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The Ebony Hillbillies "Shenandoah"

We have had it so good; as a generation, society, country, or however you self-identify, we are so lucky. We have been to the mountain, we have scaled the floors to the penthouse where we touched the sky, we have parasailed and dived off cliffs, went swimming with dolphins, and filmed our children being born. It is a wondrous life we live. You gotta make every day count, and we have tried to do that, bucket list or not.

This has been a tough year, there have been too many friends and family and heroes to us all who have departed this mortal coil. I got to a point that I didn’t want to write about it anymore, preferring instead to look to the future. Ah, but then another comes along that pulls the rug from beneath you. We got word on August 9th that Audrey Auld has passed. Audrey was dynamic, tough, tender, and joyous, with an ever present twinkle in her eye. And she is gone, way too soon. 

There will be a Memorial Celebration for her on Sept. 6th, at Stinson Community Center, Stinson Beach, CA.   Audrey participated in one of Music Fog’s first shoots for an interview segment, and later filmed a performance with us at Folk Alliance. This first video is the interview from the Tortilla Factory in Herndon, VA. 2-15-09. And the second is from Folk Alliance 2009, the song “Clinch Mountain Prayer” along with Cole Bruce, when Music Fog was just doing one camera shoots and was decidedly lo-fi. We are happy that we have this footage; it is pure and true, and Audrey and Mez, we say prayers for you too!

In music that is timeless, as timeless as the hills as they say, The Ebony Hillbillies are steeped in the tradition. They bring the spiritualism of church with them wherever they go. There is always that touchstone of emotion, of grounding, in the Hillbillies music as a sense of awe wraps around the notes they play. “Shenandoah” resonates. Check out the Ebony Hillbillies in the new BBC Documentary- Blues America, featuring Keith Richards, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, and Chuck D. Their latest release is called Slappin’ A Rabbit, and Music Fog got to hook up with them back in January in NYC. Today’s video is “Shenandoah,” just beautiful, and we offer it up in prayer as well.

-- Jessie Scott



The Damn Quails "So So Long"

The Lone Star Café in New York City was the epicenter of the roots music world for those of us living in NYC, starting in 1976. It drew together musicians, journalists, television folks, and professional athletes to eat some Texas Chili and hear authentic and joyous music. Folk, Blues, Rockabilly, Country; it spanned the genres, and it was a great hang. Mort Cooperman guided the Lone Star, bringing together a glittering array of artists on the stage, a cast of characters on the staff, and a who’s who of attendees in the house. Back then, I was dee-jaying the evening show at New York’s Country station WHN, and we did many a live broadcast from there. FOREVER, I have been wanting to salute this legendary venue. And at last, we are! Lone Star-er Cleve Hattersley from Greezy Wheels and I teamed up to present The Lone Star Reunion at BB King’s in NYC on August 13th, with appearances from Greezy Wheels, Kinky Friedman, Commander Cody, Robert Gordon, Chinga Chavin, Carolyn Wonderland, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Tony Garnier, Corky Laing, the list goes on and on. And you never know who else might stop by!

As we are gathering the members of the tribe, we need some help to find Scotty Palmer. Cleve provides a bit of background:

“Scott ‘Zonker’ Palmer was as much a part of the original Lone Star Cafe as the iguana on the roof or the real Texas chili that oozed out of the kitchen. Scotty’s actual job title was probably ‘bar back’ or ‘porter,’ but we never called him either. We just hollered for Scott, whenever more beer needed to be brought up three flights of stairs from the basement to the second floor bar, or the sewer backed up in that same basement. Scotty, a connoisseur of fine herb (and always willing to share), is/was also a fine poet. In fact, his entire life is a poem. An ode, in effect, to a lifestyle. We last caught up with Scotty at the Wetlands in the early (or was it mid?) nineties, where he had the same gig. There isn’t a person on the bill of the reunion party or an ex-employee or patron who hasn’t asked if Zonker will be at the party. We certainly hope so. Come out, come out wherever you are, Scotty Palmer!”

“So So Long,” indeed! Today’s video comes from The Damn Quails. It won’t be long before we get a new CD from the Quails, as they are readying Out Of The Birdcage for release in early September. That in itself has been a long hard road, and we are so happy they fought the good fight to stay the course, get legal title to their name and make it through it all to record another album. Love this band, suffice it to say, they so would have been part of the Lone Star scene if they had been around back then. Look for them on tour in support of the new album.

Music Fog dug into our session with them during SXSW© 2012 to bring you “So So Long.” Looking forward to it all!

- Jessie Scott