led me to this video of coach Mike Hodges of Bogue Chitto on guitar. I do not know the relationship between him and the Hodges Brothers, but I am sure that there is one. Pointing to more connections, the video was posted by nations1992. The Nations Brothers are another string band I like. As far as I can find, the Nations Brothers were the only Mississippi Piney Woods string band recorded in the early era of electric recording. This blog post on Old Time Party reproduces an article about the Nations Brothers from Old Time Music magazine written and published by blogged Tony Russell. The article reports that the Nations Brothers stopped playing music and went on to lives as prominent civic figures in Brookhaven.

The blog Old Time Party is a great find. It has a wealth of information on old-time music that will take me a long time to read. The information includes multiple posts mentioning Mississippi. Old Time Magazine also published “10 Days in Mississippi” (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4), also written by publisher Tony Russell himself. I have searched for the article for years.

This Dock Boggs and John Hurt post on Old Time Party is also excellent. It recounts a double bill concert given by them soon after their rediscoveries that featured Hurt clogging to Boggs at the show’s end. I blogged a while back about when Dock Boggs and beloved Mississippi John Hurt stayed with Mike Seeger. I suspect that it was for that concert. In that post, I mentioned W. E. Myers as a link between Boggs and Hurt. The post points to very similar lyrics in Hurt’s “Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me” and the last stanza of Boggs’ “Old Rub Alcohol Blues,” both penned by Myers. These small links are treasures.

I will watch Old Time Party closely from now on.

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Michael M. on August 11th 2012 in General, Movies, Music, Recorded


A friend alerted H that the Asylum Street Spankers would be at Off Broadway. Previously blogged mandolinist David Long has joined the line up. They mix songs and styles from early 20th century string bands and Tin Pan Alley with new themes and material. We caught a fun show. They opened up with gospel music from new album God’s Favorite Band before moving to more satirical music. I knew them from the video for “Stick Magnetic Ribbons on Your SUV” on YouTube. It is amusing and positively filthy. In person, I realized that they are excellent musicians. The encore included the song “Shave ‘Em Dry” by Lucille Bogan. It was the smuttiest musical performance I have ever witnessed, not that I am against such artistic liberties. I got to talk to a few of them after and even fiddle a little, including “Bankhead Blues” and previously blogged “Magnolia One Step” from the three times blogged Nations Brothers. The show was good fun, and despite being hopelessly outclassed musically, I had a good time trying to join in a little after.

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Michael M. on November 12th 2009 in General, Live, Music

Dance May 3 and more

Every year, the staff and students of the favorite Folk School play a spring contra for the Childgrove Country Dancers. I have played in the huge Wall of Sound band for the last three years, and it has been terrific fun every time. This year’s dance falls on Sunday, May 3, 2009. It will be at the Monday Club 37 S Maple Ave, Webster Groves, MO 63119. A short workshop will start at 6:30 PM, and the dance will begin at 7 PM.

I also tried performing by myself. The Atomic Cowboy has an open mic night every Monday. Musician, teacher and friend Ryan Spearman hosts it. I got up last weekend and played “Spike Driver Blues,” “Fishing Blues,” “Buck Dancer’s Choice,” “I’m Satisfied,” my own guitar arrangement of “Magnolia One Step” from the twice blogged Nations Brothers and an original instrumental in D. My performance was rough, but I had a good time. I will play again April 27, 2009 at 9:45 PM with two friends.

Finally, old-time music is coming back to the Cabin Inn now that the Cabin has been back for a while. It located at the City Museum that I often mention here on the blog. When it was open the first time, various local old-time musicians were frequent performers. With the revival of the Cabin, some friends are trying to revive its old-time tradition. Wednesday old-time jams starting at 7 PM have been going for two weeks. I made the last one and had a good time. I hope to play with them more in the future.

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Michael M. on April 26th 2009 in General, Live, Music

A Bloggers’ Night at the Symphony

I have subscribed to the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra on and off since moving here, and I have blogged about it on occasion. In the past few years, my schedule has become less flexible, and I failed to set aside the time to attend regularly. I was excited to get messages from SLSO staffers Eddie Silva and Dale Fisher inviting me to Bloggers’ Night for the Saturday performance of Beat Movement, part of the Guitar Festival. The Post-Dispatch published this review of the week.

