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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Legendry Dirt Road Blues

With Bowie and Hooky on the trail of a Good English Pint in Ummmmerrica, there was a great chance last night for me to soak up the tasty live sound of Roadhouse southern America , in Oxford , and stand for a couple of hours within touching distance of the fretboard of the modern legend that is Alvin Youngblood Hart.

Grammy award winning Alvin, out of Memphis TN is the cosmic American Love Child Of Howlin Wolf and Link Wray!!! Known as a "musician's musician", his praises have been sung by everyone from Bob Dylan to Brit guitar gods Eric Clapton & Mick Taylor.

Since his 1996 debut recording, the all-acoustic BIG MAMA'S DOOR, he has carried his musical message the world over. A devout follower of the 'no barriers' approach laid by veteran performers like Gatemouth Brown and the late great Doug Sahm, Alvin continues to defy the so- called purists.

To have him appearing in the tiny, ( itself fast becoming legendry ) Blues club, on the fringe strip of the City , is a real coup, but you could just tell by hearing him talk about the rocking blues that he was as happy bringing the walls down to 100 people ( as there was cramming the room...) as he was to 10,000 at a festival.

So we got the lot, from all ten of his different guitars.. the whole gamut of southern State Music as if Hendrix has descended on us himself...

....the whole tale of starting out life on the dirt poor side of the tracks to playing round the globe, just how I want my bluesmen to be. You gotta have felt to know how to feel. His new album "Motivational Speaker" just about says it all and it was a fantastic evening watching at close quarters his big phat phalanges make his guitar wail and sing.

You'll have noticed the words "legendry" and "Bob Dylan" cropping up a few times in this blog which prompted an aftershow beer and chat at the bar about the nature of Legendry-ness and how it is almost over used like "genius"..these day. What does it take to be legendry... Longevity ?...the rise from poverty to being a household name through deeds told by word of mouth?...or that simply that you gained doing it the hard way, playing every roadhouse and blues club in the world like this one tonight... increasing the legend even more.

Of course when you get to being Dylan, you get to that weird place of being so legendry, you can start to play with it, almost go back to the start, (a bit like Alvin tonight,) and enjoy the weirdness it brings....

......... as it was with great amusement that on the way home I tuned in the 1 am newsround on the car radio to hear that Bob Dylan, the man himself, is "talking to a couple of car companies" about becoming the voice of their GPS Sat Nav system.

So naturally this led me to thinking.. "How many Roads does a man walk down" and whether what ever you typed into the Sat Nav you would end up on "positively 4th Street"

It could have been "Lonely Avenue" but Ray Charles got there first and I even hoped he wrote "Turn Turn Turn" but that was Pete Seeger, so it seems even legends can't have everything.

The Legendry Sir Dayvd ( "Left at the next street. No, right. You know what? Just go straight." ) of Legendry Oxford


  1. That looks like a very cool club and a very cool show.

    Is that bit about Bob Dylan talking about becoming the voice of their GPS for real? Because that boggles my mind just a little bit - I'm not sure what to think...

    Lady T (who is certain that the answer must be blowing in the wind) of Pickerington

  2. turn right - follow that white van, no it's turning, follow the red car -
    you could do that job well, Sir D!

    who needs Gwyneth or Bob?

    genius is recognizable instantly by the aware - legendary is remembered through the ages - my own little interpretation

    off to find more coffee and search your links

  3. Seems so Lady T... and it actually broke on the news as i was going home from the show. It came from Dylan himself, who does a DJing slot of his own on the BBC Radio 6 ( you should be able to recieve that on your computer over there ) these days, so we shouldn't be wholly surprised I suppose.

    Ozzy Osbourne does a Sat Nav and there is I believe a Clint Eastwood one "Do you really want to go there?,Punk"

    and talking of Punks..we have Iggy Pop selling car insurance and johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols selling Butter on TV ads in the it seems there are no Pop principles anymore...( were there ever?) I alway thought that Bob ( stickin' it to the man ) Dylan was above all that...

    What next...the Queen doing a Sat nav?.. "One should turn right here" lol.

    Sir Dayvd ( what ever happened to wanting to die before you grow old ) of O

  4. Yep, Alvin is an amazing American Blues Rock artist! His music is served up best in smaller venues...the sign of a true music lover!

    I couldn't say it any better than Lady Suzanne...and as for Bob on my Garmin, I still prefer Gwyneth! However, it will be so shocking to his "faithful fans" to go commercial that I think it's brilliant! Bob has always been a great shape shifter!

