I usually put in a good chunk of time at the International Country Music Conference every year, but this year I got to be there for a grand total of six hours.
Still, in that time, I got to talk to Michael Betrand (who, you may recall, is brilliant), hear all about Hank Williams deeply, deeply fucked up sister, hear a bunch of different version of “Lovesick Blues” and hear all about Jimmie Rodgers.
The brilliant thing I want to think about some more before I decide if I agree with it that I heard and want to share with you so that you can mull it over and decide if you agree with it is paraphrased as following from a man we shall call Mr. M. Mr. M says that there were two modes of Southern white boy rebellion in the early 20th century, the Tom Sawyer trouble-maker who was clearly smart and knew it and was clearly destined to marry the judge’s daughter and eventually enter polite society. And then there was the Huck Finn mode of boy from the outskirts of society who sympathized too much with black folks and who was a constant challenge to the way things were done.
Mr. M’s argument is that part of what made Jimmie Rodgers so compelling was that he was the first in a line (that includes Elvis) of Southern White Male figures who would combine the Tom Sawyer with the Huck Finn.
To which I say “Hmm. I have to think about whether I agree with that.”
He had an awesome clip of Odetta doing Muleskinner Blues, which I could not find on Youtube, but I bring you this instead. Points if you can follow my train of thought.
Kathy and I went out looking at houses. I only have one thing to say: Nashville, what the hell?