Elvis receives AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, January 28, 2021

Pretty self-explanatory
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Elvis receives AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, January 28, 2021

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:26 am

https://www.google.be/amp/s/www.uncut.c ... 628/%3famp

Elvis Costello and Steve Earle to play UK Americana Awards 2021
The virtual ceremony takes place on January 28

The 2021 UK Americana Awards will take the form of a virtual ceremony on January 28, including performances by Elvis Costello and Steve Earle (with more names to be announced).

The UK Americana Music Association (AMA-UK) yesterday revealed the winners of their special awards: Elvis Costello for the AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award; Mavis Staples for the International Lifetime Achievement Award; Christine McVie for the Trailblazer Award; and Steve Earle for the International Trailblazer Award. A new category, the Songwriter Legacy Award, was specially created this year for the late John Prine.

“This is a most surprising award,” said Elvis Costello. “I left home a long time ago and yet I have been welcomed into many American musical destinations of which I might, once, have only dreamed. As Conway Twitty once sang, ‘It’s Only Make Believe’ but I am thankful for this acknowledgement.”

(...)
Last edited by sweetest punch on Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Elvis receives AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby Man out of Time » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:18 am

Over on FB Elvis has said this:

"This year’s Americana Music Association UK Lifetime Achievement Award goes to the legendary Elvis Costello #AMAUK21

UK Americana awards 2021.jpg
UK American Awards 2021
UK Americana awards 2021.jpg (110.17 KiB) Viewed 12664 times


“This is a most surprising award. I left home a long time ago and yet I have been welcomed into many American musical destinations of which I might, once, have only dreamed. As Conway Twitty once sang, "It's Only Make Believe" but I am thankful for this acknowledgement.” Elvis Costello

For tickets & more information visit - http://bit.ly/AMAUK21 "

MOOT

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:06 am

Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby Man out of Time » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:44 pm

On 10 December 2020, George Garner in Music Week reported:

"Elvis Costello, Gillian Welch & more confirmed as performers for Americanafest UK 2021 festival and awards show

The Americana Music Association UK (AMA-UK) has announced the full line-up of performers and events for its first virtual AmericanaFest UK, to be held between January 26 – 28, 2021.

The UK Americana Awards ceremony on January 28 will include unique performances from: American Aquarium, Emily Barker, Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Mary Gauthier, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, and a host of other nominees.

The event will be presented by Bob Harris OBE, and feature appearances from Colin Firth CBE, BBC Radio 2’s Johnnie Walker, BBC Radio 6's Steve Lamacq, Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie, and an In Conversation with Mavis Staples and former AMA-UK award winner Brandi Carlile.

An official press release stated that a “very special John Prine Tribute Show will air directly before the Awards on January 28 with performances from Billy Bragg, Ferris & Sylvester, Ida Mae and many more.”

The late star has been honoured with the specially created Songwriter Legacy Award 2021, in celebration of the legendary US singer-songwriter’s life and work.

The Showcase Festival – which boasts a gender balanced programme for the 4th year running – will run across two stages on both of the evenings of January 26 and 27, delivering 14 hours of music across two days. Artists lined-up include Courtney Marie Andrews, Joshua Burnside, Darlingside, Jason Isbell (and the 400 Unit), Larkin Poe, Jim Lauderdale, Mipso, Katie Pruitt, The Mavericks, The War and Treaty.

In AmericanaFest UK’s strongest international line-up to date, Thirty Tigers, Canadian Independent Music Association, Sounds Australia, Yep Roc, North Carolina Music Export and Prince Edward Island will all host individual showcases and parties. Independent Americana label Loose Music will also present its own showcase.

Wristbands for the whole event, which will be held virtually January 26 - 28 2021 and are on sale now: bitly.com

You can see the full list of nominations and special awards for the UK Americana Awards 2021 below:

UK Song Of The Year

I Should Be On A Train by Ferris and Sylvester (Written by Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester
Ain’t One Thing by Lady Nade (Written by Lady Nade )
Thin (I Used To Be Bullet Proof) by Our Man In The Field (Written by Alexander Ellis)
I Don't Wanna Lie by Yola (Written by Yola, Dan Auerbach, Bobby Wood)

UK Album Of The Year


A Dark Murmuration of Words by Emily Barker (produced by Greg Freeman)
Song For Our Daughter by Laura Marling (Produced by Ethan Johns, Laura Marling)
In This Town You're Owned by Robert Vincent (Produced by Ethan Johns)
Hannah White and The Nordic Connections by Hannah White (Produced by Hannah White and The Nordic Connections)

UK Artist Of The Year

Emily Barker
Laura Marling
Robert Vincent
Yola

UK Instrumentalist Of The Year
Anna Corcoran
Lukas Drinkwater
Martin Harley
Michele Stodart

International Song Of The Year

Welcome to Hard Times by Charley Crockett (Written by Charley Crockett)
Brightest Star by Lilly Hiatt (Written by Lilly Hiatt)
Already Dead by Austin Lucas (Written by Austin Lucas)
Hand Over My Heart by The Secret Sisters (Written by Elizabeth Rogers, Lydia Lane Rogers)

International Album Of The Year

Lamentations by American Aquarium (Produced by Shooter Jennings)
Old Flowers by Courtney Marie Andrews (Produced by Andrew Sarlo)
That’s How Rumors Get Started by Margo Price (Produced by Sturgill Simpson with co-production by David R. Ferguson and Margo Price)
Expectations by Katie Pruitt (Produced by Michael Robinson, Katie Pruitt)

International Artist Of The Year

Courtney Marie Andrews
Jason Isbell
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
Lucinda Williams

Special Awards presented by the AMA-UK Board:

Best Selling Americana Album in conjunction with The Official Charts Company (OCC): to be announced in January.

AMA-UK works with The Official Charts Company to create the UK Americana Album Chart. The Best- Selling Americana Album Award is given to the best-selling Americana Album during the past year by a UK Artist.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Elvis Costello

The Lifetime Achievement Award is selected by the board members. Our highest honour is awarded to a UK artist, duo or group in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Americana genre over the span of their career and life in music.

International Life Time Achievement Award: Mavis Staples

The International Lifetime Achievement Award is selected by the board members. Our highest honour is awarded to an International artist, duo or group in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Americana genre over the span of their career and life in music.

Trailblazer Award: Christine McVie

The Trailblazer Award is selected by the board members. This special award celebrates a UK artist, duo or group that has taken an exceptional path, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps in developing the Americana genre.

International Trailblazer Award: Steve Earle

The International Trailblazer Award is selected by the board members. This special award celebrates an International artist, duo or group that has taken an exceptional path, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps in developing the Americana genre.

Songwriter Legacy Award: John Prine

This award was designed this year especially to celebrate the life and work of the legendary songwriter John Prine, who we sadly lost to Coronavirus this year. The board want to recognise the importance of John Prine’s writing in shaping this genre to what it is today.

Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award: Robbie Cavannagh and Demin Marriner

The Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award is selected by Bob Harris OBE, and celebrates the breakthrough artist, duo or group that has particularly impressed the legendary music broadcaster throughout the year. This year’s Award goes to two artists who have shown the true spirit of community during the pandemic and made special efforts to support other artists during this difficult time.

Grassroots Award: Music Venue Trust - Mark Davyd and Beverly Whitrick

Selected by the board members, the Grassroots Award celebrates the sometimes un-sung heroes of the UK Americana scene. It is presented to individuals working in the industry (in a capacity other than as artists) who have made outstanding efforts to support Americana music from the grass roots up."

Interesting to see an award added for the late John Prine. I would not rule out Elvis having had a say in this, or contributing to the tribute show that precedes the Award event. Also good to see The Secret Sisters nominated for International Song of The Year, and Larkin Poe and Jim Lauderdale in the Showcase festival.

Anyone any idea what a "wristband" for a virtual festival looks like?

MOOT

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby bronxapostle » Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:44 pm

I before E...except after C

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby sweetest punch » Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:53 pm

https://twitter.com/elviscostello

Image

Image

———————————
https://twitter.com/ElvisCostello/statu ... 8259818497

There are a lot of strange mysteries in the musical quilt thrown over America. My own tiny stitch in this long fabric is about as unlikely as Oscar Wilde reading poems to miners in Colorado but that happened too.
————————
https://twitter.com/ElvisCostello/statu ... 9538973696

Over the coming days I’ll be putting together a treasure hunt of songs, a shoal of red herrings for you to smoke or roast.
————————
https://twitter.com/ElvisCostello/statu ... 4483971072

Some of them are tunes that I wrote in an echo to earlier signals from another, newer world, others were written or recorded on-location, a few of them in cahoots with actual Americans.
————————
https://twitter.com/ElvisCostello/statu ... 9894319104

In between the lines, I’ll be dropping the needle on some records that opened special doors to me, those that seemed like inviting boudoirs, others that were marked, “Do Not Enter”.

Now play on…
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:30 pm

https://www.elviscostello.com/#!/americana-sin-lagrimes

AMERICANA SIN LAGRIMES - PART ONE

Liverpool, 1972.

The tide is out.

Not much Merseybeat that I could hear.

“Famepushers” finest at The Cavern.

Met Nick Lowe in The Grapes on Mathew Street.

Donny, Little Jimmy and David, T Rex, The Sweet, Slade and Marmalade on the radio.

Fading signal from Luxembourg after what had once been the Light Programme went off in the wee small hours of the morning.

The map of America looked like this:

Tamla was from Motown, Stax from Memphis but Lee Dorsey was “Working In A Coalmine”, he would “Ride Your Pony” and your “Holy Cow” down South in New Orleans.

Lee said, “Get Out My Life Woman”

The Brinsleys sang of his “Wonder Woman” at The Cavern.

All written and produced by Allen Toussaint.

