Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Song in My Head


I had THE most vivid music dream last night.

In the dream, I was down in the mountains of Tennessee and somehow I ended up at an old cabin where they were recording a country music radio show, featuring Johnny Cash. And the radio show's producers were asking for volunteers to play three songs each with The Man in Black. You had to perform one of Johnny's songs. Then sing a cover song of your choice by another artist. Then you had to sing one of your OWN songs.

There were about a dozen other people there, all musicians, and they were struggling to come up with their three songs. The next thing I knew I was up there on the creaky stage, standing next to Mr. Cash (who smelled of beer) grinning like a fool, trying to remember what songs I wanted to do. We played a passable version of "Ring of Fire," my fave Johnny C. song. Then I pulled out a song I just learned, called "Blue Northern Lights" by Ollabelle. It's a lovely ballad with pedal steel guitar moaning in the background. Johnny Cash raved about it and wanted to play it over again.

Lastly I played him one of my up-tempo mountain-music tunes, called "I Don't Want to Be A Soldier Boy" about a reluctant participant in the American Civil War. He liked that one, too, but he LOVED the Ollabelle song. And I can see why, since it's been the Song in My Head for two weeks.

Too bad Johnny Cash is gone. In my dream he was a prince of a nice guy--very supportive of the younger artists trying to impress him. I have no idea what the dream meant, or what it portends, but it was vivid as heck. I can still smell the old cabin!

Ollabelle is a relatively new band with a great musical lineage. One of the female members of the band, Amy Helm, is the daughter of Levon Helm, drummer for The Band. Ollabelle has a very old-timey musical sensibility, without getting boringly repetitive. And since so many band members sing and play instruments, they put out a lot of different sounds. You can hear some of these songs and sounds here:

Tonight the Song in My Head is:

Blue Northern Lights
by Ollabelle

from their recent album
Riverside Battle Songs

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8 Comments:

At 12:29 AM, Anonymous Edit2 said...

Johnny Cash was a huge favorite of my father's, too—and they had the same vocal range. He also loved "Ring of Fire." June wrote it, you know, but they shared co-writing credits.
I'll burn you a copy of June's last CD, "Press On"—I think you'll like it.

 
At 11:04 AM, Anonymous edit2 said...

Whoops. Correction: (before BT3 comes on here and corrects me) Ring of Fire was co-written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore. Sorry—it was late! I was tired!

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger Trixie said...

love, love, love Ollabelle!

 
At 8:53 PM, Blogger John Carlson said...

Bill,
Johnny Cash has been a favorite of mine since I was a small child. My favorite album was either "Live at San Quetin" or "Ring of Fire" depending on the day. My mother must have worried about her son but she bought me those albums. I also recently (within the last couple years) heard a reviewer on "Sunday Morning" give a glowing review of Ollabelle and that was our first intro to this great group. I will have to check out this new album.
I really enjoy checking out the variey of posts both you and Julie have. Thanks - John

 
At 8:37 AM, Blogger elizabird said...

It is a good thing you didn't sing "Burnin down the House" To Johnny in your dream. It would have ben a bit spooky. Was Barry Gibb in your dream?

I saw on the news there was a big gathering last night at Johnny Cash's house last night. The song in every firefighter's had to have been "Ring of Fire" as the Johnny & June's house burned to the ground.

It is still a bit spooky. Was Johnny a BeeGees fan?
It makes me wonder? Are you psycho?

Whew...I better go listen to Ollabelle.

 
At 8:38 AM, Blogger elizabird said...

Whoops. Correction:...I meant Psychic!

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous edit2 said...

No matter; sometimes he's a little of both.

 
At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Peri said...

I really like your birding photographs! Especially the red-bellied woodpecker. Stumbled on your site trying to research a bird my son saw in our backyard here in Houston.

The Hot Dog Bros. was great! Makes me crave one right now! Hope you get the house cleaned up a bit before the ladies get back.
- Peri

 

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