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Hey, A Favor? We've Got This Railroad-Themed Gig...

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The band (Deathgrass) has been approached about doing a performance for the centennial of the local railroad (it carried its first passengers Oct. 1, 1911, and they’re having a whoop-ti-do to commemorate it, including a dinner train). Besides being The Local Band, we also have a song about the train (“The Tillamook Railroad Blues,” which is on the album), and I’m sure that’s what’s got their attention. The folks putting on the dinner-train thing are real railroad fanatics, and it’d be fun if when we played our hour-long gig, we played ‘em nothing but train songs.

Problem is, we don’t have that many. Besides “The Tillamook Railroad Blues,” which I wrote, we do “Steamboat Bill,” which I didn’t write, but it’s old—it was one of the top songs of both 1910 and 1911. We can do a couple of traditionals, “Wreck of the Old 97” and “The Wabash Cannonball.” That’s about 20 minutes, not an hour.

Wondered if any of y’all might be able (and willing) to help. If you have any train songs you’d be interested in having us perform (with credit to you, of course), could you e-mail or PM me? I’d need lyrics, chords, and a recording I could listen to—a link is fine if you have it posted online somewhere. (Odds are, I will be transposing it into a key I can sing in—IF I can sing it.) The gig is unpaid, so everything else is, too. Publicity is all you (and we) are going to get. (Sorry.)

And I’m asking because…? We don’t do covers. And we won’t. I have been insistent that all the stuff we do is either original or traditional (and not much of it is traditional, really). If we’re going to do somebody else’s stuff, it’s going to be somebody equally unknown. I see no point in enhancing the famosity of already-famous people. Thus far, we have managed to pull it off, and even become popular.

The band, if it matters: we have drums, bass, lead and rhythm guitars, and harmonica. The bass player and drummer are both heavy-metal guys; the blues harpplayer does jazz and classical; lead guitarist (who also plays mandolin) is classic rock ‘n’ roll; and we play mostly my stuff, and I wrote country music (though it don’t sound like country when these guys get through with it). I’m the singer by default. We really can play about everything. (We do draw the line at jazz, because of them fruity chords. When somebody sent us a jazz tune for our Failed Economy Show benefits for the Food Pantry, we played it as ragtime instead.)

The railroad centennial gig is Oct. 1, but I’d like to get material as quickly as possible, so we can practice. Yes? Let me know, please. (Edress is spacehamster@embarqmail.com. Or PM me.) And thanks.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Sounds good and fun. I don't write music or play an instrument but lyric-wise I could help if that's of any help. Don't forget the train gangs and hobo's (think there's a hobo song on the board somewhere).

Oh, someone wrote a good song on here that used trains and missing one etc as it's theme.

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