and the Devil himself...

and the Devil himself...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Southern Gothic Perception Goes North, Lonesome Liz in the Big Apple

Trump World Tower, NYC

The World Bar in Manhattan last night was, at least for a time, filled with traditional Appalachian tunes Lonesome Liz style, (for more about what that entails check the new videos in the blog at Lonesome Liz Music). To my slight surprise, the gloom, doom and Jesus talkin' tunes were the biggest hits -- I suppose a sign of our somewhat dark and fatalistic times.

I was one of several performers who had convened for a marvelous party that  Fine Art Magazine put together. After writing for them from time to time over the past several years, it was wonderful to finally meet the editors and their lovely friends and family, (some of whom had just, ironically, returned from a trip to VA and mentioned that Dot's of all places, close to where I live in Richmond, had been one of their favorite stops). I wish there had been more time to talk to everyone!

A partial set list for the curious:

Wayfairing Stranger, (Traditional/Lonesome Liz)
Minnie the Moocher, (Cab Calloway)
We Agree, (Lonesome Liz)
You Drove Me to Drinkin, (Now Who's Gonna Drive Me Home), (Lonesome Liz)
Fulsom Prison, (Johnny Cash)
Wandering William, (Lonesome Liz)

God's Gonna Cut You Down, (Traditional/Johnny Cash)
Ain't No Grave (Traditional/Johnny Cash)

For the lyrics to my arrangements of some of the traditional songs and my original songs, check out The Lonesome Liz Lyrics Page I can't believe I left Waylon out! Blame it on exhaustion from riding on a bus up here just like that Lonesome song of his, lol. Though not present in song he definitely was in spirit.

The World Bar

Though the trip up was pretty exhausting, getting to the Tower was definitely half the fun. Katelan Foisy, who has been kind enough to act as tour guide, wardrobe consultant and head genius in charge of general Lonesome Liz in New York consultation and harboring, and I battled a sudden, rather severe downpour over Times Square, (so much for the 1/2 hour of hair curling, UNDONE! Egads!), regrettably in velvet.

We both happened to have amazing velvet in contrasting crimson hues and the idea of wearing them, thereby defying Summer fashion rules had, been very appealing.  Katelan's fabulous palm reader jacket embroidered with a Hand of Fatima and Eyes of Horus sealed the velvet deal - there simply was no other Lonesome Liz outfit that could ever have matched it. And then it rained. And I know the girls reading this know all about what rain does to velvet.

Somehow we, our clothes and our hair all survived only minimally scathed and finally arrived at World Bar where I was delighted to finally meet Travis Louie and his lovely wife and daughter, (also named Elizabeth and sporting an extremely stylish fedora). They came all the way from Woodstock for the party. Travis brought a copy of his fantastic new book Curiosities and we had a fascinating conversation about his family history, which goes back to the California Gold Rush and the beginnings of the Railroad, (so you know I was quickly lost in endless commentary, lol). 

A wonderful time was definitely had by all. It was great to share some of the songs Mr. Seeger and I discussed and that  I've spent the past few years writing and collecting. It was also wonderful to have them so well received and also, it seems, understood and appreciated as the pieces of living history some of them are. I began writing about music and began writing a great deal of my original music in an effort to continue in some small way the work he devoted his life to - giving a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard or perhaps remembered and communicating the powerful words and experiences of the musicians of a long lost South.  I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to do that from World Tower - it seems oddly appropriate on so many levels.

Today it's back to writing about Country Music for - everyone keep your fingers crossed - I think the site's really going to be amazing but I do believe it's the most involved thing I've ever worked on. Hopefully all will go well and you'll soon find Outlaw, Americana, Alt Country, very cool album cover image galleries and more there - along with what I think is a good representation of Country's main genres and most important performers.

Poetry tonight... Santeria tomorrow .... and a few days coming up from Fine Art Magazine's office in the Hamptons. So stay tuned!


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