Cool as a pistol, sharp as a blade…

Some time later…

Pathway Studio. 1977

A bloom of Clover, a Fantasy band Dick Whittington-ed to London from Marin County just as their luck ran out.

I was the fortunate son.

The crew on the first mission was just Squadron Leader N.D. Lowe at the controls with Clover’s drummer, Mickey Shine and John McFee on pedal steel.

Nick swung the bass-line of “Radio Sweetheart” and a drumstick swept down the piano keys in a “Mystery Dance”.

Took a train past sweet Virginia Water to an old workhouse on the Liphook road on sick days and holidays to meet a whole bunch of Clover, bassist John Ciambotti and keyboard player, Sean Hopper, while singers, Alex Call and Huey Lewis sat on the sidelines or went to the pub.

Welcome to the working week. Days at an IBM 360 in an air-conditioned cubicle next to the lipstick factory.

Nights whispering songs meant to be hollered.

Five months later, I discovered America.

The reverse could not said to be true.

It was a year of overstatement and denial. Or as Joe Strummer might have put it “No Beatles, Stones or George Jones in 1977”.

I had a premonition called “Stranger In The House”

It turned out to be my ticket to Nashville.

Would it be a “Brilliant Mistake” or a “Mission Impossible”?

Could you poison a rose with the same hands that propelled Little Richard’s “Rip It Up”?

I don’t know, but it all came true in a matter of time.

To be continued......


1) RADIO SWEETHEART
Elvis Costello from “My Aim Is True”

2) DON’T LOSE YOUR GRIP ON LOVE
Brinsley Schwarz from “Surrender To The Rhythm”

3) THE UGLY THINGS
Elvis Costello from “Spike”

4) MR MOON
Clover from “Forty-Niner”

5) LIP SERVICE
Elvis Costello from “My Aim Is True”

6) KING OF CONFIDENCE
Elvis Costello from “King Of America”

7) STRANGER IN THE HOUSE
Elvis Costello from “My Aim Is True”

8) WONDER WOMAN
Lee Dorsey from “Ride Your Pony”

9) THE SHARPEST THORN
Elvis Costello & The Imposters with Allen Toussaint from “The River In Reverse”

10) (WHAT’S SO FUNNY ‘BOUT) PEACE LOVE & UNDERSTANDING
Brinsley Schwarz from “Surrender To The Rhythm”

11) BRILLIANT MISTAKE
Elvis Costello from “King Of America”

12) RIP IT UP
Little Richard from “Here’s Little Richard”

13) POISONED ROSE
Elvis Costello from “King Of America”

14) MISSION IMPOSSIBLE
John E Davis & Lalo Schifrin 15 Featuring Earl Palmer from “Mission Impossible: Then & Now”

15) LOSING GAME
La Santa Cecilia with Elvis Costello from “Treinta Dias”

16) SHIP OF FOOLS
Elvis Costello from “Dedicated” & “Kojak Variety”

17) YOU BOWED DOWN
Roger McGuinn with Elvis Costello from “Back From Rio”

18) A MATTER OF TIME
Elvis Costello & Los Lobos from “The Ride” (Los Lobos)
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby sulky lad » Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:05 am

As always, brilliant and fascinating from Elvis!

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby bronxapostle » Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:57 pm

IMPOSTERS LIVE STREAM JAN 26???

sweetest punch
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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:18 pm

AMERICANA SIN LÁGRIMES PART TWO

January 1981, Columbia Studios, Nashville, TN.

Three unbroken years of U.K. hit parade success and U.S. mayhem and disgrace behind us, I didn’t trust my own heart or judgment more than anyone knew my mind. There had to be some more songs worth singing but none of them were mine.

When our tour reached Nashville again, we stepped into Columbia Records Studios, home of “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World”, “Blonde On Blonde”, “Lay Lady Lay” and “I Threw It All Away”.

Of the two songs that I chose for this try-out session with Pete Drake on pedal steel guitar, one was written by Hank Cochran via recordings by Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn.

The other made famous by Bobby “Blue” Bland.

That was the clue: “Almost Blue”.

Months later we returned to Studio A adding John McFee’s electric guitar and pedal steel to the Attractions rather than enlist the regular Nashville Cats.

The board was manned by engineer Snake Reynolds and Billy Sherrill, the producer of Tammy Wynette, George Jones and Charlie Rich, who had started out playing saxophone in a jump blues band in Alabama.

I imagined he would understand.

The first songs we cut upon our return were Johnny Cash’s Sun Records side, “Cry, Cry, Cry”, Webb Pierce’s “Wondering”, Loretta Lynn’s first hit, “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl” and her song that said, “Success has made a failure of our home”.

2007 - Hendersonville, TN.

35 Years later John Carter Cash pointed out my signature on a raw wooden beam above the fireplace of his father’s cabin in Hendersonville.

I signed it again.

Loretta arrived with a box-file marked, “Songs” and tipped the contents onto the table. Scraps of paper, receipts and pieces of cardboard inscribed with fragments of lyric and possible song titles.

One read, “Thank God For Jesus”.

Another said, “Pardon Me Madam, My Name Is Eve” I said, “I know what this is. It’s the first wife’s song to Adam’s second bride”.

Loretta said, “You can have it”, then we sat down to write “I Felt The Chill”, every word straight to the point and direct from the heart.

If there really is a mythical tome called “The Great American Songbook” then surely it should have pages for Johnny Cash, Willie Dixon, Willie Nelson and Loretta alongside Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael and that other great philosopher of piano, Mose Allison.

To be continued…..


1) TWO STEPS FROM THE BLUES
Bobby “Blue” Bland from “Two Steps From The Blues”

2) I’ll TAKE CARE OF YOU
Elvis Costello & The Attractions from “Almost Blue”

3) HE’S GOT YOU
Elvis Costello & The Attractions from “Almost Blue”

4) SHE’LL BE BACK
Jamey Johnson & Elvis Costello from “Living For A Song - A Tribute To Hank Cochran”

5) I’M A HONKY TONK GIRL
Loretta Lynn from “The Loretta Lynn Collection”

6) SWEET DREAMS
Tommy McLain from “The Essential Collection"

7) I FELT THE CHILL
Elvis Costello from “Secret Profane & Sugarcane”

8) SUCCESS
Elvis Costello and the Attractions from “Almost Blue"

9) PARDON ME MADAM, MY NAME IS EVE
Elvis Costello from “Momofuku”

10) EVERYTHING IT TAKES
Loretta Lynn with Elvis Costello - from “Full Circle”

11) POOR BORROWED DRESS
Elvis Costello with Jim Lauderdale from “National Ransack”

12) SALLY SUE BROWN
Elvis Costello from “Adios Amigo"

13) BE REAL
from “The Best Of The Sir Douglas Quintet”

14) BABY IT’S YOU
Elvis Costello & Nick Lowe from “Out Of Our Idiot”

15) LONELY BLUE BOY
Elvis Costello from “Blood & Chocolate”

16) THE SPELL THAT YOU CAST
Elvis Costello from “National Ransom”

17) PLEASE STAY
Elvis Costello from “Kojak Variety”

18) CRAZY
Willie Nelson, Diana Krall & Elvis Costello from “Lost Highway”

19) MY RESISTANCE IS LOW
Elvis Costello from “Kojak Variety”

20) MONSTERS OF THE ID
Amy Allison with Elvis Costello from “Sheffield Streets”

21) EVERYBODY’S CRYIN’ MERCY
Elvis Costello from “Kojak Variety”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby sweetest punch » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:40 pm

AMERICANA SIN LÁGRIMAS PART THREE

Liverpool 1970.

In the 1960s, the dial and the needle had been tuned to The Beatles, Georgie Fame, The Small Faces and the Four Tops.

Country music was “Distant Drums”, sentimental songs and novelty tunes; Ringo acting naturally.

Then Byrds and the Burritos opened the vault. Inside there were undiscovered gems and deep soul and sorrow of Merle Haggard, The Louvin Brothers, even a song that Aretha sang.

Then there was Johnny Cash, as sung by The International Submarine Band.

Then I understood.

London - 1979.

I never expected to meet Johnny Cash, let alone in a tall Victorian terrace house in Shepherd’s Bush.

He put out his hand to shake, said “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” just like he did on stage.

Big as a door.

You might say Nick Lowe had married into the Carter Family, that is his bride was Carlene Carter, daughter of June Carter and the country singer, Carl Smith.

Johnny and June had come to visit at Christmas, as the in-laws do.

John called a recording session in the studio on the ground floor. He suggested Christmas Day but we settled on the Feast Of St. Stephen.

Deep and crisp and even.

The prize of the recording date was undoubtedly Nick’s song “Without Love”, which Johnny owned outright. My own contribution - a few feeble lines on a rare George Jones gospel song - is remarkable only for the thought I actually got to sing on a record with Johnny Cash.


1987 - Mercury.

After that unimaginable season of ingratitude in which Columbia Records contrived to let both Miles Davis and Johnny Cash leave the label, John opened his first Mercury Records release with my song, “The Big Light”. His next record, “Boom-Chicka-Boom” heard drummer, W.S. Holland propelling a song I’d written for Johnny called, “Hidden Shame”.

The song was about a man who carries a terrible secret all of his life in prison:

“They locked me up here for the ideas in my head. They never got me for the thing I really did”.

Johnny delivered the line just like I heard it in my head, the way he sang:

“I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”

The way he asked Richard Nixon:

“What Is Truth?”

Nick Lowe got closer still with a song he wrote one other time that Johnny and June were staying with him and Carlene, a song eventually among the “American Recordings”:

“The beast in me is caged by frail and fragile bars”

2009 - NYC.

