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Joe West | The Chicken House Recordings

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United States - New Mexico

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Folk: Alternative Folk Country: Alt-Country Moods: Mood: Quirky
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The Chicken House Recordings

by Joe West

PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED RECORDINGS FROM THAT WONDERFUL STORY TELLER FROM SANTA FE, N.M.
Genre: Folk: Alternative Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. F Train To Brooklyn
3:49 $0.99
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2. Don't Let Em Get You Down
3:52 $0.99
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3. I Left My Car At Maria's
4:33 $0.99
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4. Trouble On Your Mind
2:40 $0.99
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5. Johny and Mikey
3:00 $0.99
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6. Cynthia
4:31 $0.99
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7. Well Laid Plans
4:42 $0.99
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8. Pills n Alcohol
4:09 $0.99
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9. Williamsburg
4:15 $0.99
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10. Death In Santa Fe
1:59 $0.99
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11. Iowa Somewhere
4:11 $0.99
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12. Dinner With Grandmother
10:10 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Steve Terrell
New Mexico Magazine, March 2006
Joe West recently experienced a "One of Our 50 Missing" moment. During an interview on Scottish BBC during his Fall 2005 tour of the British Isles, a radio host was praising West's song "Trotsky's Blues," a surreal little rocker in which the singer sees the Russian revolutionary at Santa Fe's Bert's Burger Bowl.
The interviewer stated that Leon Trotsky had been killed in New Mexico and asked whether there was a "Trotsky visitor center" in Santa Fe. (Trotsky was assassinated near Mexico City.) At first West thought he was joking. "By the time I realized what he was saying, I had to play a song," West says. Maybe it's just a testament to West's songwriting. Even his funniest numbers ring true. A listener is tempted to believe even his wilder fantasies.
Many of West's songs are down-to-earth tales of real-live working folks-"Mike the Can Man," about a neighbor of West's who earns a living recycling trash: "Anita Pita" a single mom who cleans art galleries; "Rehab Girl," who works at a substance-abuse treatment center and "likes her men shady." Many of his songs are strong on social commentary, such as "$2,000 Navajo Rug" which lampoons Santa Fe excess. Then there's a whole body of Joe West "Jamie" songs, dealing with West's mythical composite lost-love muse, who has survived domestic violence, alcoholism and untold stupid love affairs. "But the truth of the matter is I Ain't never loved a girl like her before," West sings of Jamie on "Reprimand." And in his live show, you'' be treated to West versions of cheesy '70s pop-country hits. At his CD release party for HUMAN CANNONBALL at Santa Fe's Tiny's Lounge last year, he had the crowd singing along with every word of Glen Cambell's "Rhinestone Cowboy."
West, 38, the son of Santa Fe artist Jerry West, has deep roots in Santa Fe. After his parents' divorce, he split most of his school years between Santa Fe and South Dakota, where his mother had moved. "I went to a different school almost every year," West says. He graduated from High school in South Dakota. Then he graduated from the University of South Dakota, where he majored in theater. After college in 1991, he went to New York City to pursue a career in theater. There he hooked up with a gaggle of bluegrass musicians. "I started playing in subways," he says. "I evolved from being a theater person to being a musician full time." West had dabbled in music much earlier. "When I was in junior high I got very much into punk rock and tried to start a punk rock band, which sounded very much like an alternative folk country band," he says. "As hard as I tried I never quite became a punk rocker." West moved to Austin, Texas, in the late '90s where he formed a band called Joe West and The Sinners. But before his move to Austin, West was hanging out in Santa Fe. He befriended members of a band called TheMuseMeant and recorded his first proper CD, Trip to Roswell, New Mexico.
When West moved back to Santa Fe in 2001, ThaMuseMeant introduced him to a whole community of musicians including bands like Hundred Year Flood and Goshen, who formed the nucleus of what became Frogville Records. West has recorded two albums for the label, South Dakota Hairdo and Human Cannonball. But he's got outside projects as well. He's a member of a Santa Fe gospel group called Bethleham and Eggs. And for more experimental music he's got his contraption called The Intergalactic Honky Tonk Machine, which West says is a "time traveling music device," which includes a drum machine, electronic tape loops and a smoke machine. And he's talking about doing a concept album about an "androgynous time-traveler space character' who claims to be the love child of a glam-rock star, conceived in New Mexico during the filming of The Man Who Fell to Earth. Now that's alternative country!

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