Wednesday, March 22, 2006

WoodSongs Show #389 - Heritage

When I moved to Mousie, Kentucky one of the first poets and writers I came across was James Still. He lived in a log cabin in Knott County, on the property of the Hindman Settlement School. A friend gave me his book, River of Earth, and I was in awe of the powerful gentlity of his writing and his love of the mountain region of Appalachia.

He passed away a few years ago. On show #389, me and the guys performed a brand new song named after one of Mr. Still's most famous peoms, Heritage. What a beautiful piece of writing. I gave full credit for the source and inspiration of the song to the writer of the poem, but I want you to have a chance to read the poem itself. I encourage you to visit James Still's web page and learn more of this great Appalachian poet and writer (

I shall not leave these prisoning hills
Though they topple their barren heads to level earth
And the forests slide uprooted out of the sky.
Though the waters of Troublesome, of Trace Fork,
Of Sand Lick rise in a single body to glean the valleys,
To drown lush pennyroyal, to unravel rail fences;
Though the sun-ball breaks the ridges into dust
And burns its strength into the blistered rock
I cannot leave. I cannot go away.

Being of these hills, being one with the fox
Stealing into the shadows, one with the new-born foal,
The lumbering ox drawing green beech logs to mill,
One with the destined feet of man climbing and descending,
And one with death rising to bloom again, I cannot go.
Being of these hills I cannot pass beyond.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Notes from the WoodSongs Fireplace #387

Let me tell you about my friend, Kevin "Darth Fader" Johnson.

We started WoodSongs over six years ago in his little studio off Broadway in Lexington. The place was in an old building and barely sat 15 people. He had all the gear, so it was pretty smart to begin the show there. No investment needed. We would do the show on Monday evenings, early. About 6:30 just like today. I was married at the time and Jenny used to make home made brownies and serve up apple cider to help bribe an audience to show up.

His son Taylor and my son, MichealB are just a month apart. Kevin was there for me when Jenny left the marriage, when WRVG tried to steal WoodSongs and cancel the show, he was there when I got hit by cars and had operations. He is also there when we signed on with
WUKY. He's there everytime WoodSongs sells out the theatre, finds another radio affiliate, scores another award or achieve another point of success. Kevin helps shape the sound of WoodSongs, he mixes everthing on the fly ... we do not multi-track the show. As a matter of fact, we rarely even edit. What you hear on your hometown radio is pretty much exactly the way it went down in the theatre. We deliver the show to radio stations on compact disc. Kevin makes the copies on a cd duplicater that is, yes, in his bedroom. We hope Kevin is going to have his own WoodSongs technical blog soon, he's a very knowlegable guy with a ton of experiance. Here's a picture of Darth ... I wanted you to know a bit about him. He may be behind the scenes, but he casts a very big shadow :)

Folk on,