Music Monday: I’m No Angel by Gregg Allman

You may have noticed references to “no-angel” here on the blog or on social media.  no-angel is our daughter’s internet nom de gerber.  A lot of people ask why.  Mostly it’s a response to all those people who point to your baby and say, “that’s an angel,” partly it’s because she is frequently very much not an angel, partly it’s because she isn’t a multi-eyed, spinning wheel of flame, and partly it is inspired by Gregg Allman’s I’m No Angel.

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New Music Friday: Laid Back (remastered and expanded) by Gregg Allman

In addition to his time with the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman had a pretty good solo career.  His debut album, Laid Back, was released shortly after the fourth Allman Brothers album.

Out today: A remastered and expanded edition of Gregg Allman’s album Laid Back.

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Music Monday: Suit in the Back by Quaker City Night Hawks

This is a blog about, among other things, storytelling.  Obviously the fiction I cover tells stories.  But one reason why I love Texas country is that the songs so often tell stories in one tight little economical package.  The Quaker City Night Hawks aren’t a country band, but they are from Texas, and it shows.

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Music Monday: Gone to Carolina by Shooter Jennings

Going home to North Carolina is always a bittersweet experience.  Sweet because it is always good to see family, friends, and the mountains.  To go somewhere “where I know I have a home.”  Bitter because it always ends way too soon, and I never get to see as many people or hike as many mountains as I want.

Still, a week in the mountains does the soul good.

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Music Monday: Whipping Post by the Allman Brothers Band

I’m a hillbilly, but I didn’t grow up listening to hillbilly music.  My parents were rockers.  Lots of Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd . . . and Southern rock.  If Southern rock ain’t hillbilly music, it’s damn close.  Southern rock is working class music that straddles the intersection of rock, country, and the blues.  Like outlaw country, Southern rock hit right when the hippie subculture ran out of steam and the country boys started growing out their hair and beards.  The Allman Brothers Band were the great Southern rock band (yeah, I said it), and Whipping Post is their greatest song.

Valentine’s Day is approaching, so I owe you something romantic.  What better than some of my parents’ music?

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Music Monday: Straw in the Wind and Uncle Lloyd by The Steel Woods

One of the beautiful things about Cormac McCarthy’s fiction is his choice of setting.  Whether my home of rural, southern Appalachia or my wife’s home(ish) of the Texas-Mexican border, Cormac writes about people who fight and love with equal vigor.

If you’re going to sing country music (and, make no mistake, Southern Rock is as much country music as it is rock), then your songs will live and die by your ability to tell the story of two things: violence and love.

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