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Monday, September 20, 2010

186. "Okie from Muskogee" by Merle Haggard

The new, looser request-based format of 39-40 is going to be played even looser from time to time, when events in the real world (birthdays, events of extinction-level win/fail, holidays) demand something a little more specific. In this case, the news that poor health has forced country legend and incredibly awesome dude Merle Haggard to cancel some shows and take some time off sent me running back to this recording of a performance Thunderhill did of "Okie From Muskogee" last month. And yes, some people did request a Haggard tribute, so here it is.

If you're familiar with Thunderhill, then you'll want to know that this is the first new recording of the band of any kind to be released since-- I'm fairly sure of this-- 1978, with the On the Road Again LP. There'll probably be more to come from the two shows Heckman and I recorded last month, and there's certainly big bunch of crazy archival stuff in my vault here at Minco Records headquarters, reaching all the way back to 1958 or thereabouts, predating even the "official" debut of the band.

If you're not familiar with Thunderhill, there's not much I can do to explain the whole thing. I will mention that I've been a little hesitant to label this incarnation of the band as "Thunderhill" since it doesn't include founding member Ed Jordan. But everyone called us that anyway, so it was hard to fight it. I'm still hoping to get Ed to jump into the recording process in some capacity.

Does this fit the rubric of turning out a cover a day, considering that the main part of the recording was done in August? To me, it does; I did all the mixing and editing today, and may even have added an overdub or two. In many previous cases I've based my covers on existing material, and in every case *something* has existed beforehand in some fashion. Doesn't matter, really. Here's some Haggard.

THUNDERHILL (2010 Edition)
Jim Broome ~ lead vocal, rhythm guitar
Rich Frush ~ drums, backing vocal
Rex Broome ~ lead guitar, backing vocal
Tom Heckman ~ bass, backing vocal
Jerry "Vic" Marsh ~ tambourine, keyboards

Recorded live at The Stray Cat Wing Shack in Keyser, WV by Tom Heckman
Mixed and edited by Rex at Minco Records, Silver Lake, CA

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