Americana


 
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.
 

Currently meeting via Zoom
 

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    Our sessions

    December 2020
     
    Theme : Songs heard for the first time in 2020
     
    The playlist:
     
    Bruce Springsteen : Ghosts
    Warren Zevon : Splendid Isolation
    Joachim Cooder : Over The Road
    Bob Dylan : Goodbye Jimmy Reed
    Jean Jacques Milteau : Long Time Gone
    Jake Blount : The Whole Night Through
    Billie Eilish : Bad Guy
    Taylor Swift : The Lakes
    Barbara Dane : Wild Women Don’t Have The Blues
    Mary Chapin Carpenter : Between The Dirt And The Stars
     

    November 2020
     
    Theme : Weather
     
    The playlist :
     
    Maxine Sullivan : Stormy weather
    Irma Thomas : Backwater blues
    Neil Young : Like a hurricane
    Bruce Hornsby : Mandolin rain
    Howard Tate : Louisiana (1927}
    Woody Guthrie : Dust bowl blues
    Adelaide Hall : Stormy weather
    Allman Brothers : Stormy Monday
    Jim Reeves : Just walking in the rain
    Sister Rosetta Tharpe : Didn’t it rain
    Tony Joe White : Rainy night in Georgia
    Ry Cooder : Footprints in the snow
    Jackson Browne : Before the deluge
    James McMurtry : Hurricane party

    October 2020
     
    The month’s theme was travelling songs, preferably by automobile.
    The playlist:
     
    Richard Shindell : Transit
    Hurray For the Riff Raff : Crash On The Highway
    Joni Mitchell : Amelia
    Van Morrison & Lonnie Donegan : Midnight Special
    Prince : Little Red Corvette
    K.C. Douglas : Mercury Blues
    Ry Cooder : Crazy ‘Bout An Automobile
    Randy Newman : Dixie Flyer
    Kris Kristofferson : Me and Bobby McGee
    Janis Joplin : Mercedes Benz
    Bruce Springsteen : Racing In The Streets
    Holly Williams : The Highway

    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.