Rosanne Cash recorded an album, “The List” - country songs her father thought she should know. Rose has long since stepped beyond the long shadow of other people’s expectations, cast by her father’s name.

Her songs are as deep as a river and rich as a ribbon, taking cues from literary prose and poetry as much as Lefty Frizzell.

Rosanne and her husband, John Leventhal are the kind of friends you need.

How could you not enjoy singing harmony on the old Ray Price hit “Heartaches By The Number”?, one of the songs Johnny had recommended to her.

We even wrote a song together for The Imposters and then formed a “supergroup” with Kris Kristofferson, that I always thought should be called “C.C.K”, like some lost Soviet republic.

Our finest hour was “April 5th”, a song named for the day we recorded it, on which we take a verse each.

It ends with the thought:

“I’m not afraid and I refuse to be I can’t fall, there’s nothing to stop me”

When Johnny and June both passed, I thought of how generous they had been to welcome the pale, trembling young men to their house on the lake at Hendersonville, at the end of the nine-day tear that somehow yielded “Almost Blue”, in 1981.

In 2005, the Imposters and me, along with Larry Campbell on guitar and pedal steel did a run of dates with Emmylou Harris.

We sang songs she’d made timeless with Gram Parsons, we sang songs I’d written for us to sing together, like “Heart Shaped Bruise" and we sang Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone”.

2014 - NYC.

“Wise Up Ghost” co-producer Steven Mandel and I got to unravel a Billy Sherrill production from Johnny’s last unhappy Columbia Records sessions for a special one-off re-mix.

The accompaniment was a Nashville assembly line playing on a bad day; never less than polished, not quite inspired.

Mandel and I turned a few things upside down, back-to-front and inside out, I added a little baritone guitar through a tremolo amp and an off-beat bass line. We even dubbed-up a melodica line but after all was said and done, the most futuristic thing on the record remained Johnny’s original vocal performance.

2018 - NYC & Hollywood.

John and June’s son, John Carter Cash and co-producer, Steve Berkowitz asked me to write some music for “Forever Words” - settings of Johnny’s poetic writings. The first, “I’ll Still Love You”, imagined Johnny’s words in an orchestral arrangement I wrote in echo of Willard Robison - the composer of “I Guess I’ll Go Back Home This Summer”, the second, “If You Love Me” was a first-take, rock and roll ballad with The Imposters.

1989 - The Royal Albert Hall, London.

I’d already sung “The Big Light” with Johnny at a little club in Harlesden and we’d each made a guest appearance that night, when he summoned Nick Lowe and I to join him and The Carter Family in the finale of a Royal Albert Hall show.

Several choruses into the closing song, June eased over to me, attempting to hide in the background. She said, “You take the next verse”.

“I can’t”, I replied.

“Why not?”, June asked.

I answered, truthfully. “Because you’ve sung all the verses that I know”.

“Then make one up”, June said with a smile.

And I did, right there on the spot.

The name of the song was “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”.

To be continued……


1) OUR LITTLE ANGEL
Elvis Costello from “King Of America”

2) HEARTACHES BY THE NUMBER
Rosanne Cash with Elvis Costello from “The List”

3) SONG WITH ROSE
Elvis Costello & The Imposters from “Momofuku”

4) APRIL 5th
Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson & Elvis Costello from “Unfaithful Music Soundtrack”

5) I STILL MISS SOMEONE
The International Submarine Band - from “Safe At Home”

6) WITHOUT LOVE
Nick Lowe from “Labour Of Lust”

7) WE OUGHT TO BE ASHAMED
Johnny Cash with Elvis Costello from “Almost Blue”

8) THE BEAST IN ME
Johnny Cash from “American Recordings”

9) CRY CRY CRY
Elvis Costello & The Attractions from “Almost Blue”

10) THE BIG LIGHT
Elvis Costello from “King Of America”

11) HIDDEN SHAME
Johnny Cash from “Boom Chicka Boom”

12) I’LL STILL LOVE YOU
Elvis Costello from “Forever Words”

13) COMPLICATED SHADOWS
Elvis Costello (Cashbox Demo) - from “All This Useless Beauty”

14) SHE USED TO LOVE ME A LOT
Johnny Cash (JC/EC Version) from “Out Among The Stars”

15) IF YOU LOVE ME
Elvis Costello & The Imposters from “Purse”

16) RING OF FIRE
Elvis Costello from “Anchored In Love”

17) THE CROOKED LINE
Elvis Costello & The Sugarcanes from “Secret, Profane & Sugarcane”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:00 pm

AMERICANA SIN LÁGRIMAS PART FOUR

1979 - North Hollywood.

Just over a month after the release of “Armed Forces” and despite having three records out, I somehow qualified for nomination as “Best New Artist” at the Grammy Awards, along with Toto, The Cars and the eventual winners - “Boogie Oogie Oogie” sensation - “Taste Of Honey”.

Rather than attend the ceremony, the Attractions, John McFee and I played two sets at “The Palomino”, a country music club in North Hollywood.

Our sets that night included three songs that wouldn’t be released until our next album, “Get Happy”, the recent George Jones hit “If I Could Put Them All Together (I’d Have You)” and a Leon Payne song that I’d learned from a Jack Kittel 45rpm called, “Psycho”, a number frequently requested in the City of Glasgow until this day.

Murder ballads have been part of my trade since “Watching The Detectives”.

Some tell a version of real life events like “Let Him Dangle”, others like, “Condemned Man” were inspired by the tone and message of “I Want To Live” and I’m not referring to the songs by either Glen Campbell or The Ramones but the movie starring, Susan Hayward.

Not all such songs I’ve recorded come from my own poison pen. Some have passed through the hands of archeologists, professors and beatniks and into the repertoire of countless singers.

Some have deep roots that run under the Atlantic Ocean like telegraph cables from Heart’s Content.

“The Butcher Boy” is an American folk song that has verses originally found in several English ballads. It was recorded by Buell Kazee in the 1920s and later popularized by Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers.

The faithless lad in the song is sometimes a butcher’s boy in “London town”, other times he works the railroad.

I gave it a stab in the company of Bill Frisell, Don Byron and Eliza Carthy for Hal Willner’s “Harry Smith Project” at UCLA which can be seen in the film “Old Weird America”.

On that same evening, Kate and Anna McGarrigle performed the song in which “Omie Wise” is murdered by Corporal John Lewis, yet bewilderingly, he escapes judgment or justice.

I wrote a song on the same air for the occasion in which I offered a reply and some retribution on the topic of “What Lewis Did Last”.

“Omie Wise” was famously recorded by Doc Watson and, like his chilling version of “Tom Dooley”, his account does not spare the listener the brutal specifics of murder.

I first heard Doc play “Tennessee Stud” on record and chanced to see him play a little Detroit club in the early ‘90s, the kind of fortunate opportunity that sometimes falls to a traveling musician.

2007 - “Merlefest”, Wilkesboro, NC.

I was taken to a motel to meet Doc Watson before my appearance at Merlefest.

He gave me his hand and told me his life story; how his sightlessness had never thwarted him.

Later on, I put my reflections of this conversation into a song about the “lifetime to discover” that it might take to accept your lot in life.

I named it, “Dr. Watson, I Presume” and recorded it with Buddy Miller playing baritone guitar and Vince Gill singing the high harmony.

My name might have looked like an unlikely billing for a festival of bluegrass and string band music but I was playing with a band that included Larry Campbell on fiddle and guitar, Sam Bush on mandolin, Bryon House on bass and the dazzling dobro of Jerry Douglas.

Jim Lauderdale sang harmony on the Grateful Dead song, “Friend Of The Devil” and took lead on, “High Timberline” a song he’d written with Robert Hunter.

The band was an impromptu prototype for what would become The Sugarcanes, the acoustic band with whom I would tour and record until the end of the decade, with fiddle player Stuart Duncan, mandolinist, Mike Compton and double bassist, Dennis Crouch and accordionist, Jeff Taylor joining Jerry Douglas and Jim Lauderdale.

This once in a lifetime, all-star line-up that tore it up from the Ryman Auditorium to the Montreux Jazz Festival, from Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa to The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ sadly disbanded the week after “National Ransom” was released.

However on that carefree North Carolina night in 2007, I took thirty years of songs to the stage, tunes from 1977, along with some recorded in Hollywood for my first on-location album, “King Of America” and one from my more recent trip to Mississippi, “The Delivery Man”, a record I had briefly considered calling, “South”.

2004 - Oxford & Clarksdale, MS.

In a different world, “The Delivery Man” might have been a radio play; the tale of a divorcée, a war-widow and her daughter to whom a man shows a different face and nature.

The narrative is sketched in the title song and picked up in, “Nothing Clings Like Ivy”, “Heart Shaped Bruise”, “I Dreamed Of My Old Lover” - which I put aside for another session - and “The Name Of This Thing Is Not Love”- which, like “Ode To Billie Joe”, takes place on a bridge above a river into which a secret is thrown.

In the end, different songs from the world outside and the life within kept breaking through the wall of the old Wells Fargo depot in which Sweet Tea Studios was located.

We traveled down to an abandoned radio studio in Clarksdale to cut my answer song to Dave Bartholomew’s “The Monkey” - an address about the vanity of man from our simian cousins.

These wires and wherefores keep criss-crossing and doubling back.

I cannot take all the time it would take to explain how I found my way into a trio with my wife, Diana Krall and Willie Nelson, singing his “Crazy, a “Crying Time” duet with Wanda Jackson or recorded a Hank Williams number that I’ve sung since I was 17 years old for an album, revisiting his childhood experiences in a family string band with jazz bassist, Charlie Haden accompanied by the great James Burton on guitar.