    Sir Hook Who's Off Like the Good Pet that He Is to Earn Some Money as Soon as He Burns His Pants (only Sir D and Lady A know what I mean) of Warrick

  5. heh very Good impression of me directing Hook in the traffic... Lady Suz... listened well in the back seat with Aileen and Bowie napping and a nodding alongside you.. :)) happy days..

    and hooky.... i'm going to have to send over to Aileen a blanket to put on the couch to stop your drool messing it up. I have the one our old retriever used to lie on, up in the loft....that'll do it..

    ps do you actually go out in the street in those pants??

    D of Oh

  6. Iggy Pop sells car insurance? A few years ago at a festival I decided he was my bio-dad. (Adopted kids play games like that a lot)

    Lady T. (who it's not ENTIRELY inconceivable is) of Iggy Pop

  7. Well T here's Pappy...selling Car Insurance on UK TV..

    Sir D

  8. So, Quinn the Eskimo called and asked if I wanted to go on a Motorpsycho Nitemare!

    Sure, I would love to (Love Is Just A Four-Letter Word). This Old Man believes this place is Too Much of Nothing. The Times Times They Are a-Changin; time to say Bye and Bye.

    First, I stopped for One More Cup of Coffee and a magazine Like A Rolling Stone.

    Which way? You would think that One of Us Must Know! I said that I did. Quinn shouted I Don’t Believe You! We were Going, Going, Gone anyway!

    A Million Miles leter, it seemed as if we were going around in circles. After the 4th Time Around All Along the Watchtower, I was thinking what is A Fool Such as I doing singing The Dirt Road Blues. We were lost, Blowin’ in the Wind just Like Tom Thumb. Yes we were Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Tryin' to Get to Heaven.

    So, to pacify the Man of Constant Sorrow, I plugged in my trusty Bob Dylan GPS.

    It was on Highway 61 Revisited that we picked up a few more Love Sick Masters of War Standing in the Doorway, including: Absolutely Sweet Marie, The Gypsy Lady, Angelina, Arthur McBride, Frankie Lee and Judas Priest, Hollis Brown, Ira Hayes, A Thin Man, Barbara Allen, Blind Willie McTell, The Boxer, a Jokerman, Rita May (She Belongs to Me), A Brownsville Girl who wore Boots of Spanish Leather, Queen Jane, Sara (a real Sugar Baby), Frankie and Johnny, Lily of the West, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts, Little Sadie, The Moonshiner, Mr. Bojangles, and Mr. Tamborine Man.

    People, Get Ready! We're off to create Precious Memories. We;re Talkin' New York or Mississippi or Gates of Eden or Desolation Row or anywhere else you want to go cause This Land is Your Land -- just not Spanish Harlen (remember that Incident?).

    Looking to the North Country towards Maggie’s Farm, it was obvious that A hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall! In comes the thunder Rollin and Tumblin, Four Strong (and Idiot) Winds.

    Soon Things Have Changed. We were Tangled Up in Blue as Buckets of Rain (very Cool Water that ruined my Leopard-Skin Pill Box Hat) fell and we were Watching the River Flow – The Water is Wide. Down in the Flood, All I Really Want to Do is seek Shelter From the Storm, High Water Down in the Flood. The Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands was crying Just Like Woman; crying Tears of Rage: “If Not for You we wouldn’ t be Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door right now! Sally Gal, I said, “It Hurts Me Too. But, what do you know about travel? I’m a Lonesome Hobo that’s Forgot More Than You’ll Every Know. And I’m Pledging My Time to soon having us all Sitting on Top of the World. Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance!”

    Soon, we were climbing to the Highlands and the House of the Rising Sun. I called my mom and said It’s Alright, Ma; It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (her nickname) even though I’ve lost my Dignity.

    I learned on that trip that It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry. We all said our Restless Farewell.

    Where to next? I Can’t Wait. Hurry up, I’m not Forever Young, you know!
    Our Bob Dylan GPS said he was “recalculating” and finally, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’; Tomorrow is a Long Time!

    Sir Bowie "who has Gotta Serve Somebody and who will be first in line for my Bob Dylan GPS so Hard Times Come Again No More" of Greenbriar

  9. Phew Bowie... gotta hand it to ya i figured you'd add a couple but not the whole Book...

    Mighty Impressed, am now going back in to read them again.

    Hope you like my small word Buddha Emails in return

    sir D ( ) of O