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"Black Friday Stomp" 

 

"Black Friday Stomp" is one of the more fun songs I've written — meaning I had a lot of fun writing it! This is a piece of satire, and it is a companion song to a tune I wrote called "Fourth of July: Made in China" that plays with that crazy intersection of American consumerism and our (supposedly) deeply held convictions.

 

Like my other recent videos ("Milkstache Blues") this was shot over at Fremont Recording with my friend Brud Giles handling all the audio and video. It's a simple production. I…

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"Milkstache Blues" 

 

 

"Milkstache Blues" is a tune I wrote and recorded on my Dancing With No Shoes On CD. This is a song I use for my children's music programs. There is a long introduction I do for this song, and it ends with me reaching into an imaginary cookie jar only to find that someone has eaten all my cookies! Usually there will be a child in the audience who happily claims responsibility. We have a lot of fun with it!

 

For this recording/video I went back to my friend Brud at Fremont Recording. He does a great…

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"Take Down Your Flag" by Peter Mulvey 

 

I have recorded a video of a song Peter Mulvey wrote in response to the shootings at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC. 

 

"King of the One Horse Town" 

 

 

"King of the One Horse Town" is a tune I wrote a few years ago while living in Flagstaff, Arizona. I was thinking about how every little town has its local heroes who never manage to travel out across the wider world.

 

This recording was produced by Brud at Fremont Recording here in Portland, Oregon. Brud wanted to demo his new, old Otari MX5050 reel-to-reel tape machine. This was definitely old school, and I really enjoyed working this way. Brud has a fantastic vintage Neumann U47 microphone that…

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"Uphill (American Dream)" 

 

 

"Uphill (American Dream)" originally appeared on my out-of-print Campfire CD. This is a song I wrote while I was teaching public school in Chicago. A lot of my students' families were first generation immigrants from Mexico.

 

I also recorded a version of this song for the Border Songs CD Project that I produced with my friend Robert Neustadt. Border Songs raises money for a humanitarian organization in Arizona called No More Deaths/No Más Muertes. The CD included tracks by an all-star cast of…

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"Election Night" 

 

 

 

"Election Night" is a song I wrote right before the election of President Barack Obama in 2008. I have a little personal history with Obama since he brought his family to my Wiggleworms™ children's music classes back when I taught at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. Nice guy, beautiful family. I'd never have guessed he would have been our president in a few short years.

 

I recorded a solo acoustic demo of "Election Night" that got played on a few folk radio shows, and then we used the…

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"South Branch" 

 

"South Branch" is another tune that appeared on my Coming Home CD. This is a rare instrumental guitar piece for me. The whole thing comes from noodling in an open tuning that I learned from Chris Smither's version of "Statesboro Blues" — though I'm not even sure anymore that Chris used this tuning. I've been playing this at gigs lately after years of letting it sit.

 

 

 

 

People often comment that they are impressed with the playing on this piece. It's nice to hear that, and I wouldn't put it out…

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"Three Cups of Coffee" 

 

"Three Cups of Coffee" was written back in mid-1990s and appeared on the Coming Home CD. For years, I've been using this tune to loosen up my playing early in shows. It's a fun one for me, though taking the lyrics literally would probably kill me at this point. I remember writing this after an impromptu jam session while camping on Orcas Island. I've gotten as much mileage out of this song as any song I've written.

 

In making the video, I had the help of two fabulous professionals here in Portland…

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