I daresay the play-acting and tom-dooley-foolery of The Coward Brothers, a performing alias that T Bone Burnett and I adopted in 1984, has a lot to do with all these travels and chance encounters, not to mention T Bone asking me to be part of the ensemble that recorded 42 different settings of 24 unpublished Bob Dylan lyrics, cut during a 12-day session at Capitol Studios for the “Lost On The River” album.

After all, Henry and Howard Coward's second known recording was, “They’ll Never Take Her Love From Me”, also credit to Leon Payne, the kind of heartbreak ballad that could be a showstopper one night and a b-side the next.

But as my father once told me, you might be "top of the bill", one minute but in time you'll be "Down Among The Wines And Spirits".


To be continued…


1) PSYCHO
Elvis Costello & The Attractions from “Almost Blue”

2) THE DELIVERY MAN
Elvis Costello & The Imposters from “The Delivery Man”

3) KISS LIKE YOUR KISS
Lucinda Williams with Elvis Costello from “True Love”

4) THE ONLY DADDY THAT’LL WALK THE LINE
Elvis Costello & His Confederates (Live On Broadway) from “King Of America”

5) WONDERING
Elvis Costello from “Almost Blue”

6) THE BUTCHER BOY
Elvis Costello from “The Harry Smith Project”

7) DR WATSON, I PRESUME
Elvis Costello from “National Ransom”

8) OMMIE WISE PART 1& 2 (WHAT LEWIS DID LAST)
Kate & Anna McGarrigle & Elvis Costello from “The Harry Smith Project”

9) THEY’LL NEVER TAKE HER LOVE FROM ME
The Coward Brothers from “King Of America”

10) YOU WIN AGAIN
Charlie Haden with Elvis Costello, James Burton from “Ramblin’ Boy”

11) LOST ON THE RIVER #12
The New Basement Tapes from “Lost On The River”

12) COUNTRY PIE
Bob Dylan from “Nashville Skyline”

13) I THREW IT ALL AWAY
Elvis Costello from “Kojak Variety”

14) MY LOVELY JEZEBEL
Elvis Costello with Leon Russell from “National Ransom”

15) NO REASON TO QUIT
Merle Haggard from “The Best Of The Best Of Merle Haggard”

16) TONIGHT THE BOTTLE LET ME DOWN
Elvis Costello & The Attractions from “Almost Blue"

17) DOWN AMONG THE WINES AND SPIRITS
Elvis Costello from “Secret, Profane & Sugarcane”

18) CRYING TIME
Wanda Jackson with Elvis Costello from “Heart Trouble”

19) MEET ME ON THE CORNER
Dan Hicks with Elvis Costello & Brian Setzer - from “Beatin’ The Heat”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby docinwestchester » Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:01 pm

Cool stuff, as usual. This is interesting:

“The Delivery Man”, a record I had briefly considered calling, “South”.

The sequel to North?

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby WallyRando » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:28 pm

docinwestchester wrote:Cool stuff, as usual. This is interesting:

“The Delivery Man”, a record I had briefly considered calling, “South”.

The sequel to North?

I remember him saying this on tour prior to the record coming out - may have even been the North tour. The crowd definitely took it as a joke, and it seemed that's how Elvis meant it in that context. Maybe he was ready to take that joke all the way to the album pressing...

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:43 pm

How brief was the consideration?
Love is the one thing we can save

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby Top balcony » Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:19 am

WallyRando wrote:
“The Delivery Man”, a record I had briefly considered calling, “South”.

This made me laugh out loud- thanks EC

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby sweetest punch » Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:48 pm

AMERICANA SIN LÁGRIMAS PART FIVE

1984 - “Goodbye Cruel World”.

I’d taken to the road with just an acoustic guitar and to locate songs of which I’d lost possession in the studio.

“Home Truth” was one in point.

Its first verse concluded.

“You still close your eyes when I kiss you
And I close them too
But we didn’t open them again, quite as wide as we should
This is where the Home Truth ends”

Most of the songs I was writing had a similar theme of one door closing and another opening, love looked at from a different point of view, without escape clauses, trapdoors or the disguises and evasions that tricky words can sometimes offer.

1985 - Somewhere above the Pacific Ocean.

On a flight from New Zealand to Tokyo, T Bone Burnett took out a sheaf of paper and wrote the titles of my latest songs:

“Indoor Fireworks”
“I’ll Wear It Proudly”
“Poisoned Rose”
“American Without Tears”
“I Hope You’re Happy Now”
“Our Little Angel”
and
“Sleep Of The Just”

These songs had been cut out from somewhere full of hurt. I set myself the task of speaking plainly with a simple carriage of a country ballad form or the kind of song I imagined Charlie Rich might one day sing.

Next to each song title T Bone wrote the names of the proposed band for each song with a fountain pen.

It might have been the gin I was drinking but the names alone made my head spin, among them, “Jim Keltner”, who I knew from records by John Lennon and Ry Cooder, “Earl Palmer”, who I knew played on Little Richard’s records before moving to Los Angeles and playing on countless Wrecking Crew sessions, “Ray Brown”, the jazz bassist with a long association with Oscar Peterson and the former husband of Ella Fitzgerald, who played with everyone from Charlie Parker to Frank Sinatra.

Then there was “James Burton”, best known for his early work with Ricky Nelson and as Elvis Presley’s guitar player for the last seven years of his life but to me, the Telecaster master who had lit up the records by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’s “Hot Band”.

It looked both impressive and improbable on the page.

Over another gin and tonic, I said to T Bone, “So, you can just call them up and they’ll play on your record?”

I’d imagined this new record might be one side of acoustic songs recorded with this new cast of players and a second side of electric arrangements with the Attractions.

It just didn’t work out that way.

The opening session yielded six songs cut with three former members of Elvis Presley’s TCB Band - James Burton, bassist, Jerry Scheff and drummer Ronnie Tutt, pretty much put paid to that plan.

By the time we’d cut five more tunes with the two other line-ups there was little more for an understandably suspicious and disgruntled Attractions to record other than the most bitter song in the collection: “Suit Of Lights”.

By then I’d written and recorded, “Brilliant Mistake” which provided the album’s title: “King Of America” and the rest was misery.

1986 - Broadway Theatre, NYC.

A five-night stand on Great White Way, one show with the Attractions playing the songs from, “Blood & Chocolate”, the NYC debut of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook (with guest M.C.s Buster Poindexter and the team of Penn & Teller) and an evening with my accomplices from, “King Of America”.

There was an evening when I left both bands at the hotel ordering room service, while I played a solo set.

I was having a ball and finding brand new ways to lose money at the same time.

The “King Of America” ballads might not have made a viable set alone, so to these I added, “That’s How You Got Killed Before”, an opener written by Dave Bartholomew, Waylon Jennings’ “The Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” allowing James Burton to cut loose and a couple of Memphis songs from a group of tunes that I’d been circling for a few of years as studio warm-up numbers - “It Tears Me Up”, “Pouring Water On A Drowning Man” and Joe Tex’s “Tell Me Right Now”.

Then there was, “All These Things”, an Allen Toussaint song that I’d first learned from The Uniques recording on the Jin Label.

It would be thirty years before I returned to that song with the author at the piano at Piety Street Studio, New Orleans in 2005.

London - 1965.

I’d known Mose Allison’s arrangement of “Live The Life I Love” since buying Georgie Fame’s “Fast At Last” in 1965.

That E.P. introduced me to the songs of Lambert Hendricks and Ross, “Point Of No Return”, a Goffin/King song originally cut by Louis Jordan and The Tympany Five for Ray Charles’ Tangerine Records and a song he’d cut himself for Atlantic: “Get On The Right Track”.

It was down that track that I followed “Live The Life I Love” back to the Muddy Waters original Chess version, produced by the composer: Willie Dixon.

This was my thinking when we arranged Mose Allison’s “Your Mind Is On Vacation” to yield to Sonny Boy Williamson’s song, “Your Funeral And My Trial” just as it was only my own stricken conscience that would make me derail a perfectly fine Attractions set of New Wave faves with Charlie Rich’s song of atonement, “I’ll Make It All Up To You” back in 1984.

1990 - Hollywood, CA.

Some of the songs I’ve dreamed eventually made their way to the singers I’d imagined singing them.

Dusty Springfield recorded, “Just A Memory”, Chet Baker sang and played “Almost Blue” in his last concerts and the one song not written by Roy Orbison that was performed in his “Black & White Special” television special was the song I’d written for him, “The Comedians”.

Other times, writing songs for another to sing is a little like cutting a suit of clothes from looking at photographs of your client.

The arms end up too long or pants hanging an inch or two from the shoes.

“Why Can’t A Man Stand Alone” was originally written for Sam Moore but he needed less words and more music to take flight.

I thought I’d tailor made a tune for a blue sophisticate in “Upon A Veil Of Midnight Blue” which I wrote for Charles Brown, after his early ‘90s comeback at the Cinegrill at the Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood, where he’d held sway in the late ‘40s as part of “Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers”.

The song seemed like it might suit Charles like olives in a martini glass.

One verse picked its way through a tangle of rhymes and reason…

“You find your tongue is tied
You’re words escape and hide
But she’s so patient and kind
She’s prepared to read your mind
That’s all very well ’til you find
Because of the wine you drank
Your mind is just a blank”

Which Charles boiled down to the essentials,

“I find it hard to think when I drink”

We agreed to publish his revision as a co-write and I held on to the original to sing for myself.

There’s a photo from that night, taken in the lobby of Roosevelt Hotel, standing between Charles Brown - magnificent in his captain’s cap - and Bonnie Raitt - one of the hosts of that gala evening - I looked like someone who had snuck into the proceedings wearing a black priest’s coat and someone else’s beard.

Making up the quartet, his head thrown back in laughter, one of the many notable of the audience members who had come to pay witness to Charles Brown’s return engagement, a giant of man.

It was Willie Dixon.

