Monday, December 31, 2007

Year's Best: In the Corner at the Table by the Jukebox by James Hand

The fiddle breaks into the intro. We walk into the eternal honky tonk. James Hand is singing In the Corner at the Table by the Jukebox.

In the Corner at the Table by the Jukebox
My favorite mourners and I
talk about these old hard knocks
our lives are measured there
by the bars clocks
In the Corner at the Table by the Jukebox
So step in side where live has died
and you'll sure find me
with sadness and a haunted face
that's bound to be
Hidden behind the door that sorrow locked
In the Corner at the Table by the Jukebox.

Do you know a place like that? Where people start out young honkytonkin and then retreat backwards into the old shadows? James Hand nails this like Poe in his Rounder
record debut.

He's past football playing age, James is. Comes out of Texas and says Willie: "James Hand is the real deal." It is that simple.

Waterfall tradeoffs on pedal steel and guitar. James Hand sings from deep down within. And he is trying as hard as he can to communicate what he feels with you.

What ever and where ever - what I like best is true heartfelt singing, crisp ensemble muscianship, melody, a beat, and a story. James Hand brings that in spades to In the Corner at the Table by the Jukebox.

Jake and I saw him at Johnny D's in Somerville in July [he was in town for the Lowell Folk Fest]. And he was real. Like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams. Hey that's high praise, but the groove is that he has synthesized and absorbed this. He is like James Hand. He's my age - he dropped a pick and he just kept looking at it on the floor like it was a bridge too far.
We met him briefly afterward, what a gentleman, just you'd like you'd expect. And his band members were real cool cats. We bought the CD there. He signed it: "Jake, your pal, James Hand." We also bowled that night. And got a parking ticket.

My focus is on singles - good standalone songs, but let me make this clear about James Hand's The Truth Will Set You Free: This is a great album. Includes gems: Here Lies a Good Old Boy, Leave the Lonely Alone, If I live Long Enough to Heal, Just an Old Man, Shadows where the Magic Was, The Truth Will Set you Free, When You Stopped Loving Me so Did I. Hand is a terrific song writer.

The hair on you neck will crawl, boys and girls. Get the real deal! - Jack Vaughan

* * *

* * *
Hi everyone! 2007 was full of massive pitfalls, exceeding ennui, great Boston sport moments, and strange terror incubations. And great music! My numero choice: James Hand
with the eternal honky tonk epic: In the Corner [At the Table] [By the Jukebox]. The song actually came out in 2006. But I have to praise it as my song of the year. What follows is a list of some notable numbers - for me anyway - that I did not have the time to write up. And a hopefully cool snippet that sends you to iTunes where 12 of my
fave raves can be downloaded at a price. Keep Steve Jobs in pomegranites for another year. Give the gift of digital music.
If you came to this specific page, you can click
on the 'list-of-jacks-best' link and access all at once the full 2007 roll call thanks to the magic of tags. And there also follows links to previous top pick pages.

99 and 1/2 - Mavis Staples
Archilochus Rock & Roll Wail Out - Ed Sanders
Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered - Andre Previn
Billy 1 - Los Lobos
Block Ice & Propane - Erik Friedlander
Brown Liquor - John Anderson
Checking on my baby - Micky Jaeger
Crying time - Dwight Yokam
Dance around tonight - Paul McCartney
False Hearted Lover Blues - Levon Helm
Forget to remember- John Prince and Mac Wiseman
Four in one - Hank Jones and Joe Lovano
I Found a Love* - Ryan Shaw
I’m just passing through - Porter Wagoner
I'll Change My Style - Omar Kent Dykes and Jimmie Vaughan
I'm Going to Live the Life I sing About in My Song - Preacher Jack
In the Corner at the Table by the Jukebox - James Hand [grandfathered from 2006]
Irenen-Polka, Polka fran├žaise, Op. 113 - Wiener Philharmoniker & Zubin Mehta
Just a Bad Boy - Bob Stroger [grandfathered from 2006]
Look me up on your way down - Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson
My heart is beating - Mary Weiss
Rome wasn’t built in a day - Nick Lowe
Scotch and Water - Born to Swing Jazz Orchestra
Town to Town - Charlie Musselwhite [grandfathered from 2006]
You dont know what love is - The White Stripes

*Truly extraordinary. Just didnt get to write it up yet.

Noted Reissues:
Urubamba - Urubamba
I'm the Urban Spaceman - Bonzo Dog Band
Chester and Lester - Chet Atkins and Les Paul
Moby Grape 69 - Moby Grape
Ultimate Cash Gospel - Johnny Cash
Bach: The Gold berg Variations - Glenn Gould


[Jan 1 - Subsequently got the widget doo-dad, an embedded bit of iTunes to work on the January 1 Moon Traveller Herald Post. Go here to get to that really super cool thing.

Note: See, this has been a bit of work. Just wanted to let you know this is the last regular yearly musical review. It's been fun, especially this year, as iTunes became a
great purveyor of singles [like old Woolworth's or Soulville, before that damn Sgt Pepper thing made everyone think they could do LPs.] But I have to parse my time to
maximum effect cause I am a modern guy! Hello, Mr Clark!

It's a new age - Top of the world, ma! - Jack Vaughan

No comments:

Featured Post

Backporch Poesy June 2016

Reading from three favorite poetry anthologies on the back porch on June 17 (anniversary of Watergate breakin!) The three tomes are 1-Th...