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The Failed Economy Setlist Grows...


The Failed Economy Show setlist is up to 20 songs, after Sunday’s practice.

Of the Woody Guthrie songs, WORRIED MAN BLUES is a keeper; so is I AIN’T GOT NO HOME IN THIS WORLD ANY MORE, and the two newfound ones, DANCE A LITTLE LONGER (got to clean up some of the lyrics, though—I know why this one never got played on the radio) and AGINST THE LAW. I assume nobody has a problem with GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELIN’ BAD—The Grateful Dead made that one famous, and I’d be surprised if everyone didn’t remember it.

Zmulls’ THE EMPEROR works; there’s one point in the chorus where my voice has to go up instead of down, because I don’t have any more “down” I can go, but other than that, it’s fine. I don’t have to worry about the calypso beat—that’s up to the bass player and drummer to pull off.

Lazzerini’s SO 20TH CENTURY is playable easily—as ragtime. Stripped of the suspendeds, diminisheds, and eleventh-flatted fifths, it’s a simple circle-of-fifths progression. Maybe ragtime is where bluegrass and jazz meet. John would like to do more ragtime songs, and I said I’d see if I could find any from the 1893 or 1907 financial panics—ragtime music was popular then. (All I’ve found thus far are sappy love songs, however.)

Frank Papa’s HAVE A GOOD DAY “clicked” as soon as I realized the meter and progression were the same as “The Little Brown Jug.” And Dick can play the jug song lead on harmonica. Not only that, but the meter and progression are also the same as Roger Miller’s “King of the Road”—which Jeff can play on guitar. We could have a lot of fun with this.

John likes Southern Pigfish’s FOR THEIR OWN ENDS (it’s folk-rock, and we don’t do much rock music in the show), and Gem Watson’s FINAL PAYMENT, and would like us to also play BLUEBIRD ON MY WINDSHIELD. I’m okay with that; the more of my songs we do, the less songs I have to learn.

It is an eclectic mix—7 bluegrass, 3 Gospel, 2 blues, 2 rock, 4 country, 1 ragtime, and 1 calypso. Almost all of ‘em good dance tunes, and they show off the diverse capabilities of the band, too. Four more to pick.

E-mailed invitations (with posters) just for the heck of it to the local state representative and senator, publisher and editor of the local newspaper, manager of the PUD (on the offchance he might get an announcement placed in the Ruralite, the monthly magazine published cooperatively by the public utilities), and Hipfish, the “cultural” monthly in Astoria, 60 miles north of here. I’d like to send invites and posters to our Senators and Congressman, too, but I’ll have to do that by snail-mail; those guys don’t have e-mail (probably for good reason—they’d hear from too many people). The state rep says she’ll try to come; I haven’t heard from the rest—but I really wasn’t expecting to hear from anybody. The newspapers will either cover it—or not; the elected officials will either come—or not. We’re going to play anyway.

Still a couple more newspapers to hit; I think the county librarian will promote it through the libraries—and I’ll make the circuit of the city halls like I did for the Bay City concert. I’ll see the manager of the recreation district, too; he didn’t come to the Bay City concert (I’m sure his new job doesn’t leave him much time—it wouldn’t have left me any time), but if he wants to learn how to put on a benefit show, I think this’ll tell him.

Music at the tavern Wednesday night, the Friday Night Group on (when else?) Friday, practice with the Portland band Saturday (I’ll go in early and distribute posters)—and Sunday’s Easter. I never noticed until someone invited us for Easter dinner. How can time fly when no one can afford the gas?



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