Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Music Heaven...the women in Poughkeepsie..?

Elvis Costello is touring supporting his brand spankin' new cd "Secrets, Profane and Sugarcane" which is billed as his reworking of bluegrass roots, a collaboration with T-Bone Burnett...sounds mostly like some straight up swamp stompin' to me. I've fallen completely in love with this zydeco-tinged shuffle called Sulfur to Sugarcane:

and yeah, that's Roseanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Norah Jones sitting with him in the shadows; this performance was handed in on his Spectacle series. Elvis is who he is and you either love it or you don't; I do. I wish I were in college right now if for no other reason than this is one hell of a rowdy party lyric and I really don't have an excuse to for singing this at the top of my lungs anymore, solo cup full of beer:

It's not very far from sulfur to sugar cane
Everywhere I travel pretty girls call my name
I give them a squeeze and they shoot me a wink
I buy their hard-headed husbands a long cool drink
You better come up smelling sweet 'cos you're a long time stinking
It's a little too late to complain
It's not very far from sulfur to sugar cane

Now if you catch my eye and it seems to run down your leg
It's like striking a match pretty hard upon a powder keg
They tell you from the borders to the waters of the gulf
If you take all the sugar you will end up in the sulfur
And you're burning
Hello baby I'm pleased to meet ya
I wouldn't do you wrong, honey
I wouldn't cheat ya, honey
When can I see you again?
Wrap you up in cellophane
It's not very far from sulfur to sugar cane
It's not very far from sulfur to sugar cane

Then your eyes fill up with brine
When you're drowning in wine
It's like the last days of Rome
With the despots and divine
And there's no place like home for a little doll from China
It's a little too late to complain
It's not very far from sulfur to sugar cane

You can go west to Texas
Go east to Mississippi
You can run out of money
You can run out of pity
Throw open your purse until you're crying for mercy
Go to Alabama
Escape Louisiana
I'm digging like a miner North and South Carolina
And then if you continue you will end up in Virginia
...and so on
Rob and I will be catching the show next Thursday. Can't wait.


Special K said...

I think I love zydeco but I don't really know any or have any albums - can you make some recommendations?

KHM said...

I'm sure you do love Zydeco; its hard not to. To my ear, I always think of it as driven by accordion and those metal rub board that are worn on the chest or across the lap. I think more often than not zydeco is very uptempo and dancey. I love me some Beausoleil and Charlie Musselwhite but you'd be missing a fair chunk of good stuff if you overlook Clifton Chenier (you may remember Paul Simon paying homage to him in "That Was Your Mother" on Graceland) and Buckwheat Zydeco...

To me, the best part of zydeco is that it is wholly a musical genre characterized by the sounds made by friends engaged in having fun...its rough,noisy, drunken and intoxicating. No summer playlist is complete without a couple of zydeco tracks.