Tram? and the changes afoot

As sure as packing boxes are teetering dangerously and there’s a cat with a feline premonition of something big afoot, I move this week.

It’s not the sort of move across town where I enlist a friend unlucky enough to own a truck, take the day from work, call the phone company, and, whoosh, I’m back to the old comforts by the next week. This is the move that upends the rituals and routines that’ve measured my past seven or eight years, a move to a part of the country that I love (deep West Texas), to a girl I love, to a town otherwise known for its Minimalist art and its Mystery Lights and its isolation in the surrounding desert.

And so it follows that last Friday was my last day at the tech job that, for well over seven years, allowed me to freely indulge a serious record habit. Now I get by with ongoing freelance writing jobs and odd DJ gigs and, frankly, whatever odd work I can hustle. As with any move, one is inevitably forced to reckon, grunting and swearing and vowing, with stuff, tons, literally, of stuff. And for once I’ll truly address these stuff issues, too, properly selling off a sizeable chunk of my record collection (any habitual collector can probably tell you how perversely exciting this prospect is).

Still, my investment in Marfa is limited; I return to Austin in December this year to pursue my graduate studies at UT’s School of Information, resuming my life in some sort of weirdly familiar, renewed-but-changed capacity as a student. I’ll also likely be continuing my radio show Soul Sauce in some form on Marfa Public Radio – and trying my damnedest to get some regular Office Naps podcast thing going. I’ll be returning occasionally to Austin, too, for Soul Happenings – and whenever the need for barbeque and old friends and record stores outweighs that daunting seven hour drive.

But Office Naps will continue as always. Next week my friend Jeff fills in with a guest post and, though it may be a bit rocky at first, I’ll be back with new posts thereafter, my bogus new “laid-back” persona in tow.

Anyway, all forthcoming developments will be noted here, but a shortened post this week in the meantime due to time constraints and general distraction levels. Wish me luck!

1. Junior Kimbell, Tram? (Philwood)
Recorded in 1968, “Tram?” was the very first commercial release from Junior Kimbell (AKA Junior Kimbrough). “You can call me country,” he sang. And people did, as Kimbrough was frequently identified as a living embodiment of the Mississippi Delta blues. Hearing this selection – his droning version of the Lowell Fulson R&B; hit “Tramp” – it’s easy to understand why Kimbrough’s rough-hewn singing and guitar conformed to blues fanatics’ ideas of “authentic” Delta blues.

“Tram?” is a personal favorite. And, after several slow, hypnotic revolutions of “Tram?” I think you’ll understand why it was chosen to stand alone this week, too: Kimbrough, who had a penchant for Eastern-like modes, sounded like nobody else on Earth.

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11 Responses to Tram? and the changes afoot

  1. nabeel says:

    Good luck with your move, Danny. I was a grad student at UT-Austin in Radio-TV-Film from 91-96 and now live in Aotearoa/New Zealand. I’ve loved your blog and have checked it out for the last few months.

    my blog is at topicalointment.blogspot.com

    best wishes for a safe haul across the lone star state.
    Nabeel

  2. Anonymous says:

    love it

    so… are you driving or hopping the freight train with a box of 45’s and a toothbrush.. with a late night entry into marfa and two sprained ankles

    have fun

    mr. margarita

  3. jon says:

    Best of luck with the move and the lifestyle change. It sounds like a really positive thing you are doing.
    Keep posting, and thanks for the Kimboro track. He does seem to typify the kind of blues i love, I’ve always been moved by the Wolf/John Lee Hooker side of things much more than the Buddy Guy/Guitar Solo is King ( pun intended ) type of blues.
    I know what you mean about the awful label of ‘authenticity’ he has had pinned on him, it irritates me no end. But despite it meaning that I have to share a musical bed with idiot purists, I am a big Kimboro fan.
    Jon.

  4. J.T. says:

    Well, well, well. Congratulations on the move, old man. Never 4get the sundae party with Hunter and m&ms;, big wheels in the back yard, setting fire to things, and running from the cops. Also King Messy Sloppy.

  5. Roger says:

    An excellent track, as always. Good luck with the move.

  6. KS says:

    Panther Burns did an excellent cover of this song.

  7. Anonymous says:

    that guitar solo shreds.

  8. Maxim says:

    Great post – I’d always thought that the title of the Panther Burns cover was a misprint. Good ol’ Tav, faithful even unto the typoes!

  9. Remy LeBeau says:

    Wow, this is why I compulsively listen to music. Amazing. I’m going to a hard time finding that record, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
    Thanks for the mp3 in the meantime!

  10. sroden says:

    that is a f-ing great record!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Your move is cool, the career tack is cool,your site is waaaay cool—-so don’t stay away from the music too long, you are needed out here in etherland.

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