A couple of years earlier, T Bone Burnett produced Willie’s album, “Hidden Charms”.

Given that he wrote, codified or produced half of the Chess catalogue, providing the rocket fuel for the Beat Boom, The Blues Boom and what came to be known as the British Invasion, Willie Dixon had not been the featured artist on that many records.

The album was named from Wille’s song, “Hidden Charms”, cut first by Charles Clark with “The Willie Dixon Band” on the wonderfully named, Artistic record label.

The song was then covered by Howlin’ Wolf in 1963 with a young Hubert Sumlin on guitar.

In the last ten years of his life, Hubert’s manager and companion, Toni-Ann brought him to our shows and we got a chance to play together on a handful of occasions, once at a Howlin’ Wolf salute on 42nd St. with a swinging band that included Levon Helm and Jimmy Vivino with myself and David Johanson as guest singers.

One of my favourite afternoons was sitting on my tour bus in Memphis, watching Hubert watch his younger self playing “Shake For Me” with Wolf on a recently re-issued DVD of “The American Folk-Blues Tour” - a package show for which we must be grateful to German television producers for capturing film footage of these artists at the time when American networks rarely pointed a camera at the riches under their noses.

The final time Hubert played with The Imposters was probably Hubert’s last concert. He went down to Arkansas for a festival date a couple of days later after which his health failed him.

On that night in New Jersey, despite having to play sitting down with an oxygen tank at his side, there was nothing hidden, not his heart, not his humour and none of his charms.

To be continued……


1) YOUR MIND IS ON VACATION/YOUR FUNERAL MY TRIAL
Elvis Costello & His Confederates (“Live On Broadway”)

2) THAT’S HOW YOU GOT KILLED BEFORE
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band with Elvis Costello from “The New Orleans Album”

3) THE MONKEY
Dave Bartholomew

4) MONKEY TO MAN
Elvis Costello & The Imposters from “The Delivery Man”

5) I’LL WEAR IT PROUDLY
Elvis Costello from “King Of America”

6) IN ANOTHER ROOM
Elvis Costello & The Imposters from “The Clarksdale Sessions”

7) POURING WATER ON A DROWNING MAN
Elvis Costello from “Blood & Chocolate”

8) IT TEARS ME UP
Elvis Costello & His Confederates (“Live On Broadway”)

9) DO RIGHT WOMAN
Aretha Franklin from “I Never Loved A Man”

10) THAT’S NOT THE PART OF HIM YOU’RE LEAVING
Elvis Costello from “National Ransom”

11) TELL ME RIGHT NOW
Elvis Costello from “Blood & Chocolate”

12) THE DARK END OF THE STREET
Elvis Costello & The Imposters - from “The Clarksdale Sessions”

13) ALL THESE THINGS
The Uniques from “Golden Hits”

14) SITTIN’ & THINKIN’
Charlie Rich from “The Fabulous Charlie Rich”

15) THERE WON’T BE ANYMORE
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - from “Almost Blue”

16) FEEL LIKE GOING HOME (Demo)
Charlie Rich from “The Essential Charlie Rich”

17) I’LL MAKE IT ALL UP TO YOU
Jerry Lee Lewis from “Original Golden Vol.2”

18) I WONDER HOW SHE KNOWS
Charles Brown - from “Someone To Love”

19) HIDDEN CHARMS
Howling Wolf from “The Chess Box”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Elvis recieves AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Postby jmm » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:28 pm

The show in NJ with Hubert Sumlin was great and especially memorable to me since I got to share the stage and spin the song wheel
I too am a limited, primitive kind of man

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Re: Elvis receives AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, January 28, 2021

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:11 pm

AMERICANA SIN LÁGRIMAS PART SIX

1992 - Dublin to Nashville.

“Interview” magazine asked me to have a conversation with George Jones. The transatlantic dialogue ahead of George’s scheduled “hair appointment” ranged from telling me about his own brand of pet food to discussing the origins of his unique vocal phrasing.

It had been twenty years since we’d sung “Stranger In The House” together for George’s “My Very Special Guests” album.

The cover of the album was an arrangement of canvas director’s chairs emblazoned with the names of the “Special Guests”: Tammy Wynette, James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Dennis Locorriere and Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook and The Staple Singers.

I was obviously regarded as the wild card choice to this collection of country and hit parade stars. My director’s chair was placed on its side, next to an empty beer can.

Truthfully, the idea of the record was better than the reality. It was recorded over an extended dark period in George’s long struggle with drink and drugs, not to mention legal woes regarding unpaid alimony.

1981 - Los Angeles.

The early HBO special on which I was also a guest, reprised appearances by Tammy, Emmylou and Waylon Jennings, along with his wife Jessi Colter, Tanya Tucker and George and Tammy’s daughter, Georgette Jones.

I flew all the way to Los Angeles only to discover I had contracted mumps. A quick chilly trip to the doctor revealed that nothing other than my vanity would be afflicted and nothing was going to stop me from singing with George Jones that couldn’t be fixed by the shadow of a wide-brimmed hat.

Quarantined from the rest of the bill, I was installed in an Airstream trailer which was serving as George’s dressing room in the parking lot. Thankfully, he had immunity due to childhood infection.

I plucked up the courage to mention I was about to go to Nashville to record the album that would become “Almost Blue” and that I was going to cut his 1966 hit “Brown To Blue”.

George stopped what he was doing and sang a few lines. Then I said to him we might also record, “Colour Of The Blues” and he sang that too, likewise “Good Year For The Roses”.

Although I never would have dared touch the song, I told George that I might one day sing, “The Window Up Above” and he was singing the opening line…

“I’ve been living a new way of the life that I love so…”

When a knock came on the trailer door and Tanya Tucker burst into the room and my private George Jones concert came to an abrupt end.

1992 - Dublin to Nashville.

Before concluding our “Interview” conversation, I asked George Jones a question. Would he ever look beyond country songwriters for numbers that he would make his own. I mentioned Hoagy Carmichael. I mentioned Tom Waits, specifically he and Kathleen Brennan’s beautiful ballad, “You’re Innocent When You Dream”.

George told me he’d need someone to point the way to such songs and this was all the cue I needed to cut twelve numbers in one session - with the rhythm section, Pete Thomas and my initial thought for the Attractions’ bass chair, Paul “Bassman” Riley - songs by Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, Bruce Springsteen, T Bone Burnett and George and Ira Gershwin.

The idea never got any further than that demo reel but if you try hard you might imagine George Jones singing, Paul Simon’s “Congratulations”.

If I had found a vocation as a travel writer, I doubt I would have ventured as far from home.

I have not lived full-time in the country of my birth for over thirty years, these last fifteen or more have been spent in North America.

This does, of course not make all or any of my writing into “Americana”, although so much in the music I have conjured with or conjured up and many of the tales told in the verses are a kind of radar for emotions or the instincts or replies to a series of signals sent out a long time ago that have been chattering and echoing in a two-way a conversation ever since.

Very few crime writers are ever convicted of murder and it is obvious that some heroic or romantic actors lack charm or valour without a screenwriter’s word to give them courage or magnetism.

When you try to write out your feelings, sometimes you might only fashion a series of dress-up dolls for the toy theatre of your heart’s desire or absence.

It’s no accident that I alluded to Joe South’s “The Games People Play” in the solo of “Different Finger”, a country song buried deep in the album “Trust”.

That song imagined the convenience of snipping the ring finger off that particular straying spouse to cover motives and consequences.

Other times, a song is closing a book that you had opened recklessly, many years before. Such songs were, “In Another Room” and “Either Side Of The Same Town” both written in 2002, are perhaps the flip side of “I’ll Wear It Proudly” or “I Want You”.

I found the former too sad to sing until one unguarded afternoon in Clarksdale, three years later, the latter was a song, too close to home, so initially I gave it to producer, Gerry Ragavoy to arrange for Howard Tate’s “Rediscovered” album.

Jerry credits laid claim to “Time Is On My Side”. He also wrote Lorraine Ellison’s, “Stay With Me Baby” and “Piece Of My Heart” which like the Garnett Mimms classic, “I’ll Take Good Care Of You” - which I’d heard Nick Lowe cover back in 1974 - Ragavoy had written with the great Bert Berns.

He also wrote most of the songs on Howard’s timeless Verve Record release “Get It While You Can”, several of them with Doc Pomus’ lyrical partner, Mort Shuman.


Given his credentials, I took Jerry’s word for it when he told me that my rather elaborate opening statement of “Either Side Of The Same Town” would not suit Howard as well as the the refrain, so we settled on a co-writing credit for the final draft, which took a plainer, less alarming view of the first verse.

2003-6 - Nashville.

Lucinda Williams and I were briefly label mates on the Nashville imprint Lost Highway. We were also the featured artists on the first ever episode of the long-running, VH-1/CMT show, “Crossroads”.

More particularly, every thing I love and admire about Lucinda and her writing is embodied in the title “There’s A Story In Your Voice”, a song we sang together on “The Delivery Man”.

Lu has the ear for perfect ear for verse that I assume she inherited in part from her poet father, the emotional economy that is only otherwise found in that other Wiliams, Hank and is “just a rock and roll singer” in the way Keith Richards is “just a rock and roll guitar player”.

Any time she calls, I’d answer; to take my half of the “Jailhouse Tears” duet or be the lead guitarist on “Seeing Black” from her album “Blessed”.

Aside from the songs we sing alone on that T.V. special, you might somewhere find a duet on the Jagger/Richards song “Wild Horse” and us tearing it up on Lucinda’s great song “Changed The Locks”.

It is another thing entirely to sing with Emmylou Harris. To duet with her is to be visited by grace and beauty, even if all you have to offer is a scrape and rasp of an exhausted voice.

