country creatures - dirty old town

country creatures deliver the ewan mccoll song in a distant drone that sounds like the section of american life that is furnished with ambien and mickey's grenades. organs set off a hazy atmosphere agianst pokes of banjo. the vocals are low in the mist but you know the lyrics. i didn't even know that this song was by ewan mccoll or who ewan mccoll was, but i was familiar with the pogues version. i was even more familiar with this song as a four am, drunken exhortation, rasped in ragged volumes. there were other songs, dylans you aint goin nowhere comes to mind. country creatures agrees.

"Too many times, we sat on the porch during the early hours and sang this song. And goddamn it made so much sense, even though sense had nothing to do with us that year."

recorded in the portland winter, this song was used in the throes of heavy times on a street in an old town we all remember. a song to all the things we couldn't quite point at, possibly to all those people we wanted to poke at, i don't know. but we sang it together. an experience made durable through people and technology. a song that is a reference point in life. a means and style of recording that reflects these experiences. the modern folk music of america.

*** the modern folk music of america denies being a "legit folk blog, about actual folk musicians playing real folk songs."***



to see a truly legit blog and hear more transmissions from the country creatures go to the blog and check out this band/collective art group.

i can't help but mention my friend tbor, a frequent and enthusiastic interpreter of this song.

love ya buddy

blew III - demo with zac jones on drums

no one has sent me anything yet (i know that many of you make home recordings, don't be shy, there is no judgement in the modern folk music of america) so here is an alternate version of a song from my band tomsmen recorded with one zac jones on drums in my parent's basement during a very sad and nervous unemployed american recession winter.


taven and i recorded a heavier version a few months earlier at neil's house in churchville VA that can be heard here. but here i was, bored and at odds with myself and the world, and zac came over and we recorded a couple of songs. the modern folk music of america can be all of our balms, if only we would let it.

redd - with this water

an incantation for ukelele by redd, or kaitlin. recorded on cassette in a disused scalehouse on a rambling farm in the mountains of southern california. the owner of this farm allowed people to live, as long as they needed to, in the many outbuildings, campers and trailers on the property. people stopped in to the scalehouse while we were recording, one man used his thumb to make a hand drum moan like a baby kitten. this is the music of struggle against the modern american life but like any reaction it could not exist apart from its stimulus. these are the things we extract from the places between the modern sacrifices demanded of us.



more at her myspace page.

april and wayne - house of the rising sun.

a folk song by any definition, delivered with husky vocal passion and a spaced out acoustic guitar, recorded with that great democratizer of musical production, garageband. i met these people in an eddy in the twisted murky river of our american lives that was 2,200 miles wide and we walked and sang together on many campfire nites. this song has an interesting history as far as the ever changing gender of its protagonist. while most singers tailor the song to thier own gender, (a purist might argue that only the female-eyed song is correct, but there is no room for this kind of thinking when you are studying the modern folk music of america) april has chosen to sing it from the male point of view. wayne's guitar speaks under some variety of digital effect that compliments his fingerstyle. recorded at april's place in denver, she tells me that they "couldn't figure out how to work garageband very well, because we are both pretty technologically incompetent, but we had a lot of fun!"  another link in the chain, another fold in the blanket, the modern folk music of america.

thus came...creatures of the deep

atmospheric, lo-fi metal from the gently rolling hills of virginia. most of the members hail from clover hill, west rockingham county. i recorded this in a suburban basement, belmont housing developement, harrisonburg, VA, with my recording rig stacked on top of home gym equipment, a good bit of beer a couple of numbers and not many takes. thus came played shows in and around harrisonburg, va, for a year or two, before breaking up amid the pace and struggle of american lives. there were many line-up changes and their practices took place in several different basements and garages. i was a member at one point, until we realized that me and my roland electric piano have nothing to add to a metal band, but i remain a friend. as far as i know this demo has only been passed around to a handful of friends, so i am very pleased to present it. \m/



thus came on myspace

lomax's books

i always carry lomax's the Folk Songs of North America and sandburg's American Songbag where ever i am going. these books have always reminded me that no matter what type of music we play, we are all  links in that chain, may it go unbroken. the modern folk music of america. send me your dj mixes and black metal dirges, your noise rock and your whale songs. your hip-hop and bedroom screaming. here is a collection of songs i recorded years ago, on a tascam cassette 4 track, while first under the heavy influence of lomax and deep south fife and drum music. zip file available for download if you want it.


the modern folk music of america

the modern folk music of america. recorded on all of our modern ubiquitous technology. dreams and resignation in equal parts. music no one asked for, music no one paid for, music that few bother to attend to, or end up attending to accidentally. music that comes from the spaces between the obligations of folk people living american lives.

i would like to collect the modern folk music of america. send me tracks and pictures and movies and i will post them here and write about the ways in which they are folk music. in the tradition of father/son ethnomusicology team john and alan lomax. there are no constrictions as far as genre, sound quality or media type. i hope you would like to help me by sending your songs. also send me accounts of the circumstances surrounding the production of your recording or video, if you want. whatever textual, visual or aural data you want.

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