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The Friday Morning Listen – Southern Culture On The Skids

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Sometimes, a man has just got to go for TheBigStupid™. Last night was such a night. I was burned out from trying to juggle too many activities. Just fried. Not even a nice bowl of homemade split pea soup, usually a fine tonic of sorts, put a dent in my…uhm…well, whatever the hell it was.

So I get the idea to head out for a little drive. The Mini had just had a tuneup and was ready to rock. Me & TheWife took off, first to a local coffee/food/ice cream establishment (where I had a scoop of Ginger, and TheWife, a lemon smoothie), then to “the big city” for a little CD exploration.

It was a good trip. I landed some blues (Muddy Waters — At Newport, 1960), folk (Dave Van Ronk — Two Sides Of…), jazz freakout (John Zorn’s Masada — Electric Masada) and a big throbbing pile of Southern fun, the new Doublewide & Live from Southern Culture On The Skids.

So many fun songs, so many references to life on the wrong side of the tracks. Ah…it brings me back to my own days in a single wide. Yes folks, I usedta be trailer trash (or maybe I still am? Is it like being Catholic, where you’re always Catholic no matter what? Dunno).

Nine years old, I moved with my parents to a brand spankin’ new single-wide in a similarly brand spankin’ new mobile home park on the east coast of Florida. Say what you want about trailers, this kid had a blast. For whatever reason, I can clearly remember all sorts of stuff from the two short years we lived down there:

  • The nearly sleepless week we spent in the danged thing before the air conditioner was installed (hint: the coolest spot in a hot trailer is the bathtub).
  • The morning I left for school with our “yard” still all white sand, only to return to an “instant lawn”.
  • Why no kids allowed in the clubhouse?
  • Our Cuban friends across the street, who seems to have my folks over for Cuban coffee and fried bananas every other night.
  • The guy who lived next door. Job: mortician. Parked a Hearse in the freaking driveway. Cool!
  • Sisters Beverly and Lisa three doors down. Mmmmmm.
  • The Miami Dolphins going undefeated.
  • Endless hours fishing using WonderBread as bait.
  • My red bike with the banana seat.
  • What the heck are grits?! Had ’em for the first time on the trip down there. Thought they were mashed potatoes gone bad.
  • Similarly, what the heck is a tamale and how are you supposed to eat it? Funny to see clueless New Englanders getting ‘culture’ at South of the Border.
  • Little League games at night, because it was too danged hot during the day.
  • An Apollo launch my folks woke me up for. Kinda looked like a big ‘ole Roman Candle.
  • Bugs. Huge bugs.

Of course, I really knew nothing about the supposed seedier side of things as hooted about on this great Southern Culture CD. Still, the groovin’, rebverb-soaked music manages to take me back, whether it’s the Middle Eastern-flavored surfy stomp of “The Wet Spot”, the fun singalong of “Banana Puddin'” or crazy two-step of “Liquored Up”.

Hmmm, I’ve got that “Miami Dolphins #1″ single around here someplace…

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About Mark Saleski

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    Just had to quickly say the Muddy @ Newport CD is one of the best ever. Otis Spann on piano… that’s slap somebody good.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    and James Cotton on harp!

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    A lot of people love to talk about Little Walter’s harp work for Muddy (and he was great) but Cotton recorded on a lot of Muddy’s great songs.

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Sounds like a great little piece of Saleski history.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com FilteringCraig

    Eight Piece Box is one of the coolest songs in my collection. Gotta love the SCOTS.

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