I wrote “Heart Shaped Bruise” with the hope Emmy would join me on a song with a bridge that tried light up the torch like those Felice and Boudleaux Bryant’s tunes that she had long ago taken from the Everly Brothers with Gram Parsons.

It was Emmy that allowed me to make my Grand Ol’ Opry debut as her guest, in an impromptu vocal group with Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings and the support of multi-instrumentalist, Fats Kaplin and bassist, Viktor Krauss, whose sister, Alison had performed, “The Scarlet Tide” - a song written with T Bone Burnett for the end titles of the movie “Cold Mountain” - and taken it all the way to the Oscars before losing out to a song about pixies.

The Grand Ol’ Opry of today is not always one Roy Acuff would have recognized but I was fortunate to be there on a night when Little Jimmy Dickens was performing as was Bill Anderson. He was the composer of a tune I included in my short set after which Charlie Louvin appeared backstage, declaring, “I heard you singing that dirty song”, meaning, the Louvin Brothers hit, “Must You Throw Dirt In My Face” on which Emmylou, Gillian, David and I had harmonized around one microphone while the television company broadcast our performance in black and white to complete the impression of time travel.

I was back in Nashville a few months later on my way to the Bonnaroo Festival with Allen Toussaint, The Crescent City Horns and The Imposters.

I stopped into Mark Nevers’ house, where he was recording a Charlie Louvin album on which George Jones was the duet partner on “That Dirty Song”. Charlie’s other guests were Jeff Tweedy, Will Oldham, and perhaps a distant cousin of mine, Alex McManus from Bright Eyes as well as Bobby Bare Snr. and Tom T. Hall.

My assignment would have been pretty daunting at the best of times. I was to harmonize on Charlie and Ira’s “When I Stop Dreaming” a big Louvin hit, re-made by Ray Charles on his classic album, “The Modern Sounds Of Country Music” and then again by Emmylou Harris with Rodney Crowell for her third album, “Luxury Liner”.

Not the ideal song to sing when you’ve been fronting a nine-piece R&B band night after night and you are taking the high harmony.

I cracked the top note of my first take.

“Meet me in the kitchen”, came Charlie’s voice over the talk-back from the “control booth” in the dining room, while my vocal booth was actually in the back parlour.

By the time I got to the kitchen sink, Charlie already had a loaded tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce to administer.

“Drink this”, he said, “Ira swore by it and always kept a bottle in his mandolin case for vocal strain”.

I don’t quite understand the science or mechanics of this potion as a cure but perhaps your vocal cords just say, “Fuck it!” and and get away from each other long enough to get a true note out, as I hit my next pass dead-on.

2002 - Hollywood.

Joe Henry was producing “Don’t Give Up On Me”, Solomon Burke singing a repertoire that Joe had curated or commissioned including a Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan song “Diamond In My Mind:, a number by Brian Wilson and Andy Paley, a rare Bob Dylan tune and a title track by Dan Penn.

The overseas contributions included songs by Van Morrison and Nick Lowe along with a tune that I had modeled on the O.V. Wright song on the theme of the court of love: “Eight Men And Four Woman”.

I visited Sound Factory Studio to witness the recording of the vocal session for “The Judgment” but discovered it contained a tricky turnaround that was tripping up Solomon’s flow.

“The King of Rock & Soul”, ”The Bishop of Rock Soul” summoned me to the vocal booth to illustrate how the chorus should be phrased, no easy task with his genial but expansive presence at such close proximity.

Once I’d laid down a guide, Solomon had me stay next to the mic with him, as a conductor, while he completed the vocal performance. We parted with wild notions that Solomon had about developing an entire opera from this one lyric.

2003 - The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills. CA.

Half of the songwriting and publishing industry was gathered for the annual, ASCAP Pop Awards - that is the 50% of the business that was not signed to BMI, the other main performing rights organization, a few of whom had snuck in wearing wigs, dark glasses and false noses.

The notable attendees included Stevie Wonder and honorees, Nelly, Linda Perry and Puddle Of Mudd.

I was receiving a non-competitive award from Burt Bacharach and ASCAP President, Marilyn Bergman, who with her husband, Alan, had written the lyrics of “The Windmills Of Your Mind”, “The Way We Were” and, for that matter, “Champion, The Wonder Horse” among their many volumes of hit titles.

Solomon Burke - backed a band led by Joe Henry on guitar, a rhythm section of Pete Thomas and David Pilch and Patrick Warren at the piano with a concert harpist from Solomon’s ensemble - launched dramatically into the “order in court” declaration with which my song opens:

“The accused will rise to be torn in two
Guilty of nothing but loving you
This is the judgment”

And that was just about the last word Solomon uttered that can be found in the lyric.

Nor did he, strictly speaking, sing any more of my melody.

While Joe signaled frantically to “play the arrangement”, Pete Thomas, calling on his years of expecting the unexpected from me, shook his head, indicating, “No, follow the singer”.

Many people would call what happened next, “a road-crash” but to my eye and ear, Solomon simply commanded the stage as he always did with spirit abandon and panache, delivering an impromptu sermon on topics of love, transgression and “The Judgment”.

Joe told me later that as they were taking the stage, Solomon had turned to him and said to him sheepishly, “You know I don’t know the song” and Joe had thought he was making a joke.

I don’t think Solomon Burke ever joked about forgiveness.

To be continued…


1) CONGRATULATIONS
(Paul Simon) Elvis Costello from “Kojak Variety”

2) SHOES WITHOUT HEELS
Elvis Costello from “Out Of Our Idiot"

3) THE JUDGEMENT
Solomon Burke from “Don’t Give Up On Me”

4) DIFFERENT FINGER
Elvis Costello & The Attractions from “Trust”

5) DON’T GET ABOVE YOUR RAISING
Ricky Skaggs & Elvis Costello - from “Live In London”

6) I LOST YOU
Elvis Costello from “National Ransom”

7) BLUES KEEP CALLING
Elvis Costello - from “Almost Blue”

8) JAILHOUSE TEARS
Lucinda Williams & Elvis Costello from “Little Honey”

9) THERE’S A STORY IN YOUR VOICE
Elvis Costello & Lucinda Williams from “The Delivery Man”

10) EITHER SIDE OF THE SAME TOWN
Howard Tate - from “Rediscovered”

11) WILD HORSES
Lucinda Williams & Elvis Costello from "CMT Crossroads"

12) MUST YOU THROW DIRT IN MY FACE
Elvis Costello from “Kojak Variety”

13) WHEN I STOP DREAMING
Charlie Louvin with Elvis Costello from “Charlie Louvin"

14) FIVE SMALL WORDS
Elvis Costello from “National Ransom”

15) HEART SHAPED BRUISE
Elvis Costello & Emmylou Harris from “The Delivery Man”

16) HOW MUCH I LIED
Gram Parsons from “G.P.”

17) I’M YOUR TOY
Elvis Costello & The Attractions and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

18) I’M TOO FAR GONE
Bobby “Blue” Bland from “Ask Me ‘Bout Nothing"

19) SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Elvis Costello - “Grievous Angel - A Tribute To Gram Parsons”

20) THE SCARLET TIDE
Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings - "Live At The Grand Ol’ Opry"
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
Posts: 4639
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:49 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Elvis receives AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, January 28, 2021

Postby sweetest punch » Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:20 am

AMERICANA SIN LÁGRIMAS PART SEVEN

1933 - Birkenhead.

My grandfather, Pat McManus came home from sea after being away for much of his son Ronald’s first five years of childhood.

My first clear memory of my own father was of him in the hallway of our basement flat in West Kensington, clutching a homecoming gift…

The fact that my family turned out to be traveling salesmen of music was the result of an industrial accident.

Young Pat McManus was orphaned by his mother’s death in 1906, from T.B. and the exhaustion of raising five young kids alone, eight years after their father was killed on the North Float Docks in Birkenhead.

Pat learned the cornet and French horn in a Catholic orphanage in North Hyde and the trumpet and bugle in the Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, serving ten years from 1912 in the Royal Irish Regiment, posted missing after being severely wounded just before the Battle of Cambrai, and then serving in India before his discharge at Beggar’s Bush Barracks, Dublin in 1922.

He quickly traded his army uniform for that of a ship’s musician, sailing on the White Star liners for the next ten years, some minor routes, sailing out of Liverpool as well as the New York crossing, departing from Southampton.

His travels afforded him some decent clothes and furniture for his wife Molly and an album of snapshots taken on leave in New York Central Park and Coney Island.

He also came home with a collection of autographed publicity photos; silent movie stars, boxing champions and Duke Ellington, who was a passenger on one of Pat’s last journeys on S.S Olympic in 1933, heading to London for his BBC broadcast debut.

Once ashore, Pat found work for a musician was limited to the Argyle Theatre, Birkenhead or the pit at The Futurist cinema on Lime Street until the success of “talkies” meant that the accompaniment of a small orchestra for silent pictures was no longer needed.

My grandmother, Molly, cursed the name of Al Jolson for putting her husband on a corner playing for pennies.

Still, my Dad followed his father into music, changing his name to Ross, as it sounded more like the jazz musician he aspired to be. The cues from Louis Armstrong soon gave way to the new music of Dizzy Gillespie.


He was “Birkenhead’s Own Be-Bop” player.

There wasn’t a lot of competition.

He met my mother - a girl from Liverpool 8 - across the counter of the record shop where she worked. She made a point of knowing about the new releases, gave her own money to a seaman friend working his passage to New York in order to smuggle in rare Lenny Tristano records that her employer would not stock due to excessive import duty.

After they married in London, Ross came to the realization that there was a more reliable living to be made as a dance band singer and eventually he put away his horn until he took to the road as a club entertainer from the late 60s, covering thousands of miles alone, playing songs of his own choosing in working men’s clubs until his eventual retirement in the early 90s.

