Monday, August 25, 2014

This Mountain.


There's a scene early on in the David Simon/Eric Overmyer post-Katrina New Orleans TV series called 'Treme' in which Steve Earle's street musician character chides a young fiddle player for ripping-off Dylan while she tries to write an original song.

Which seemed right and true enough when I first watched it.

But afterwards, when I thought about it a little, I couldn't agree.

After all, when Mr. Zimmerman came back from the crossroads (and/or Coney Island) breathing fire through his harmonica he did nothing but pretty much directly channel Woody for awhile, plopping his own words down directly on top of Guthrie's melodies and the phrasings.

No more so, than, say....This.


A little later in the TeeVee series, which is a good one, both for the way Simon and Overmyer et al. develop plot, place and character as well as for the way they showcase myriad forms and genres of New Orleans music, Earle's character gives the kid a song to run with.

The song is called 'This City' and it's all about what happened after the dams and levees broke.

Of course, Mr. Earle does the tune himself sometimes, straight-up.

All of which is just a long way of telling you that I've kinda/sorta made like a two-bit, tin-plated, pale imitation Dylan and slathered on a little Phil Ochs while re-working the tune into 'This Mountain' which is all about what happened before and after the dam broke on top of a scoured-out Mt. Polley.

Sure hope Mr. Earle doesn't mind, at least not too much:

The subheader?....Well...It refers to the time that an apparently snarling Dylan kicked Ochs out of his limo for being nothing better than a 'journalist'.



sd said...

Dude, Phil Ochs, New Orleans, AND Mt. Polly, you're covering some ground here. Listened to a lot of Phil Ochs back in the day in Berkley. Just a note about New Orleans,after Katrina they privatized all the schools. There are no public schools left, just for profit "charters". This is one reason we are on strike, to save public schools in B.C.

Don F. said...

Man Ross that is awesome. I really don't thick Steve Earle would mind. Paints a good picture of the truth, your lyrics do that.
Glad I heard this!
Thanks Don

RossK said...


Psychic ground mostly...And thanks for the tip about the school privatization, I'll have a look.


Thanks Don!

And thanks still for the tip on the little Zoom recorder.