This afternoon I was sitting at my desk at work and wishing I was somewhere else. I was listening to some of Megafaun’s studio work for the first time. I heard a banjo riff and I thought, “Wow, that sounds like the Deadly Nightshade Family Singers. Hey, I know, I should write about the Deadly Nightshade Family Singers. I’m sure somebody somewhere will have archived something I could use, despite the fact that they’ve been disbanded for going on ten years or so. I will look at YouTube and other places when I get home from work.”
Friends, nobody has archived anything I can use. I do not get to introduce you to the delights of the Deadly Nightshade Family Singers. I’m really, really cranky about that. You should hit up the iTunes store and sample tracks from Plain Brown Suit — I especially recommend “See What A Gun Can Do”, “Snake Handler”, and “God Gets Lazy”.
In the meantime, though, I have retreated to my favorite cure for crankiness: Leo Kottke.
Like the Deadly Nightshade Family Singers, Leo Kottke isn’t easily pigeonholed as far as genre is concerned. He’s an excellent fingerstyle guitarist, and over the course of his career it seems like he’s done a little of everything, sound-wise. The best part of Kottke live is the monologue between songs — unless it’s watching him stand stock-still working out a breakdown to its inevitably awesome conclusion. Also, despite what he says about his voice (the oft-trotted-out description is “geese farts on a muggy day”), I like it. Baritones, man.
For whatever reason, he hasn’t played recently anywhere near Denver that I could get to without a snowstorm involved, so I haven’t seen him since summer 2008 (when he played the night after Andrew Bird’s show at Belly Up Aspen, which I hauled myself up into the mountains to see, which involved camping in a tent shaped like a shark — but that’s another story). I’m hoping that moving back South means I get to see him more often.
Music after the jump.
Leo Kottke: Official Site