For fifteen years from 1955, his schedule was that of any working man, only he was on an evening shift at the Hammersmith Palais between BBC radio broadcasts, summer tours of Irish dancehalls, Bridlington Spa, Trentham Ballroom and The Winter Gardens at Cheltenham, all of which still drew huge crowds of strict tempo dancers.

The radio and record player offered me magic, mystery and occasionally my father’s voice but music also meant distance, travel, heartbreak and eventually that my Dad lived at another address.

My lessons did nothing to connect the name of Shakespeare to the music of his poetry, it was just another puzzle, like algebra, that seemed to have no purpose in real life.

Nor was it made obvious that the commentary in Dickens served the same function for Victorian life as the paperback writers, the kitchen sink drama and “The Play For Today” did for the 1960s?

I felt nothing for “hey nonny no” verses about the plight of the plough-boy or the weaver. The English folk songs that I could recognize were called, “Waterloo Sunset” or “Penny Lane”.

What else could I glean about adult life that was not contained in the thrill and sorrow of records? Well, perhaps squalor and conflicted loyalties of dour spy movies, the deceptions and tawdry glamour of detective fiction, the sex and ambition of “A Room At The Top”, the cloying claustrophobia of BBC Light Entertainment.


By the 1970s, a road from “Tuscon to Tucumcari” sounded inviting, even though this too was a song of perseverance. John Prine’s portraits of loneliness or Randy Newman’s grotesques, set to New Orleans and ragtime piano motifs were as attractive as they were impossible to master on the guitar.

That didn’t stop me from attempting to decode these signals. I wrote what little my fingers would allow under the hum of the Heathrow flight path.

“Jump Up”, “Poison Moon” and “No Star” - songs I wrote when I was little more than 20 years old - aspired to sound arcane, in the manner of these American writers that I admired so much and I used these songs to express the way it felt on the outskirts of town, on the outside of everything that I imagined happening elsewhere.

Yet, I’d stand them up next to “Voice In The Dark”, written ten years ago or “Hey Clockface”, which picks a genial argument with the face of time, a song recorded not a moment too soon, in 2020.

I’ve known enough of the comfort sought in desperate hours to write these songs of a vaudeville life, that Archie Rice thrown at a summer of loveless weddings, the sad masks of “Ghost Train”, “God’s Comic” and “Mr. Feathers”.

Some of these songs contained personal revelations which were easier to face after raiding the dress-up trunk on the long and winding road from “Sulphur to Sugarcane”, pulling on the itchy, dank suit of “Jimmie Standing In The Rain”, an account of three generations of traveling musicians, compressed within the frame of an imaginary “Forgotten Man”.

His bitterness at the unkindness and ingratitude of strangers is something I tried to admit in the lines,

“And there's still life in your body
But most of it's leaving
Can't you give us all a break
Can't you stop breathing”

Before donning a dazzling “Suit Of Lights” and stepping out of the haunted wings into the false confidence of applause and the shared dust, hung in the shaft of a misdirected beam.

To be continued...


1) SULPHUR TO SUGARCANE
Elvis Costello & The Sugarcanes from “Secret, Profane & Sugarcane”

2) GHOST TRAIN
Elvis Costello from “Taking Liberties”

3) I CAN’T SAY HER NAME
Elvis Costello from “Hey Clockface”

4) JUMP UP
Elvis Costello from “My Aim Is True”

5) VOICE IN THE DARK
Elvis Costello from “National Ransom”

6) POISON MOON
Elvis Costello from “My Aim Is True”

7) A SLOW DRAG WITH JOSEPHINE
Elvis Costello & The Sugarcanes from “National Ransom”

8) MR FEATHERS
Elvis Costello & The Imposters from “Momofuku”

9) HEY CLOCKFACE/HOW CAN YOU FACE ME?
Elvis Costello from “Hey Clockface”

10) GOD’S COMIC
Elvis Costello from “Spike”

11) SUIT OF LIGHTS
Elvis Costello from “King Of America”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
Posts: 4639
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:49 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Elvis receives AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, January 28, 2021

Postby sweetest punch » Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:23 pm

https://www.officialcharts.com/chart-ne ... 20__32244/

The Official Top 20 biggest Americana albums of 2020
Laura Marling will pick up the prize for the biggest UK Americana release of the year at the 2021 UK Americana Awards.

The UK's biggest Americana album of 2020 was Bruce Springsteen's Letter To You, while the biggest homegrown Americana release was Song For Our Daughter by Laura Marling, the Official Charts Company can reveal.

The newly-unveiled list arrives ahead of the sixth annual UK Americana Awards, which takes place on January 28 and will see Laura Marling pick up the prize for the official biggest UK Americana release of the year, as verified by Official Charts.

This year's event will be held virtually for the first time, hosted by BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris, and will feature performances from Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Mary Gauthier, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, American Aquarium and Emily Barker, plus a special tribute performance to the late John Prine. Tickets for the event are on sale now.

Bruce's critically-acclaimed 20th studio album tops the end-of-year Americana chart; Letter To You is his first new studio album with the E Street Band since 2014's High Hopes. It was recorded live at his home studio in just four days.

The album has enjoyed huge success since its October 2020 release, claiming seven weeks at Number 1 on the UK's Official Americana Albums Chart. Bruce's previous album, 2019's Western Stars, also features on the chart at Number 7.

Meanwhile, Laura Marling's seventh album, the Grammy-nominated Song For Our Daughter, places fourth in the Top 20, making it the biggest UK Americana artist album of 2020. Discussing the album on our livestream series The Record Club last June, Laura said the album went through an "extensive" editing process to ensure it was her very best work.

Further down, The Chicks - formerly Dixie Chicks - feature in the Top 10 with their comeback album Gaslighter, just ahead of Chris Stapleton's Starting Over (11), Elvis Costello's Hey Clockface (12) and Nashville Tears for British singer Rumer (17).

The UK Americana Awards will also feature appearances from actor Colin Firth, BBC Radio 2’s Johnnie Walker, BBC Radio 6's Steve Lamacq, Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie, plus an ‘In Conversation’ with Mavis Staples and Brandi Carlile.

The Official Americana Albums Chart is published every Friday at 5.45pm here at OfficialCharts.com.

The UK's Official Top 20 biggest Americana albums of 2020
POS TITLE ARTIST
1 LETTER TO YOU - BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
2 ROUGH AND ROWDY WAYS - BOB DYLAN
3 EVERMORE - TAYLOR SWIFT
4 SONG FOR OUR DAUGHTER - LAURA MARLING
5 PUNISHER - PHOEBE BRIDGERS
6 HOMEGROWN - NEIL YOUNG
7 WESTERN STARS - BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
8 GASLIGHTER - CHICKS
9 BLACK PUMAS - BLACK PUMAS
10 III - LUMINEERS
11 STARTING OVER - CHRIS STAPLETON
12 HEY CLOCKFACE - ELVIS COSTELLO
13 REUNIONS - JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT
14 RUN HOME SLOW - TESKEY BROTHERS
15 SAINT CLOUD - WAXAHATCHEE
16 GOOD SOULS BETTER ANGELS - LUCINDA WILLIAMS
17 NASHVILLE TEARS - RUMER
18 THREE CHORDS AND THE TRUTH - VAN MORRISON
19 LOCAL HONEY - BRIAN FALLON
20 TITANIC RISING - WEYES BLOOD
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sulky lad
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Re: Elvis receives AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, January 28, 2021

Postby sulky lad » Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:23 pm

I'm enjoying what Elvis chooses to disclose now even more than a lot of UMDI - I'm not sure if it's because it seems more spontaneous and less like the formula for writing an autobiography but it also seems more about the music - I don't really give a shit about groupies or falling out with band members or TV producers or other U.S. artistes, I want to know about how inspiration strikes, how influences have led him down paths he'd never considered. I love the details revealed so far and don't really want it to end anytime soon !

sweetest punch
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Location: Belgium

Re: Elvis receives AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, January 28, 2021

Postby sweetest punch » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:58 pm

AMERICANA SIN LÁGRIMAS PART EIGHT

2006 - Green Bay, MI to New Orleans, LA.

I found a battered upright in a spare dressing room somewhere and was plunking out a very basic accompaniment for a tune I’d first heard on the B-side of Cliff Bennett and The Rebel Rousers splendid version of The Drifters’ “One Way Love”.

It was a song I’d heard Brinsley Schwarz revive in the cellar of the Hope & Anchor in Islington and although I didn’t know it at the time the song had been a 1961 hit for Ernie K. Doe.

The music must have drifted down the hallway, as I was suddenly aware of the song’s composer standing in the doorway with look of surprise that I knew the song at all.

“Well” said Allen Toussaint.

He was a man of few words.

1983 - New Orleans.

My meeting with Allen Toussaint came about due to a most unusual assignment. Yoko Ono’s office had called to ask if I would contribute to an album of interpretations of her songs that her and John Lennon had been working on at the time of his murder.

The song I was requested to interpret was “Walking On Thin Ice”, the song they had completed working on the night of John’s death. Now I was being asked to sing it again.

Yoko and I met at the studio where she had only recently returned to work on what would be the “Milk & Honey” album. I took the request very seriously but really didn’t know how to proceed. I looked for a gap in our tour itinerary and suitable location to record.

I could see a day after Memphis and perhaps a day before our proposed New Orleans date.

More wishfully than actually imagining it might really happen, I asked “What if we could get either Willie Mitchell or Allen Toussaint to produce this track?” I thought I might as well have suggested we hire a rocket ship to the planet Jupiter.

I don’t know what calls were placed or which were answered but five days later I found myself on the phone with Allen Toussaint. The unusual nature of the song clearly inspired Allen’s curiosity but at the time I was still hoping for lightning to strike.


