Story 2006-06-14 Milwaukee, WI

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´Atlantic City´´
´´Sam Barfeld on the fiddle….good evening, Milwaukee….alright….how are we this evening, alright? (crowd cheers) alright, let´s give it a shot….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´Old Dan Tucker´´
´´Thank you….alright, let´s test those Wisconsin vocal chords….here we go….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´Eyes on the Prize´´
´´Very nice, very nice….well done, Wisconsins, Wisconsinites….yes, yes, thank you….this was a, uh….a gospel hymn and, uh, originally called ´Hands on the Plow´….was rewritten in the mid-50s as a Civil Rights´ anthem, it´s called ´Eyes on the Prize´….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´Jesse James´´
´´Thank you….Mr.Marc Anthony Thompson on guitar and vocals….alright, this was a historical ballad, it´s been around a long time, I guess it originated in the immediate aftermath of the murder of Jesse James by a friend for supposedly a 25-dollar reward….it was written by Billy Gashade and rewritten by Woody Guthrie in ´39 and, uh….and the whole thing sort of ends up being like they said in ´The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence´: ´When the legend becomes a fact, write the legend´ (chuckles)….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´Erie Canal´´
´´Yes, yes….it´s good to be in Wisconsin….I told myself ´Wisconsin, they´re hungry out there (?)´….this is a great work song, it was written by Thomas Allen, there was a whole….Erie Canal, when it was built, it was considered the eighth wonder of the world….it changed the face of the northeastern part of the country, the way goods got to market and people got around….it spawned an entire genre of songs appreciating the mule….it was known as the years of true mule-appreciation….they´ve lost a lot of status since that time but at that time…. they had something (chuckles) so, uh….´Low bridge, everybody down,´ oh, you can help me out, need a little humming, a little humming….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´My Oklahoma Home´´
´´Oh yes….man….wo!….somebody is, somebody is really smoking some dope down there tonight (chuckles)….I may soon be able to perform my, my contracted functions, I´m not sure (chuckles) we´ll see (chuckles)….don´t bring that near the horn players (chuckles) alright, this was a song written during the Dustbowl, I remember as a kid reading about the Dustbowl in the history books and it was this, this kind of event that you never thought you´d see during your lifetime, there was thousands of people lifted up from their homes, send with nothing but what they could carry to other parts of the country and, uh, we had to see those things again, unfortunately, uh, this is a beautiful song, it´s only been recorded twice, I love, what I love about this song is its toughness and its wit and it was written by Agnes ´Sis´ Cunningham and her brother Bill, this is ´Where is my Oklahoma home? It´s blown away´…´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´Further On Up the Road´´
´´Alright, this is something we´ve been working on, we´re getting closer (chuckles)….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´Mrs MgGrath´´
´´This song was, uh….this song was written and first published in 1815 in Dublin and uh…. they had to write it then and they still gotta write it now and it´s a shame….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?´´
´´Thank you, that´s lovely Soozie Tyrell on the fiddle….this is a, uh, our first, the first official job was in New Orleans at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival….was, uh, exciting to play, to play down there particularly this year and uh….it´s hard to explain New Orleans, I´ve been telling the folks every night, New Orleans isn´t like anything you´ve ever physically seen before, there´s, uh, the amount of devastation, people lost close to a hundred thousand homes and half the, almost half the population of the city, uh, very, to ride, to ride through an American city that, so much of it´s been just literally emptied out and wiped off the map, was something I can´t quite explain but uh….it´s, uh….if you´re a musician, New Orleans is, uh, of course sacred ground, so much of the roots of the music that we´re playing here tonight, uh, came from overseas, ended up there, got mixed up and turned into rock and roll and folk and jazz and blues and rhythm and blues, it´s a city where so many beautiful things and, and beautiful people came out of, it´s, it´s contributed so much to the soul of American culture, uh, that it can´t be overstated, it really can´t be overstated, and it´s also one of the few places that when you go there, it was always still there there, it hadn´t been malled or Disneyfied, it was still pretty funky in parts (chuckles) and, uh, you could just, you know, the sense of the place was still in the streets, you could still walk down the street and see terrific musicians playing, playing on the street, brass bands playing on the street and, uh….so, uh, you know, all those musicians owe a large debt, a large debt to what came out of New Orleans and it´s a place where really the whole nation, you know, owes to keep its eye on what´s going on down there ´cause it´s contributed so much to our lives and our culture so, uh….bearing in mind, this was something that, uh, there was a song we came across called, by a guy named Blind Alfred Reed, called ´How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?´ I kept the first verse and, in the folk tradition, I added three more in, uh, in honor of our president´s unfortunate visit down there where he managed to sort of gut, gut the only agency that´s there assisting Americans in times of disaster through political cronyism but….we´ll let the music do the talking….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´Jacob´s Ladder´´
