Our favorite Valentine’s Day couples: Charmaine & Charlie, Gillian & David, Norman & Nancy
Written by Randy Black on February 13, 2017
Viking Twang Show 118, February 14, 2017
Good morning, welcome to Viking Twang Episode 118. My name’s Randy Black; happy to see you.
It’s Valentine’s Day, so to celebrate, we’re going to play songs from new albums by three of our favorite couples.
In the second set, we’ll feature Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, who have a new album out called Boots No. 1, The Official Revival Bootleg. It’s a 20th anniversary look at some of the outtakes and early versions of songs on her 1996 debut album.
We end the show with Norman and Nancy Blake’s new one, Brushwood (Stories and Songs), which Norman says may be his last recording.
But first, here’s our friends from Seattle, the husband-and-wife team of Charlie Beck and Charmaine Slaven, known as Squirrel Butter, and their new record, Kiss the Cook. They have an expanded sound this time and are joined by members of their western swing band, the Lucky Shots and some other guest stars.
1 – Turkey Red; W.C. Beck & the Portland Country Underground.
2 – Sweeter On the Vine; Squirrel Butter. Charlie’s on the banjo and Charmaine on guitar, with Mark Graham on harmonica and Matt Weiner on bass.
3 – You’re Getting Better. Mark and Matt join them again.
4 – Never Miss Missing You. Charlie’s playing lap steel, with Devin Champlin on fiddle, Katy Harris on bass, and Cahalen Morrison on drums.
5 – Pardon Me. Matt’s back on bass and Eric Eagle on drums.
6 – Shortest Day of the Year. John Hurd is on accordion, with Devin, Katy Harris and Cahalen.
In 1996, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings burst onto the scene with Revival, an instant classic of bluegrassy, folky roots music. What we didn’t hear from the recording sessions for Revival are now on display in Boots No. 1, a two-disc set of outtakes and demos from the Revival sessions. The album has plenty of alternative versions from the songs that made the album, but we’re mostly going to play the ones that didn’t make it.
7 – Dry Town; Gillian Welch. Apparently written after they opened for Johnny Cash; the Nitty Gritty Dirt band recorded it in 1999 and Miranda Lambert in 2007.
8 – 455 Rocket. Kathy Mattea opened her 1997 album, Love Travels, with this song.
9 – Georgia Road.
10 – Tear My Stillhouse Down. A staple among bluegrass jams; a real nice spare version.
11 – I Don’t Want To Go Downtown.
Norman Blake is one of those under-the-radar treasures: a sideman for the likes of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and John Hartford; a contributor to iconic works such as Will The Circle Be Unbroken and O Brother Where Art Thou; and one of the definers of flatpick guitar playing. He stopped touring years ago, and now, at age 79, has put out what he says might be his last album. It’s called Brushwood (Songs and Stories).
12 – High Rollers. With his wife Nancy.
13 – The Fate of Oliver Curtis Perry (Empire State Train Robber).
14 – The Truth Will Stand (When This World’s On Fire).
15 – The Nameless Photograph.
16 – Stay Down on the Farm.
17 – Look Away, So Far Away.
18 – Daybreak in Vegas; the Countrypolitans.