March 31, 2002
Oh Lordy Lordy! I am speechless...almost!
I just got home from Jim's
CD release concert, and I am happy happy happy. It was wonderful.
They sang TWO VERSIONS of "The Golden Vanity"! They sang "Hobo's Last Letter"
by Bill Hicks, and me 'n' Madelyn Smoak sang along because we both memorized
all the words during our days at the Cats Cradle back in the seventies!
We also sang along on "Play 'Rocky Top'" since you couldn't just jump up
and dance (but if there was one, I would have been on the dance floor).
They played stuff they learned from Alan Jabbour's fieldwork with Henry
Reed in the sixties! With Bill fiddling, they played Tommy Jarrell's "Sally
Ann"! It was so strong, so powerful. No wonder Dad loves it so much. And
on "The Yellow Rose of Texas" I found myself enraptured by the heart and
soul Bill put into fiddling it. "Lets Be Lovers Again" was so touching
at this lovely reunion. The music wouldn't have been complete without the
harmonica played by Bill Newton, adding an essential blue note to numbers
like "Mississippi Moon." Leroy Savage was a knock-out with his voice when
he joined Watson singing "If the River was Whiskey." Gary and Tony Williamson
with Leroy and Jim sang a gospel number that could have given the word
"joyful" its meaning. As usual I can't say enough about Mike and his piano
playing, and I and several folks noticed it when Joe Newberry intentionally
sounded like dad (or Charlie Poole) on the banjo. (Think about that, a
guy who can mimic banjo styles at will.) The energy they put into the performance
was tremendous--matched only by the energy they created in the audience.
One of the musicians suggested getting a transfusion back stage. Harris
"Greenie" Marley played bass and said he wasn't tired like the other guys
because he wasn't singing. Rebecca Newton sang with Jim on a few numbers,
and wow, what a voice!
Hey--if you weren't there you shoulda
been. Thank you thank you thank you Jim for bringing all these wonderful
musicians together and creating such a transporting event. It was so fun
and we are survivors, and I just realized that all those times when I got
crushes on musicians, well it was really just all the great great music
that broke my heart with so much love; the music itself! Gawd!
the pics from the concert
Young's column about the O'Blurs, Jesse and Tommy, and Jim's CD Celebration
to the top
Tommy's section of the site, the following pages
are also related to Jesse and Tommy:
Time "The Sleeper": the aftermath
of Jesse and Bobbie's car accident
Craver's "Visiting Tommy"
of the Red Clay Ramblers:
Mountain String Band: Jesse's mom, Bobbie, recorded with Rambler Bill
Hicks and others
Rock String Band: Tommy and Bobbie Thompson named this band for their
Site maintained by
March 31, 2002