New Orleans had been the third city that the Attractions and I had visited in 1977 but we had only returned once since. I truthfully thought my request that we might head that way was in hope that the date would not take place and this would leave us with some play time in the Crescent City.

So proved to be the case in 1983 when our proposed date fell through, only this time we found ourselves at Sea-Saint Studios - with time enough to take in both an afternoon show by Art and Aaron Neville and then the full Neville Brothers band - and get to cut a song with Allen Toussaint at the controls.

Allen saw that the Yoko song was well-served by all of the members of the Attractions and the T.K.O. horns and then took me out for a short ride in his gold Rolls Royce to retrieve a home-cooked meal for the whole crew before we wrapped up the final vocal performance and his final mix.

1988 - New Orleans.

T Bone Burnett and I were working on the album “Spike”, a record that eventually took in sessions in four cities. Our second stop of Southland Studios, New Orleans was to record horn parts with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band after Allen Toussaint had effectively designed the song “Deep Dark Truthful Mirror” from the piano part outwards.

We parted promising that we must work together again but Allen didn’t often leave the hometown where he had written and recorded since the late ‘50s, people traveled to him to have him produce them but I only made two more whistle stops in New Orleans during the following decade.

2005 - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The Imposters and I had played a set with Los Lobos’ David Hildalgo sitting and taking lead vocals on “Mas Y Mas” and the Hunter/Garcia tune, “Bertha”, just one of a multitude of their songs that were beauties long before “Americana” became an orthodoxy of itchy tweeds and mustache wax.

In the backstage area I saw Allen again, whose appearance at Jazz Fest was an annual highlight. We spoke about “I Believe To My Soul” a summit recording produced by Joe Henry on which A.T. appeared alongside Irma Thomas, Billy Preston, Ann Peebles and Mavis Staples.

Once again, we parted with the hope that we might work together again.

Four months later the Katrina catastrophe changed everything in New Orleans.

I learned later that Allen lost his home and studio in the subsequent flood.

Like so many people he eventually got out of the city in the chaos and distress that ensued. He made his way to New York, where his dear friend and associate, Joshua Feigenbaum helped him put his plans for the future in order.

The idea that the riches of his songbook should be addressed again came to several people at the same time during one of Allen’s lunchtime appearances at Joe’s Pub on Lafayette Street. I was only glad that I was one of them.

Allen and I made our first stage appearance together at a Katrina benefit show organized by Wynton Marsalis at Rose Hall. We followed McCoy Tyner with a performance of Allen’s great song of hope, “Freedom For The Stallion”.

I had written “The River In Reverse”, a week earlier.

Over the next month, we met at Joshua’s NYC apartment imagining the record we might make from the Toussaint songbook, including four titles first heard on Lee Dorsey’s “Yes We Can” album to which we added four new co-written songs and my lyric for A.T.’s slower minor-key arrangement of “Tipitina” by Professor Longhair, which I had first heard on Dr. John’s “Gumbo” album - an essential summary of New Orleans styles that to which I had limited access in Liverpool back in 1972.

The resulting piece, “Ascension Day”, described a scene of devastation that I could only imagine until the first morning after we arrived in New Orleans to complete “The River In Reverse” album and I took a drive to the levee in Lower Ninth Ward.


There was a large barge wedged up in a crack in the levee wall, corroded cars sat upside down where the water had washed through them, leaving refrigerators and chairs perched weirdly in the few standing tree branches, wooden houses shifted off their foundations and sitting at crazy, queasy angles, perspective and geometry denied. Not a bird was singing, that much was true, it was so much worse.

I had written “The River In Reverse” alone and at a safe distance from disaster but it was hardly a work of speculative fiction.

The song was not about a literal river breaking its banks but a relentless drift, an inevitable flow towards governing by “money and superstition” until all decency and hope is submerged in an “uncivil war”.

Even offers of salvation see a man “fall through the mirror of a lake” and declared a fake, not a saviour miraculously walking upon the surface.

The surreal sights I saw that morning - upturned cars, a refrigerator lodged in tree branches, wooden houses moved whole off their foundations, a barge suspended across the breach in the levee wall, as if about to be airborne, they might have seemed the stuff of nightmares to me, the visitor who could leave again but, two levelled blocks away, a man was climbing a ladder against a post in a attempt to restore power to what was left of his house.

Electrical re-connections across the city were intermittent. We would drive home from the studio at midnight, past whole blocks that sat in darkness while the next two were illuminated and on the next, plunged back into the darkness.

Military vehicles and soldiers in sand-coloured fatigues sat at the crossroads, left over from the weeks of martial law.

My friends accounts of life within the city before the waters rose, during the evacuations, when symbols were painted on houses indicating a sick or infirm resident who could not be transferred and later other symbols denoting fatalities were followed by accounts of the damage and ruin they found upon their return.

I felt uneasy in my gaze. I did not want to be a voyeur. The television did enough to intrude and demean and decide who was worthy of help and for how long.

Three years later I wrote “Stations Of The Cross” about this procession of piety, always keeping scourge and crown of thorn close at hand in case anyone asked for too much in recompense.

There is always someone dying somewhere, while we heedlessly press ahead with our nightly entertainments; a brutal boxing match, a murder in a live sex-club, imagining ourselves absolved by the music of “her fine whine, diminishing behind her” in a “Church Underground”.

Buying our way into heaven with small acts of charity.

“The water came up to the eaves
You'd think someone had opened a valve
It's too soon to stay now and too late to leave
So spare your remorse all the way up to Calvary”

Allen showed nothing but grace and admirable stoicism through all of this. He had the strength and the wit in reserve that he had put into songs like “Hercules”.

The decision we took to complete our sessions in a city still under curfew was an easy one once we found there was a functioning studio, “Piety Street”, in the aptly named neighbourhood of Bywater.

Producer Joe Henry and I knew we must accompany A.T. back home, as so many did, to begin again.

Eventually we even persuaded Allen that he must go to the vocal microphone for the opening verses of a song that he had written forty years earlier but was once again right on time: “Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further?”.


Allen Toussaint spent much more of post-Katrina life on the road.

I was his guest at the Jazz Fest the following Spring before he and the horn section we dubbed The Crescent City Horns - Joe “Foxx” Smith, Amadee Castanell, Brian “Breeze” Cayolle and Big Sam Williams and guitarist, A.B. Brown, joined The Imposters on a tour from Green Bay MI to the House of Blues on Decatur St in the French Quarter.

The following summer, with The Imposters rhythm section otherwise detained in France, Steve Nieve and I joined A.T.s band and the vocal harmonizing bassist, Paul Bryan on a European tour from the tiny The Picket in Liverpool to the open air Odeon of Herodion below the Acropolis in Athens.

That night we played a song that A.T. and I had written together more in celebration than lament.

Allen’s joyful rolling piano and horn refrain probably does more to express what I could only hint at in the lyric…

“Send out a message and it's sure to rebound
What's that I hear?
What is that sound?
Seems to be coming from under the ground
International echo”

To be continued…


1) BRILLIANT DISGUISE
Elvis Costello from “Kojak Variety”

2) POINT OF NO RETURN
Elvis Costello from “Vinyl”

3) STRANGE
Elvis Costello from “Kojak Variety”

4) I’M AHEAD IF I CAN QUIT WHILE I’M BEHIND
Jim Ford from “Point Of No Return”

5) I’M A MESS
Nick Lowe from “The Convincer”

6) I HAVE CRIED MY LAST TEAR
Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers

7) GET OUT OF MY LIFE WOMAN
Lee Dorsey from “Ride Your Pony”

8) LIFE
Dr. John from “In The Right Place”

9) DEEP DARK TRUTHFUL MIRROR
Elvis Costello from “Spike”

10) ON YOUR WAY DOWN
Little Feat from “Dixie Chicken”

11) SWEET PEAR
Elvis Costello from “Mighty Like A Rose"

12) CHEWING GUM
Elvis Costello from “Spike”

13) RIVERBOAT
Lee Dorsey from “Yes We Can”

14) DON’T PITY ME
Curly Moore from “The Soul Of Treme”

15) NEARER TO YOU
Betty Harris from “The Lost Queen Of New Orleans Soul”

16) TIPITINA
Dr. John from “Gumbo Blues”

17) ASCENSION DAY
Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint - from “The River In Reverse”

18) WHO’S GONNA HELP BROTHER GET FURTHER?
Elvis Costello & The Imposters with Allen Toussaint from “The River In Reverse”

19) INTERNATIONAL ECHO
Elvis Costello & The Imposters with Allen Toussaint from “The River In Reverse”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: Elvis receives AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, January 28, 2021

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:12 pm

https://www.elviscostello.com/#!/news/299579

Image

THE UK AMERICANA AWARDS THURSDAY 28TH JANUARY.

This year’s UK Americana Lifetime Achievement Award goes to the legendary Elvis Costello Americana Music Association UK. #AMAUK21

“This is a most surprising award. I left home a long time ago and yet I have been welcomed into many American musical destinations of which I might, once, have only dreamed. As Conway Twitty once sang, "It's Only Make Believe" but I am thankful for this acknowledgement.” Elvis Costello

To register for an AmericanaFest UK 2021 Virtual wristband and for more information please go to - https://www.americanafestuk.com/
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Elvis receives AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, January 28, 2021

Postby And No Coffee Table » Wed Jan 27, 2021 3:10 pm

Larkin Poe: "We are honored to be performing virtually as part of this year’s @TheAMAUK festival and also presenting the lifetime achievement award to the one and only @ElvisCostello Follow link for more details on how to tune in: http://americanafestuk.com #amauk21 #larkinpoe"

https://twitter.com/LarkinPoe/status/13 ... 1773579275


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