Burns & Warshaw | Good Road

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Folk: Traditional Folk Blues: New York Blues Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Good Road

by Burns & Warshaw

The newest album of authentic traditional and original American acoustic by these veteran masters of folk. Songs that range from lust through comedy to battling injustice. You'll want to listen, share, play and sing.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Good Road
3:10 $0.99
2. You Are My Flower
3:28 $0.99
3. Maintenance
3:32 $0.99
4. Pastures of Plenty
3:43 $0.99
5. Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie
3:56 $0.99
6. Dark as a Dungeon
4:32 $0.99
7. Fair and Tender Ladies
3:41 $0.99
8. The Grape Pickers
4:28 $0.99
9. Chardonnay Honey
4:08 $0.99
10. The Great Titanic
4:08 $0.99
11. Ira Hayes
3:51 $0.99
12. Destiny
4:30 $0.99
13. Who's Gonna Shoe
3:34 $0.99
14. John Hurt
4:04 $0.99
15. United 93
3:29 $0.99
16. Banks of Marble
3:26 $0.99
17. New York Girl
2:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
These guys have an authentic sound and passionate devotion to folk music and its creation in our time, developed over half a century in the business.

Jack's career began in 60s Greenwich Village and developed in southern Ohio. Influences include the Seegers, Guthrie, Doc Watson, Tom Paley and traditional musicians, like Mississippi John Hurt, the Carter Family and Dock Boggs. He worked with Ed McCurdy before moving to England. He performed at the London Singers Club and joined with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger until 1973. Writing and singing with Combine Theatre, various clubs, concerts and tours followed through the 1980s. He plays several instruments, has an ear for melody, harmony and arranging in old time styles. His lyrics are explicit, often provocative, and dangerous. He loves authenticity- Mike Seeger and the Ramblers; the songs of Woody, Pete and Peggy, Paxton and Van Zandt; the artful stories and blues of Stuart Michael Burns. He plays several fingerpicking guitar styles, finger and clawhammer banjo, autoharp and Appalachian dulcimer. Many original songs, like the celebrated “No Time for Love” often strike at injustice, but there are love, comic and reflective songs too. Jack is winning new, younger followers with material strongly connected to its original roots

Stuart Burns, from Austin, Texas is a master of the narrative song, dramatic and humorous, including Erika, the tale of the shrimper’s wife, Alvin and Billie, a murder ballad set in the Texas Hill Country, and Darlene, about a beauty queen abducted by the King of the shrimp. Influences: Frank and Margaret Erhardt, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Stephen Sondheim, The Penguins, The Platters, The Coasters, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jack Warshaw, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bill Broonzy, Dave Van Ronk, John Hurt, Dylan, Rev. Gary Davis, Lightenin’ Hopkins, The Carter Family, Doc Watson, Steve Goodman, Ian and Sylvia, Tina Turner, Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Willis Allen Ramsey, Jaycee Caldwell, Townes Van Zandt, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robert Earl Keen, and, most of all, the great Rolf Cahn.

You could say that both these guys miss the idealism and will to change things of 60s America- and you'd be right

Allbum Notes

What does authenticity mean in the 21st century? One critic says most singer’songwriter products are indistinguishable from pop. We should avoid slavish copies of styles and techniques collected by folklorists yet respect them, shouldn’t we? Should we avoid anything not strictly acoustic? Condemn anything ‘commercial?’ Is it possible to write an “authentic” new folksong? What is authenticity? Do digital recording, the internet and globalism justify threatening the diversity of countless ethnic musical cultures created over hundreds of years with extinction?

Moe Asch, the visionary behind mid 20th century Folkways Records wrestled with this issue, but never really defined it. He would just listen and decide for himself whether a performance was ‘authentic.’ Acceptable examples ranged from tribal dance music, through Harry Smith’s Anthology of American rural music, to Guthrie, Seeger, the Ramblers, Dave Van Ronk, etc. whose living was singing and sometimes writing “folksongs.” Aunt Molly Jackson defined it as "…a song of the people, which is the only kind of a song that is a folksong, it's what the folks composes out of their really lives, out of their sorrows and out of their happiness and all..."

