Posts Tagged ‘Dave Alvin and the Blasters’

GC Myers- American Music 1994Last week I wrote about going through some old work and coming across work that had been lost in my memory, work that I seemed to recognize but couldn’t quite remember the how or why of it.  Didn’t have that recollection of the moment that I usually have with my work where I can recall the emotion of that time, recall the instant it excited me and came to life for me.  You know it’s your own work but it remains an enigma, a question.  This is another that I came across last week.  It was marked as being from 1994 and was titled American Music across the bottom.

I have looked at this piece a number of times over the year and know that it came from a time when I was experimenting on an almost constant basis, trying to capture that thing in my mind that I couldn’t quite identify but knew instinctively was there.  All kinds of things poured out, most eventually set aside like this one.   And through the years, looking at this piece always makes me question why I wrote  American Music across the bottom of the sheet it was painted on.  I don’t know if I saw some rhythm in this that reminded me of a generic American music or if I had been listening to some old music.  The Blasters, fronted by Phil Alvin, had a song of that name in the early 80’s that I always liked so maybe that played a part.

But the fact is that I just don’t know.  And there’s something interesting in that, that I get to look at a piece and try to figure out what the artist was thinking without really being sure.  It’s not too often that you get to do that with your own work. And I think that’s why I gravitate to this piece whenever I go through my old stuff.

An enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in paint.

Here’s the Blasters with their version of American Music.  Maybe you can figure it out.


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Jack White has a recent album out, Blunderbuss,  on which he puts his own stamp on the Little Willie John classic I’m Shakin‘.  My own first taste of this song was Dave Alvin and the Blasters‘ version back in 1981 which was great version pretty much in line with the original and has always served as the one which comes most quickly to mind.  Dave Alvin has long been a favorite of mine but has always flown well under the radar of most folks. unfortunately.  But I do like this version from Jack White.  I came across a YouTube video of the song that has set footage of the dance line from a vintage episode of Soul Train to the song and it fits pretty well.  Plus it’s great to have a chuckle at some of the styles from that time, which looks to be the mid to late 70’s, judging by the number of big bell bottoms.

Anyway, here it is to give your Sunday a shakin’ start…

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