Eddie posted this preview of Bloggers’ Night on the SLSO Blog. The symphony offered selected bloggers, including me, tickets in exchange for posting about the experience. Inviting bloggers is a clever approach for appealing to a young sophisticated crowd; inviting me is not. This blog is low traffic. It is an exercise of vanity against sense. Most readers are family and friends, and my successes at convincing others to come out for events have been few. I feel lucky to have been included. I know how it happened, and I feel like I slipped into a party of real bloggers through the back door. My thanks go to Dale and Eddie. I understood that I was being offered something wonderful. I did not hesitate when that back door was cracked open for me. My pal and fellow neuroscientist Karla, worthy of a grander entrance, but stuck with me, rushed in, too.

John Patitucci played the United States premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage‘s A Prayer Out of Stillness. The best part was “Call and Response,” the third of four movements. Patitucci played his electric bass guitar in a duet with double bass principal Erik Harris. The two masters wandered and wandered. The audience broke protocol and applauded after it.

The second work was another challenging premiere. During maestro David Robertson‘s lecture before the performance, Steven Mackey came out with his guitar slung around his neck to discuss his work. The pair talked about the tension between his interests in composition and electric guitar. The guitar itself holds a tense position in classical music. It is a wildly popular instrument, and the popularity of classical guitar seems to be largely an extension. It is not part of the symphony, however. The great composers wrote little or none for it, and it had not taken its modern form when they were active. The electric guitar is even more removed, and Mackey spent years keeping the two largely separate. Eventually, he began weaving the them together. I joked to Karla that he must have received tenure by then.

Mackey demonstrated how electric guitar lends itself to playing overtones because the pickups are so sensitive. He adapted this approach to composing for the violin. He talked about the death of his mother, the subject of Beautiful Passing. The previously blogged MacArthur genius grant recipient Leila Josefowicz played the United States premiere. She is an adventurous soloist who often performs new works. She played with vigor, the bow biting down into the strings at the right spots.

In the perfect world, I would have met Josefowicz and played “Magnolia One-Step” by the blogged Nations Brothers on her Guarnerius Del Gesù like when Tommy Jarrell played “CottonEyed Joe” on the Castelbarco Stradivarius at the Library of Congress in the blogged My Old Fiddle. In this world, I saw her from afar as she signed CDs in the lobby during intermission.

The Rite of Spring was the second half. There were no riots. The piece was performed extracted from the ballet. A large screen behind the orchestra displayed stage directions during the performance. Due to my extended education, PowerPoint is a strong hypnotic for me, but I managed to fight it and enjoy the forceful performance.

A good core of bloggers came out. Some came to the Met Bar before the concert. I met the true Jerome of the Daily Jerome. Looking back, I am surprised that I never blogged his comics. They mix daily annoyances, Saint Louis peculiarities and pop culture. His caricature of himself is just right. After the concert, we went to the new Wm. Shakespeare’s Gastropub. Grand Center needs a spot, and I hope it succeeds. The guys from Highway 61 and Jen from Lockwood and Summit, the Euclid Records blog, also came out along with several more that I did not meet. I had a great time talking more with Eddie and Dale who ran this event. They both have great knowledge of the symphony and the larger arts community here.

Such a good night needs a good end. I like to wake up in the morning, stay up late at night and eat breakfast at both. I inherited it. I had not been to City Diner in a couple of years, though. It has been my loss. Karla, new to the place, pronounced her Chorizo Scramble excellent by expatriate Mexican standards, and for me, perfect pancakes put a smile in my belly.


Michael M. on November 17th 2008 in General, Live, Music

Mississippi luthiers

I visited luthier Dewey Alexander of Foxworth, Mississippi with my father. He happens to live on Old Morgantown Road. I played three or four of his fiddles, a couple of mandolins and a banjo. I had to fake mandolin and banjo playing, but I like faking. I hope to learn basics sometime, though. Despite the temptation, I did not buy anything. I have tried to find out whether there are other active fiddle luthiers in the area. He may be the last.

After taking my car for service a few days later, I stopped at Brookhaven Music. The store has guitars and both mountain and hammered dulcimers made by George Magee of Monticello. The clerk said that he could make anything and gave me his number. He does not make fiddles although I suppose he could. He said that a now deceased Red Hutcherson of Brookhaven had made fiddles and that his relatives might still. I might write some family members to ask.