Stuart and I don’t think we’ve moved much further on, if at all, since then. We have to listen and decide for ourselves, if it matters. Sometimes we tinker with old songs to complete or intensify them. I think it’s important to retain a sense of authenticity when we re-interpret the legacy of the old song carriers and good interpreters, because it respects them and because it’s great music. It works for us when we write stuff too. You don’t have to agree, just enjoy it. -Jack

Good Road - Stuart’s song for his mentor, 50’s and 60s great Rolf Cahn, who died in 1994. “When he found that the end was near, he called me from Santa Fe. He said he was going on a trip, and wanted to wish me ‘Good Road.’ I didn’t find out until six months later that he was actually saying goodbye, the sneaky bastard.” S

You are My Flower - The Carters’ wonderfully uplifting song must have been to the Great Depression what ‘Bright Side of Life’ was to the Thatcher/Reagan era. Accurately mastering Maybelle’s syncopated guitar break is no easy task. Earl Scruggs did it though.

Maintenance - This was brand new at the time Stuart recorded it, a suggestive, not to say dirty, little twelve-bar blues.

Pastures of Plenty - The haunting tune, from “Pretty Polly,” sung very plainly by Guthrie, was later used by Dylan for “The Death of Harry Sims.” Ours borrows elements of banjo-led versions of the old ballad like Clarence Ashley’s.

Oh Babe it Ain’t No Lie - Libba Cotten’s second most famous song, about 1912, A woman next door lied about her to her mom, hurting young Libba’s feelings. Two voices and two guitars where this great lady only needed one of each.

Dark as a Dungeon - Merle Travis, from coal mining country, wrote this in 1946. Still popular at Sunday jams in Texas. We include the seldom-heard dark verse about “the Morning, the midnight, the middle of day . . “ some of Travis’ best writing.

Fair and Tender Ladies - One of Jack’s old favorites, put together from the several variations he’s long since forgotten where or from whom he learned them.

Grape pickers - Jack wrote this in 1970 after reading a feature story on the exploitation of California’s migrant workers by Norman Lewis. Norman sent it to Cesar Chavez to help the fight for union recognition he was leading.

Chardonnay Honey - Stuart’s song about the yellow-haired girls of San Marcos, Texas. “San Marcos, a small town about 30 miles south of Austin, is the home of Texas State University. There are no vineyards in San Marcos as far as I know.” S

The Great Titanic - sank on April 14th 2012. Jack adapted the lyrics here from a 1915 text. He added the last verse on learning that the poor were the first and the most to go. Just 25% of third class saved, compared with 62% of first class.

Ira Hayes - Clint Eastwood’s recent film retold the aftermath of the famous flag raising photo over Mt Suribachi on Iwo Jima after one of the bloodiest battles of WWII. The song, from 60s Native American Peter La Farge told it first.

Destiny - This is about a few of the reasons why people (some guys at least) take up guitars. With a bit familial biography, and more injustices which never seem to run dry. Fathers and children may recognise these situations.

Who’s Gonna Shoe - More or less Rolf Cahn’s version. Many others have a feminist verse or two (“sister can kiss my red ruby lips and I don’t need no man”) but Rolf never sang it that way. Can’t imagine why. The rest are interchangeable. S

John Hurt - Jack met this most gentle human being on the planet when John, rediscovered after 30 years in Avalon, Mississippi, played the 1963 Newport Folk Festival. Tom Paxton wrote the song after John’s death in 1966. Hearing Dave Van Ronk’s recording, Jack added a last verse and John’s “Candyman” break.

United 93 - Despite the tragedy, fear and war fever after 9/11, Americans could look to the heroic passengers who stopped hijacked Flight 93 reaching its target. Jack adapted Guthrie’s 1942 “Reuben James,” itself adapted from “Wildwood Flower.”

The Banks of Marble - Les Rice, a New York State farmer wrote this in 1951. I heard Pete Seeger sing it in the late 50’s. We haven’t changed a single word. Sure hits the target now, don’t it?. Must be why loads of youngsters still do it. J

New York Girl - Every town needs a jazzy blues number that lovers can identify with. There was only the old capstan shanty New York Girls until now. The girl of my dreams who inspired it doesn’t come from New York though. J



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