´´Thank you, thank you….yes, yes, we are all climbing Jacob´s ladder….oh….Jacob was someone in the Bible, he was always fucking up in God´s eyes but God kept giving him a chance after chance to get it right….he was deceitful, he was dishonest….God kept giving him a chance after chance because there´s no free ticket to Heaven, there´s no car pool lane to the Pearly Gates….there´s no backstage pass to get you by Saint Peter….you´ve got to go step by step….inch by inch….mile by mile, day by day, hand over hand, rung by rung, we are climbing Jacob´s ladder….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´We Shall Overcome´´
´´Well done, boys….yes, yes….step by step….day by day….rung by rung….good Lord….oh, we got Ed Manion on the saxophone, Mark ´Love Man´ Pender (?) Richie La Bamba on the trombone, Art ´Hi-Lo´ Baron on the tuba and the pennywhistle, the Silver Fox….he´s single, girls (chuckles) yes, yes, thank you (chuckles)….oh, this was, uh….this is probably the most important, uh, protest song of all-time, I´ve been saying I hate to put it in, I hate to put it in that box, it´s just one of the things that, that it sort of does for people….and uh, it´s one of those songs that´s been sung so much that it almost disappears, disappears into the fabric of, of American life, you can forget, you can forget how great it is or its intensity and its power but it was, it gave voice to, uh….just an enormous, enormous movement….and a very simple and eloquent and direct, it´s so direct…, uh, it was originally a Baptist hymn, it made its way through the Labor movement in the 30s and uh, most of us know it from the 50s and 60s (?) Civil Rights´ movement but uh….this is ´We Shall Overcome´….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´My City of Ruins´´
´´Thank you….thank you, thank you…..oh, thank you, thanks for a lovely evening, thank you so much….you´re good, Wisconsin, you´re good….you´re good….we got some friends in the audience tonight, of course, we got from, our friends from the Second Harvest Foodbank of Wisconsin….we see them when we come out here….oh….they distribute millions of pounds of food each year to over a thousand grassroot agencies, food pantries, they serve nearly 300,000 people in eastern Wisconsin….uh….you know, it is a cliche but there are two Americas and, uh, one of them goes to bed hungry at night….those are the folks that are out there doing good work, they could use your support and help here in Wisconsin helping the struggling citizens….and I also had some friends contact me, this is a short public service announcement, got, got sort of a strange thing going on here in Wisconsin, they´re trying to, you know the death penalty was abolished here 153 years ago….it´s a little unusual to reinstate it after (chuckles) one thinks politics might be involved (chuckles) but uh….you know, most states have called for a moratorium on the death penalty and, uh, however you feel about, you know, you hate to see it played as an election year, an issue so serious played as an election year trick card so, uh….whatever your feelings are about that issue, I, I wouldn´t wanna be suckered myself (chuckles) by some nervous, nervous politicians….so, uh, keep your eye on that issue here in Wisconsin….I thank you, I thank you for your time….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´Ramrod´´
´´Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you….alright, let me see, Wisconsin….that´s the German, Polish….(chuckles) this ought to hit you home, we got some polka music coming at you (chuckles) but not quite, the only thing about the polka was, uh, it went to, to, it crossed the border down into Mexico, came back as kind of, uh, combined with mariachi and (?) music and, uh, we have a strange brew, a strange brew….so I´m not gonna just, we´re gonna just surprise you with it, it´s gonna be a surprise, I expect, I expect a tremendous response (chuckles) first we´re gonna start with little singing….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´Rag Mama Rag´´
´´A folk song by a young man named J.R.Robertson….´´

14.06.06 Milwaukee, WI, intro to ´´When the Saints Go Marching In´´
´´Thank you, The Seeger Sessions Band….woo!….yes, yes, yes, yes….thank you so much….thank you, you´re a fabulous audience, yes, Wisconsin….it´s good, it´s good up here, thank you, thank you for coming out and joining in our adventure here….we appreciate that very much, thank you so much….I wanna thank these fabulous musicians I´ve been blessed to come my way….Marty Rifkin on the pedal steel….Charlie Giordano on the keyboards and accordion….the beautiful Cindy Mizelle, the handsome Curtis King, the lovely Lisa Lowell, the charismatic Mr. Larry Eagle….the unusual Mr.Art Baron….(?) Richie La Bamba Rosenberg….Mark ´King of all things´ ´Love Man´ Pender….Eddie Manion….Frank Bruno on the guitar…. Sam Barfeld on the fiddle, Greg Liszt on the banjo….Soozie Tyrell on the violin and vocals, lovely Soozie….the fabulous Marc Anthony Thompson on guitar and vocals….Jeremy Chatzky on the bass….don´t forget the bass man!….that´s right, I thank them and I thank you, this is a song that we, uh, we learned as we went into New Orleans, it was kind of the theme song of the city and, uh, like I said, I´ve been telling folks every night, we play it with some trepidation, uh….and, but there´s a few verses that I, that I discovered in, in a, a book that I had, that I hadn´t heard sung very often, really kind of opened this song up for me and actually the Weavers sing it on their version but there was a (some people cheer) yes, we got some Weavers´ fans….but, uh….this kind of, I guess those verses really kind of explain, uh, what we´re trying to do up here tonight and, uh, so I wanna send this one out to you saying thanks, God bless for coming out, thank you very kindly….´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License