On the store’s Battle of the Bands page, I noticed a Brandon Nations, now of GILLIANFRITZ. The Nations Brothers were an old-time string band from Brookhaven who had tunes on Mississippi String Bands, Vol. 2, a birthday gift I received. They were the only band included from my part of the state on either volume. I wrote to ask about kinship. It is interesting possible connection.

I also made email contact with the Magnolia State Bluegrass Assocation and the Mississippi Old Time Music Society. Both organizations seem quite active, and I know where to look next time I am home long enough to try some playing.

Finally, I wrote guitar luthiers, two in my hometown, Edward Kalil and Tom Catchings. One did not reply, and the second spends his time more on other projects lately. Although the family names of both are familiar, I knew neither, and I certainly had no idea that my little old hometown had two luthiers.

It was a musical trip. I wish I had found even more. I also made the recently blogged detour through Avalon and trips to several shops that I hope to write about soon.

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Michael M. on August 29th 2006 in General, Music

Folk School benefit concert

The Folk School will present An Evening of American String Band Music at the Sheldon Concert Hall in Grand Center on Tuesday, May 29 at 7:30 PM. The doors will open at 7 PM. $15 is the price. Visit the calendar entry for information on tickets or buy at the door before the show.

I have had wonderful experiences through the school. Recently, the contra dance I played was terrific. I invited friends from outside the school. It was to no avail, and I was forced to have a wonderful night without them. Because the number of students who want to play at the dance has grown too large for us all to play at once, I danced the first set. I never had tried contra dancing before. Although some moves, mainly the half hey, eluded me, I had a great time. The experienced dancers at Childgrove are friendly, patient and helpful. The dancing was intoxicating. Then I headed to the stage and sawed my best through the second set. Having finally done both, I still feel that playing beats dancing, but I understand much more how people become so absorbed in the experiences and culture of dance. The night owls among us capped a great night with a trip to C. J. Muggs.

It looks like I will play the benefit show, too. Between the main acts, a group of Folk School students will play in the lobby during intermission. I feel thrilled to have been invited to fiddle as part of it. We have rehearsed once, and I hope to make enough of the coming practices to rosin up and go on the 29th.

The big show will feature leading local groups the Buckhannon Brothers, the Gordons, the Grass Pack, Swing DeVille and the Yellow Dog String Band. Michael Ward and Rob White of the Grass Pack will move away from Saint Louis soon. This show will be their last with the band. Rob also plays in Yellow Dog. Many members of the other bands are Folk School instructors. I have learned fiddle from both Colleen Heine, Folk School director and Grass Pack fiddler, and Justin Branum of Swing DeVille. Dave Landreth, who has led me through my foray into clawhammer banjo as resident Folk School frailer, plays in Yellow Dog. I can testify personally to the great talent that will be on exhibit at the concert.

I spent a long time thinking about participatory culture. I still do, but now I also participate. The Folk School has been a big cog in the machinations of making it happen in my own life. However little music does to ease the great ills of the world, it is a great balm for soothing the small wounds of ones own life. This institution dedicated to bringing music to the people and people into the music continues growing. Come out to help it along while enjoying some fine sounds.

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Michael M. on May 16th 2007 in General, Live, Music

Digital trust

My suspicions were aroused by “Snared in the Web of a Wikipedia Liar” in The New York Times. A newspaper with extensive archives has reasons to attack Wikipedia. I like many things about The New York Times, but the paper often predictably comes down on the side of old media.

Somebody included nasty rumors in the entry on John Seigenthaler. He wrote this piece in USA Today about his experience. In it, he wrote “that Wikipedia is a flawed and irresponsible research tool.” The obvious problem with this criticism is that all research tools have shortcomings. Seeing this tendency to label a source as reliable or unreliable bothers me. While we often must make decisions and go, this oversimplification cannot serve us well. In so many respects, information is uncertain.

Seigenthaler also complained about the lack of carrier liability. He brings in broadcasters and publishers for comparison. If anything, Wikipedia and ISPs are more like television hardware manufacturers or paper mills than the media companies.

I understand Seigenthaler’s motivation. He was accused of involvement in the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers, people close to him. Whoever wrote it wronged him. Although the author is currently anonymous, he admits that he could file a lawsuit against the person who defamed him. He should. He also should understand the nature of these new tools.

In related news, a post on /. points to new policies for Wikipedia.


Michael M. on December 5th 2005 in General

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.