On the Banks of the Old Rio Grande

Protest Week

Here’s the Final Installment of Protest Week in honor of National Protest Week. The song for today is On the Banks of the Old Rio Grande. This song is patterned after the traditional tune On the Banks of the Old Tennessee, which I learned from Old Paul Tyler.

There wasn’t a whole lot of re-writing to do with this one, just changing a couple words here and there. It’s a song I’ve performed live a lot, both as a slower version, as recorded here, and as an uptempo piece. This recording was done on June 18, 2010 during a giant storm arching its way across the city. I went out on my back porch, hit record, and sang into the small mic of my computer. One take.

This song doesn’t have a whole lot to say, doesn’t try to tell you what to believe, ain’t trying for to persuade you about anything. It’s just a song. Just someone singing.

I wrote this one a couple years ago. It was one of those really easy ones to sing and I’ve never quit on it like a lot of the tunes I’ve written and then stopped enjoying or stopped understanding. I get this one loud and clear. I know why I wrote it and I know why it’s gotta be said.

Anyway, that’s the end of protest week. I think National Protest Week just keeps on grinding along all through the year, but I gotta move on to something else. I think next week, starting on Monday, June 28 is gonna be Blues Song Week. I’ll post a new blues song I wrote yesterday down here in Mississippi. Then each day I dig back through some old songs and old recordings and post one and write about it in relation to the blues, which I don’t know a whole lot about, but maybe by the end of the week I’ll learn something.

Also, don’t forget that the Barehand Jugband is playing at the Old Town School of Folk Music on Saturday 6/26. We’re opening for Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur. The show starts at 8pm. Before that, in the afternoon, around 12pm we’ll be playing a few tunes and sitting for some questions on the radio show Somebody Else’s Troubles. You can find that at 88.7fm on your dial or at WLUW’s website. Either way you get to listen for free. I won’t be at either of those, because I’m in the south, but both will still be really okay.

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