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songs of a coal miner’s son 2

July 11, 2013
Gene Christy and his Excelsior

Gene Christy and his Excelsior

songs of a coal miner’s son 2

With Gene Christy & Rod MacDow

Have a listen!


BAR-BAND BLUES . . to listen to this track, just click on the
BLUE TITLE above . .


episode two . .

Promised myself – – and you! – – no revisions! Shoot from the lip!

Not hard to do on the heels of a great night of music at The Olde Heritage Tavern, in Lenox, in the beautiful Berkshires, on a gorgeous evening in June, when Cam Collins and I played for a mob of raffling locals numbering, oh, we tried to estimate, 150?—to 180—maybe as high as 200—emceed by DJ Brian Slater of LIVE 95.9 – FM in Pittsfield, and Sue Merritt of the Lenox Fitness Center, who were raising a lot of money for – cancer research. Wasn’t that a party! They were inside and out—on the outdoor patio–and we played two lo-o-o-ng sets, from 8 pm to well past eleven. All in a good cause. Thanks to our friend and best fan, Bill, who requested and received our rendition of Lowell George’s “Dixie Chicken,” on accordion and guitar! with vocals by me—and it sounded good!—Cam had me turned way up, and I was able to bend that blue note on a high E-flat in the key of F—love that song! First did that way back in 1990-91 or thereabouts, in a foursome with Eddie Dillon, Alfie O’Shea, and Texas Sam Tyler, on electric lead guitar—a Sunday pick-up band, we used to do the 4 – 8 o’clock slot in the L-shaped room upstairs at Tom McGann’s, outside Brockton, before the evening’s featured act came on—more about that line-up, later, or as we say in Boston—latah, man!

(See the tune at the top!—it was inspired by Texas Sam!—something he said . . )


Indeed, as we go along, we’ve got so much to talk about—bands down through the years—places we played, and friends we made—sometimes it’s hard to keep from going on and on, there’s so much to recall and remember and the list keeps getting longer—



So, for today’s episode, I would like to call on none other than Ray Davies himself—I’m a card-carrying member of the Ray Davies cult—who has put it into words so much better than I could . . .



See, I was trying to think of just what this blog is about, and how to explain it to the man from Mars, if the occasion should arise.

And then I found an article in print from a couple of years back, when Ray Davies was running his mind along a parallel track with mine—thinking of the past, and what it all added up to, what—did it really mean?—and he said, and I quote, (from Uncut Magazine, UK, 2012 special edition “Ultimate Guide to the Kinks”)

“So I think it’s time to reappraise. And I’m just rediscovering a lot of that stuff. It’s great to have “Sunny Afternoon” and “You Really Got Me,” but the value of the unheard work is still to be discovered. I’m educating myself on it now. I’m discovering the value of all the stuff I’ve put out so far, and the body of work which defines me, to a degree.

I don’t really have to write another song for the rest of my life. I’ve got a backlog of them to be finished . . . The Kinks’ legacy is like living in an imaginary manor house, with the statues and the pictures on the wall of people in ancient times who you’re descended from . . . but the reality of it is, I treat all my past as mates. I say, ‘If I screw up on the next song, they’ll understand.’ I’m still growing, still emerging. Still a young lad. Not fearing the future, and not ashamed of the past . . . It’s important to keep searching. I’ve done this for 48 years,and every day I get up and say, “I wish I had time to make an album.”

The value of the unheard work is still to be discovered . . . precisely.

And that’s what this is all about.

(Like I always say – – steal from the best!)

Which brings us to good buddy Rick Marquis—



The banjo player in our band, The Dossers . . .

And what is a dosser, say you?

Well, for those who know, no explanation needed. For those who don’t—it’s a slang term I picked up in Dublin.

But it would be silly to try to define it in words, as we’ve written a whole song about it—and we’ve been playing it, to the amusement of ourselves and others, for the last six years. And one of these days we’ll get around to making a decent recording of it!

Till then, there’s always rock n roll accordion!

That very same good-lookin’ Ricky mentioned above, just today sent me an email reading,

“Hot Rock & Roll on an accordion, Gracie???? Ummm, ahhh, uhhhh, okay!”


Here’s our answer—Cam Collins on vocal and guitar, Gene Christy on the box—recorded in April, this year.


BROKE-DOWN ENGINE to listen to this track, just click
on the BLUE TITLE above . .

See alla youz next time!

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  1. Janet R. Smargie permalink

    mi fratello, Christoforo, multo bene, Gianetta

    • Thanks, Janet, I know you’re busy this evening, so thanks for taking the time! See ya soon!

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