Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"Oh! And there's a DVD!"


...I said to myself, out loud. In my empty house. Because at the back of the box of 4 cds and 81 tracks in the Sugar Hill Retrospective, that's what I found.

I'm a bit easily distracted lately.

It's true. Between recovering from the Fall Crud that took my voice and sent me coughing for about ten days, the death of a member of our office family, the serious occupation of trying to learn new tunes played and sung with actual other people, my job, my kids, and my feeble attempts at keeping up with the housekeeping habits of my friends, the best I can do lately is pimp good new releases and whine about my inner work.

So it continues.

I've been taking in the CDs of this release which I mentioned having aqcuired at auction to support the International Bluegrass Music Museum. And I am taking them in one at a time. The last two nights, I've pretty much burned a hole in the "Whiskey Before Breakfast" track on the second CD. Tonight I've moved to disc 3, and I see John COWan there near the end, along with more The Seldom Scene, Del, my pals Robin and Linda Williams, and just a whole BUNCH of other people I love, including Darrell Scott's (in)famous You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive.

This retrospective is special because Sugar Hill founder Barry Pos handpicked each of the 81 tracks. I can't really imagine what it must be like to look back on a career spanning 25 years as head and founder of one of the most innovative labels in the recording industry, let alone one of two (Rounder being the other in mind) that shamelessly pimp traditional, bluegrass, and folk music almost as much as I do.

The song below has been covered by all kinds of "stars" from Patty Loveless and Brad Paisely, but no one will come close to the singer songwriter who penned it, Darrell Scott. He's the one who's included on the Retrospective, and if you only listen to a handful of the 81 tracks, this one has gotta be on your short list.

Thank you Barry, and thank you Sugar Hill for a quarter-century of preserving and presenting some of America's very best music and musicians. Here's to the next 25!

(No, I'm not gonna watch the DVD tonight. I mean, I don't think so. Hm...)

You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive
from ALOHA FROM NASHVILLE
Darrell Scott
Sugar Hill Records SHCD-3864

In the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky
That's the place where I trace my bloodline
And it's there I read on a hillside gravestone
You will never leave Harlan alive

Oh, my granddad's dad walked down
Katahrins Mountain
And he asked Tillie Helton to be his bride
Said, won't you walk with me out of the mouth
Of this holler
Or we'll never leave Harlan alive

Where the sun comes up about ten in the morning
And the sun goes down about three in the day
And you fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you're drinking
And you spend your life just thinkin' of how to get away

No one ever knew there was coal in them mountains
'Til a man from the Northeast arrived
Waving hundred dollar bills he said
I'll pay ya for your minerals
But he never left Harlan alive

Granny sold out cheap and they moved out west
Of Pineville
To a farm where big Richland River winds
I bet they danced them a jig, laughed and sang a new song
Who said we'd never leave Harlan alive

But the times got hard and tobacco wasn't selling
And ole granddad knew what he'd do to survive
He went and dug for Harlan coal
And sent the money back to granny
But he never left Harlan alive

Where the sun comes up about ten in the morning
And the sun goes down about three in the day
And you fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you're drinking
And you spend your life just thinkin' of how to get away

Where the sun comes up about ten in the morning
And the sun goes down about three in the day
And you fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you're drinking
And you spend your life digging coal from the bottom of your grave

In the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky
That's the place where I trace my bloodline
And it's there I read on a hillside gravestone
You will never leave Harlan alive

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home