This month I officially launch the presidential election season with an old fashioned “talking blues”, like those made famous by Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. Caution, this may not be suitable to view at work, unless of course you work for the Democratic National Committee.
Celebrating Jake Kensinger last September.
Photo: © 2015 Dan Tappan
Looking ahead to December, I am pumped to spend an hour in the studio with Dave Palmater in front of a live studio audience to record a Studio Session Live show for later broadcast.
I also succumbed to a common malady among singer-songwriters. I bought another guitar. You can see it in this month’s video. Sometimes I wonder why Margo puts up with me. I suppose it could be worse.
This Month’s Music
Talking Presidential Election Blues
Talking Presidential Election Blues
© 2015 Tom Smith (ASCAP)
Lyrics in comments below
One of the good things about not relying on music for my livelihood is that I am free to write and perform without considering if my songs would adversely affect my career. This month, however I confess that I am a little worried that I may lose some of my more conservative friends after they hear my comments on the upcoming presidential election.
My song uses an old folk song form known as the talking blues, even though it isn’t really a blues. The first known recording of a talking blues was by Christopher Allen Bouchillon in 1926. The form increased in popularity in the 1940’s when Woody Guthrie used it very effectively for numerous songs, including Talking Dust Bowl Blues. Famously, Bob Dylan brought the talking blues to a mass audience in the 1960’s with songs like Talking John Birch Society Blues. By this time the genre was commonly used as a means for political or topical commentary. I too have used the form in an early Kitchen Musician issue when I introduced the Talking Post-Trauma Blues, which currently has over 59,000 views on Youtube!
If you disagree with my Talking Presidential Election Blues, I suggest that you write your response in the form of a song. Please include a link to it in the comments section below. I promise I will listen carefully.
Please vote! … and take a friend or neighbor with you!
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 5:00 pm, Manomet, MA
I have the honor to be included in Bob Crownfield’s Studio Session Live series, hosted by Dave Palmater. We record in front of a live studio audience for later broadcast. Stay tuned for shedule and stations.
Friday, December 18, 2015 at 7:00 pm, Dedham, MA
Joining a gaggle of singer/songwriters at the New England to Nashville artist showcase at the Dedham Square Coffeehouse (formerly known as Paradise Café). Groups of three or four in-the-round, all night long!
Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 10:00 pm, Needham, MA
I am pleased to return to the Homegrown Coffeehouse for our annual New Year’s Eve program, in the round with Chris Pahud, Cheryl Perreault and Steve Rapson (collectively known as “The Rounders”.)
Click to view details for all upcoming shows.
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