E2TG – Video Premiere: Jon Latham (Live at Fort Dakota) – "LA Freeway" (Guy Clark Cover)

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Hey!  It is Tuesday night, I have been catching up on laundry and trying to catch up on e-mail.  My inbox has been flooded with a ton of great music – some of which you will be hearing here on Ear to the Ground, so of which will be coming your way soon.

In the midst of the excitement of scrolling through pages of unopened e-mail (sorry), I got a call from the 2015 E2TG Artist of the Year, Jon Latham.  That is how he is tagged in my phone by the way… “2015 E2TG Artist of the Year, Jon Latham”.  He filled me in on a project he has in the works.

Returning to Fort Dakota Studio, Jon has recorded five solo acoustic songs all of which were also recorded on video. The recordings were a reunion of sorts with Fort Dakota’s mastermind, Josh Morris who produced Jon’s album, Real Bad News.

Look for an EP of those sessions coming your way soon, in the meantime, I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to present the very first video from that session.

When Jon and I talk, we often talk about music. As I have said before, Jon is extremely knowledgeable about a pretty wide variety of music genres – including some bands that I would not expect someone his age to know (thank you Michael Latham).

Inevitably, we talk about songwriters.  Names like John Prine, Steve Earle, and Guy Clark come up quite often.  We have discussed the importance of Guy Clark to much of the best music being played in songwriter rounds around this fair city.

“LA Freeway” has long been one of my favorite Guy Clark songs, and I really like Jon’s cover of that song here – recorded at Fort Dakota.

A little trivia:  Steve Earle sang background vocals on Guy Clark’s recording of this song from his debut album, Old No. 1.  Steve Earle, as you may recall, is prominently referenced in the opening seconds of  Real Bad News.

Without any further ado: Here is “LA Freeway” by Jon Latham

#E2TG Exclusive Video Premiere: Mark Robinson Band "Gone South (Electric Rock)"

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A couple of weeks ago, the shuffle gods were in our favor, and “Gone South (Electric Rock)” by Mark Robinson came up on my shuffle the same day that his new two-sided single was released.  We had originally added the official video to our playlist but due to a technical problem (You Tube ate the video, I think), we had to replace the video with the song/picture video.  However, thankfully, we have been given another shot….

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls… come gather round your computer, tablet or other electronic device and then sit back and enjoy the WORLD PREMIERE VIDEO PRESENTATION via your source for all the news that is fit to post….

The important details….

MARK ROBINSON:  Some people are born into the Blues, some people have the Blues thrust upon them.  Having discovered the Blues as a teenager, when Robinson moved from Indiana to Chicago, he found himself learning from some true legends of the genre while also discovering the harsh realities of a life playing Blues music.  Moving back to Indiana, he began a long teaching career at Indiana University while continuing to make music.  In 2004, when he wife, Sue Havlish, got a job offer in Nashville, Mark packed up and moved to The Music City.  His debut record, Quit Your Job – Play Guitar, describes the attitude he took about the move.  In his decade plus in Nashville, Robinson has established himself as one of the best sidemen, band leaders, and producers around.  Whether backing artists like Tommy Womack, producing albums like David Olney’s When the Deal Goes Down, or leading his own Mark Robinson Band, Mark Robinson has found his place in a very crowded Nashville music scene.

MARK ROBINSON BAND:  Backed by the powerhouse rhythm section of Daniel Seymour (Irene Kelly, David Olney, Tommy Womack) on bass and Justin Amaral (Jim Lauderdale, Junior Brown) on Drums.  The Mark Robinson Band are one of the best live acts in Nashville.  Their show at The 5 Spot at the tail end of Tomato Fest this year, was a joyous celebration. The stellar playing, awesome arrangements, and party atmosphere made it a night to remember.  This blogger even danced (twice!), and I don’t dance!

THE SONG:  “Gone South” was originally written as an Electric Rock song – similar in vein to Robinosn’s blues recordings but with a harder/chunkier rock sound that recalls some of great Blues-inspired hard rock – from Mountain and James Gang up to an including some of the current purveyors of the music.  He also recorded an Acoustic Roots version of the song which re-imagines the song as something that should find a welcome along side some of the fine folks making genuine roots inspired acoustic music today.  At the heart of both versions is a damn fine song played by some of the best players Nashville as to offer.

THE ELECTRIC ROCK VERSION:  To bring the Electric Rock version to life, Robinson augmented his talented band with Michael Webb whose many credits included work with Poco and John Fogerty playing the Hammond B3 and Rick Schell who is best known for his work with Pure Prairie League singing background vocals.  The song Rocks. Hard.

THE VIDEO:  Produced and Directed by Charles Brandon, the video for “Gone South (Electric Rock)” is fast paced mix of performance (featuring the Mark Robinson Band with Rick Schell performing stunt drumming duties for the video – presumably because Justin Amaral is afraid of dragons (but we will get to that).  Robinson himself is the star of the video – giving a dramatic turn as a man frustrated by life who turns to booze and eventually decides to go South only to find his efforts repeatedly thwarted.  Finally, he buys a run down old pick-up truck (complete with an eight track tape deck) and finally hits the road.  And there are dragons that breath fire on the band as if their playing was not hot enough.  The video is exciting and fun and engaging.  In short, it encapsulates everything I love about Mark and his music.