When I heard the news of John Prine's hospitalization on March 30, I was, of course, saddened. His music has meant so much to me over the decades. On that day, I recorded this cover of one of my favorites from Prine's early output, a political song cleverly disguised as a broken-hearted love ballad. There's a video I posted to YouTube of this very same performance, which also includes some spoken introduction, about how I was feeling upon getting the news of John's contracting the coronavirus, and so forth. So, if you'd like to hear that, and see the song performed, it's here. I did a little bit of work on the audio for this MeFiMu upload, though, so I think it might sound a little better here than on the video. Anyway, rest in peace, John Prine, rest in peace.
This song addresses the situation in Ferguson and the frightening militarization and violence of today's police forces across America. I made a video for it, which you can view here.
On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner, accused of a minor infraction of the law, died at the hands of the New York Police Department on a Staten Island street. Tody, July 23, 2014, I wrote and recorded this song about the incident. Video here.
Here's a live recording of a song I premiered at a gig two nights ago (July 18, 2014). The bassist accompanying me is Keigo iwami, from the Swamp Root Jimmies. The song is anti-war, anti-greed, anti-death. Video here.
Here's my band, the Swamp Root Jimmies, recorded live at a show in Tokyo on June 25, 2014. Video here.
A song concerning the September 15, 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. I made a video of historic photo images to accompany the song, which may be viewed here.
I'm often inspired to write little songs and poems in Metafilter threads, as some of you here might have noticed over the years. I've decided that from now on, whenever time allows, I will not only post those kinds of things as text in a thread, but will record and post them here at Metafilter Music as audio, and in as timely a fashion as possible. This song was inspired by a comment posted by homunculus in a post I made about a statue of Jesus.
Wrote this about the execrable Supreme Court ruling of April 2nd, 2014. Video here.
From the recent, second gig of my new band the Swamp Root Jimmies. God I love these guys. Video here.
Written and recorded on the third anniversary of the Great Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. Video here.
As happens from time to time, a comment someone made here at Metafilter was the spark of inspiration for a song. This was the comment, and here's the song.
This morning at around 10am I was reading Metafilter, and I came across this post. The moment I saw the headline, "There is a man wandering around California with three mules", I knew I'd have to write a song. Fortunately, today I had the morning completely free. So I wrote the song, and recorded it, and now, here it it, four and a half hours from the original inspiration (woulda been four hours only, but, damn, I was hungry, and HAD to eat lunch), uploaded, for your listening pleasure.
This is S&H, from a show we did just the other night here in Tokyo. I'm so digging working with percussionist Habu Hiroshi, he's really bringing the groove. Video here.
Well it isn't the first time I've posted this song to Metafilter Music. Nor is it the second, third or fourth. But, in my defense, I'd say that all of these versions are, well, rather different from each other, in their various ways. This fifth one is from my duo band S&H, and was recorded live at a little African restaurant in Shinjuku. Video here.
Yours truly on stick dulcimer and vocal, Habu Hiroshi on percussion. Our band is called S&H. Lyrics and other versions of the song here.
Last of the tunes recorded earlier this month in a little house in the mountains. Vocal and stick dulcimer. A very prolific songbird who was just outside can be heard throughout this performance. Video here.
Another tune recorded the other day at a little house in the woods. Just vocal and stick dulcimer, and a little bird outside that joins me for the very last note. Video here.
The second in my new series, Songs of the Mundane. It's written specifically for a video, which is, of course, viewable at YouTube. The version I'm posting here features vocal and dulcimer only: thought I'd start posting alternate mixes here to MeFiMu since I almost always link to a video version, and why not make 'em different, right? The version you can hear with the video has several percussion tracks, and, of course, a butterfly...
This song, the start of a new series called Songs of the Mundane, was written and recorded specifically for this video.
Recorded this at home the other day, using the stick dulcimer and a stomp box. Lyrics and video here.
Another tune recorded in the woods of Nagano Prefecture. Video here.
How I spent 4 minutes and 52 seconds of my summer vacation. Recorded yesterday, in the woods. Video YouTube or Vimeo.
i put down the phone / left a bag of cookies on the corner / filled my brain with a soft white light / sent all my 8-track tapes / to my cousin down in mississippi / took my foot off the pedal, and gave up the fight... A brand new song, live in Tokyo, May 1, 2011. Video here.
Recorded live at Super Deluxe, Tokyo, April 22, 2011. I'm playing strumstick and stompbox. Video here.
Many of the gigs I'm doing these days here in Tokyo are fundraisers for Tohoku quake/tsunami disaster relief. This tune was from one such concert. The video for it has been added to the Artsts Support Japan YouTube channel, and it can be seen here.
Another tune recorded in a former elementary school classroom on Awaji Island, Japan, during my March exile from Tokyo. Video here.
Another tune recorded during my brief exile on Awajima Island. Video here.
Over the last few days, at a former elementary school on the island of Awajishima, I recorded a number of songs. This one is the newest of those: written on the train out of Tokyo on 3/17 and recorded on 3/18, in a rather reverberant hallway/stairwell. Video here.
Breaking out ye olde stick dulcimer again for this one, plus the trusty stompbox. Live in beautiful downtown Shibuya, February 10, 2011. Video here.
Live in concert at Barrelhouse, Ikebukuro, Tokyo, on December 12, 2010. Vocal and stick dulcimer. Video here.
Brought the strumstick out the other night, for a solo gig in beautiful downtown Ikebukuro. This is a tune I've posted here before, in another incarnation. Video here. [more inside]
Back in 2007 I posted this same song (a studio version) which eventually made its way onto my 2009 CD release, Roomful of Ghosts. Here's a live version of the tune, recorded June 25, 2010, at Super Deluxe in Tokyo. Video of this same performance here at YouTube, and just for good measure, here's the video for that studio version as well.
A new song, hot off the presses, recorded live in concert just a little more than 24 hours ago, as of this posting. Video of this same performance at YouTube and Vimeo.
Solo, live at CAY in Aoyama, Tokyo, April 14, 2010, accompanying myself on the strumstick. Video of this same performance at YouTube or Vimeo.
A brand new song, from a gig I did on March 25, 2010, at Super Deluxe here in Tokyo. Video of this same performance at YouTube here.
i keep thinking there's something i need to do - and i keep not doing it... Recorded live in performance at Nana Hari, Hachobori, Tokyo. Here I'm accompanying myself on the strumstick. Video at YouTube and Vimeo. [more inside]
Recorded live in performance at Nana Hari, Tokyo, on January 17, 2010. Accompanying myself on the strumstick. Video at YouTube and Vimeo. [more inside]
In the very first hour of the brand new year of 2010, I was on a stage in Tokyo, part of Mike Watt's yearly "We Jam Econo" event, singing about death. Video of this same performance can be seen at YouTube or Vimeo. [more inside]
This song is a direct result of a Flickr comment. I took a photograph, titled Chain and Shadow, and posted it to Flickr in March. A contact there, who knows my music, commented: "chain & shadow" is sweet. get out your strumstick and write a song.... And I thought, yeah, he's right, there's a song there for sure. I wrote one, and recorded it yesterday. I also discovered that "chain and shadow" (or some close variant) is a popular photographic theme indeed at Flickr. Hope y'all enjoy the tune. And/or the photograph(s). [more inside]
For the April "two chords" Challenge. The two 3-note chords even share a note in common, so we're talking a total of five notes serving as harmonic accompaniment for this song. Played on the strumstick. There's a hoop drum, too, of indeterminate pitch. I posted a lo-fi, live version of this song to YouTube as well, direct from my 6-mat tatami room at home. You can see it here.