Bearfoot, "Married Girl, Single Girl" (A.P. Carter)
Featured on the cover of TheBluegrassSpecial.com in October 2008, the Alaskan bluegrass band has since undergone a significant personnel change: Annalisa Tornfelt, whose original songs on the band's Follow Me album were described by producer Gene Libbea as "art," has since left for a solo career. Her replacement, Odessa Jorgenson, is shown in this recent video of the new lineup in concert. Bearfoot's new album, Doors and Windows, produced by Garry West, is now out on the Compass label.
Mickey Clark, "Bound to Lovin' You"
Featured in the April 2009 issue of TheBluegrassSpecial.com, Louisville singer-songwriter Mickey Clark sings a tune from his moving new album, Winding Highways, which is replete with some finely crafted songs from this master storyteller, some of them funny, some poignant, all of them insightful and deeply felt. Here's a live performance by one of our finest songwriters.
Moreland & Arbuckle, "Pittsburgh In the Morning, Philadelphia At Night"
Moreland & Arbuckle, "Wrong I Do"
One of America's finest bands, Moreland & Arbuckle git down and git it in this live version of Ryan Taylor's "Pittsburgh In the Morning, Philadelphia At Night," described in our June 2008 cover story as "a homicidal stomper concerning the conflicted feelings of a fellow who realizes his woman wants to kill him after he awakens with a dead rooster in his bed." (Taylor's original lyric had a land mine in the bed, but Arbuckle changed it because "you know, he talks about in the song how his woman wants him dead. I mean maybe she's trying to put a hex on him—that's where the dead rooster thing comes from. It's kind of a voodoo imagery thing..."). The second song is a Moreland & Arbuckle original, "Wrong I Do," a spare, chilling Delta blues with Aaron Moreland showing a deft touch on the Resonator and Dustin Arbuckle demonstrating a powerful, moving gift for lowdown blues moaning in a lament that is dark as the night is long.
"Pittsburgh In the Morning, Philadelphia At Night"
"Wrong I Do"
The Duhks, "Fast Paced World"
TheBluegrassSpecial.com's October 2008 cover subject, at Joe's Pub in New York City, September 10, 2008, in a set chronicled in the cover story. Here they perform the title song of their most recent album, "Fast Paced World." From our story: "Lead singer Sarah Dugas set the lyrics to "a song of struggle" by the late Nigerian father of Afrobeat and dedicated human rights activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti (the recording takes its multicultural dressing a step further by incorporating velvety Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66-style choral interludes at two junctures). Dressed in her hip proletariat garb-a plaid, thigh-high shift over black stockings-sleepy eyed and sultry, Sarah Dugas commanded the audience's attention as she began, over the insistent, primal beat, "We've forgotten what is sacred/We've forgotten what is sacred/Not love, not culture, not famly or nature," and expands on these ideas as the song describes decries the invocation of God's name to advance political agendas, invoking a pattern American have come to know well since 9/11 ("Time after time His name has been misued/Manipulation through fear/To get you to adhere/Empty threats without proof will only lead to paranoia..."), and scores the malling of the land ("With cookie cutter houses, cars and jobs/We'll all be the same, we won't have to think anymore...")."
The Duhks, "You Don't See It"
Written by Dan Frechette and brought to vivid life by lead singer Sarah Dugas, "You Don't See It" is one of Fast Paced World's most memorable moments. A bouncy pop ditty, the song charts the course of obsessive, unrequited love in wrenching detail. "You don't see, you don't see it/you don't know/you don't feel it/you don't come/you don't suffer/you don't fall like the rain/love has so many faces/and I wonder what my place is/before you get to love me/a few hearts have got to break." Beautiful, simply beautiful, in Sarah's plaintive singing and the band's low-key, empathetic support. A great performance.
Betty Boop, "Vote for Grampy"
Submitted without comment
Felix the Cat, "Comicaalamties," 1928
Charlie Chaplin, "City Lights," the final scene
Of the final scene in his masterpiece, City Lights, Charlie Chaplin said, "In City Lights, just the last scene ... I'm not acting .... Almost apologetic, standing outside myself and looking ... It's a beautiful scene, beautiful." Writing in Life magazine in 1949, James Agee declared of the scene: "It is enough to shrivel the heart to see, and it is the greatest piece of acting and the highest moment in films."
Woody Allen, Manhattan, final scene
The great, City Lights-inspired final scene of Woody's Manhattan. Beautifully played by Woody and Mariel Hemingway, right down to Woody's hesitant, Chaplin smile at the end and Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" ascendant at the five-minute mark.
Lonesome Dove, Gus McCrae Dies
In their greatest roles, as, respectively, Woodrow F. Call and Gus McCrae, Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall transformed the central characters in Larry McMutry's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, a fictionalized account of the epic Goodnight-Loving cattle drive of 1860, into two of the most complex and towering characters in screen history. Gus's last words are among the most beautiful and most heart-wrenching ever spoken on screen, and the enduring bond of friendship has rarely been so perfectly realized as it is here.
Giant, "Jett Rink Strikes Oil"
In their first memorable confrontation in the George Stevens-directed epic, "Giant," James Dean's Jett Rink strikes oil and makes sure his former employer, Rock Hudson's Bic Benedict, knows about it.