Travelling there (in the mainstream) soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride, but I saw more interesting people – Neil Young

  American culture has a huge impact on our lives. This group is primarily concerned with music, believing the most interesting and exciting forms are found away from the mainstream, where creativity not commerce is the guiding principle. Film, literature, theatre, dance are parallel areas of interest.
  We want to share old favourites and new discoveries through group meetings and attending gigs. Beer and whiskey appreciation is optional.

  Group Convener : Carl Parker

The Group meets at the Victoria Stakes, 1 Muswell Hill, Muswell Hill, N10 3TH on the third Wednesday of every month, 2-4 p.m.

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Our sessions

September 2020
The month’s theme was songs about cowboys
The playlist:
Sandy Denny : To Yuma
Grateful Dead : Me and My Uncle
Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood : Summer Wine
Ennio Morricone : The Good The Bad And The Ugly
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott : Buffalo Skinners
Paula Cole : Where Have The Cowboys Gone
Joni Mitchell : Me And My Uncle
Willie Nelson : The Red-Headed Stranger
Lyle Lovett : Cowboy Man
Marty Robbins : El Paso
Willie Nelson : Ride ’em Jewboy
Ian Tyson : Navajo Rug
Matraca Berg : Back In The Saddle
Blues Brothers : Theme from Rawhide

August 2020
The month’s theme was songs about addictive substances
The playlist:
Thelonius Monk : Straight, No Chaser
Ry Cooder : Fool for a Cigarette
Julia Lee : Marijuana
Muddy Waters : Champagne and Reefers
Peggy Lee : Is That All There Is?
J.J. Cale : Cocaine
Bob Dylan : Rainy Day Woman ♯12 & 35
The Commander Cody Band : Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)
Little Feat : Willin’
Dale Watson : I Lie When I Drink
Fraternity of Man : Don’t Bogart That Joint
Emmylou Harris and Margo Price : Two More Bottles of Wine

July 2020
This month’s theme was songs inspired by trains.
The playlist:
Blind Boys of Alabama : People Get Ready
Johnny Cash : City of New Orleans
Lucille Bogan : I Hate That Train Called The M & O
Guy Clark : Texas 1947
Louis Jordan : Choo Choo Ch’boogie
Ry Cooder : Boomer’s Story
The Impressions : People Get Ready
Steve Goodman : City of New Orleans
Bob Dylan : Duquesne Whistle
Nancy Whiskey : Freight Train
Ella Fitzgerald : Take the ‘A’ Train
Willie Nelson and The Highwaymen: City of New Orleans
Grateful Dead: Big Railroad Blues
Bob Dylan : Slow Train Coming
Johnny Cash :Folsom Prison Blues
Dillard & Clark : Train Leaves Here This Mornin’

June 2020
The month’s theme was covers of Bob Dylan songs.
The playlist:
The Byrds : You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
Norah Jones : Forever Young
Fairport Convention : Si Tu Dois Partir
Tedeschi Trucks Band : Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)
Jimi Hendrix Experience : All Along The Watchtower
T-Bone Burnett & Friends : Kansas City
The Byrds : Mr Tambourine Man
Ben Sidran : Everything Is Broken
Eliza Gilkyson : Love Minus Zero/No Limit
Taj Mahal :All Along The Watchtower
Joan Baez : Love Is just A Four Letter Word
K.T. Tunstall : Tangled Up In Blue
Spirit : Like A Rolling Stone
Roy Harper : North Country

May 2020 
The month’s theme was underrated artists
The playlist:
Russell Smith : The End Is Not In Sight
Hayden Triplets with Ry Cooder : Single Girl, Married Girl
Chuck Brodsky : Bill and Annie
Robert Hunter : Tales Of The Great Rum Runners
Hurray For The Riff Raff : Living In The City
Adam Eckersley : Tomorrow Night, Same Again
Jerry Garcia and David Grisman : Shady Grove
Iris DeMent – Our Town
Hannah Aldridge – Parchman

April 2020
This month’s theme was a favourite song by a male singer. The playlist:
Roger Miller : King of the Road
Neil Young : Unknown Legend
Bob Weir : Looks Like Rain
Jack White : Wayfaring Stranger
Prince : Raspberry Beret
Ry Cooder : The Prodigal Son
John Prine : Hello In There
Guy Clark : L.A. Freeway
Neil Young : Heart of Gold
Talking Heads : Burning Down The House
The Band : The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Jason Ibell : Elephant

January 2020
Group members had been asked to select a favourite song by a female singer. These were all collected into a presentation format and each member spoke a few words about their choice. Here is the playlist:
Dolly Parton : Little Sparrow 
Mavis Staples : No Time For Cryin’ 
Gretchen Wilson : Redneck Woman 
Dolly Parton : Halos and Horns 
The Stone Poneys : Different Drum 
Mazzy Star : Fade Into You 
Maria Muldaur : Long As I Can See You Smile
Kate & Anna McGarrigle : Walking Song 
Frazey Ford : Done 

November 2019
The main topic was a audio/visually illustrated talk given by Carl on the musical career of Bruce Cockburn, which spans close to 50 years.
After a short career in unremarkable psychedelic bands, in 1969 Cockburn set out on a solo career, releasing his first album in 1970. He was recognised in the Juno Awards (Canadian equivalents of the Brits and Grammys) winning folk singer of the year for three years running in the 70s. It wasn’t until the late 70s that he had material released outside Canada. He also experienced a slow conversion to Christianity, elements of which began appearing in his music. He first appeared in Britain in the early 80s and began building a small and loyal following. The big change in his music came following a trip on behalf of Oxfam Canada to Central America, where he witnessed the horrific, bloody impact of US Foreign Policy on the inhabitants of the area, most notably Guatemalan refugees. This led to much controversy being engendered by his song If I Had A Rocket Launcher. Condemned in some quarters as a call to violence, Cockburn denied this, saying it was an expression of rage on behalf of the beleaguered refugees. His music also came to embrace environmental concerns and the wider political world with songs such his anti International Monetary Fund tirade Call It Democracy. He also came to question his Christian faith, especially as his marriage collapsed and he sought to identify its commonalities with other religions and faiths while questioning aspects of the doctrine. In parallel with his changing worldview Cockburn was developing as a musician and became in time to be recognised as an extremely skilful guitarist. In 2001 Cockburn received a Juno Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has released 26 studio albums along with four live collections and had numerous compilations culled from his oeuvre.