Saturday, August 16, 2014

New Riders of the Purple Sage - Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And loud, Loud Music)

Today is the Atlanta BBQ Festival.  Expect pictures later.  But this begs the question - is there a Country Music song about BBQ?  If you're wondering, you must be new here ...

A hotbed of country music in the late 1960s was - perhaps surprisingly - the San Francisco of Haight Ashbury.  Gram Parsons had perhaps the greatest long term impact, but The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia joined with some friends to form the New Riders of the Purple Sage (a country band named after the Zane Grey novel).  It was pretty straight up western swing classics with a solar system of orbiting friends from Big Brother And The Holding Company to Country Joe And The Fish.

This is an old Flatt & Scruggs song, played out of the smoke of San Francisco Beat bars.  It was a groovy scene, dig?  Err, with steel guitars.  You might think that the smoke in the song might have been something other than BBQ; I couldn't possibly comment.

Quite frankly, this sort of creative recombination and synthesis is precisely why we beat the Godless Commies in the Cold War.  Really.



Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And loud, Loud Music) (Songwriters: Joe Maphis, Rose Lee Maphis, Max Fidler)
Dim lights, thick smoke, and loud, loud music
Is the only kind of life you'll ever understand
Dim lights, thick smoke and loud, loud music
You'll never make a wife to a home-loving man
A home and little children mean nothing to you
A house filled with love and a husband so true
You'd rather have a drink with the first guy you meet
And the only home you'll know is the club down the street

Dim lights, thick smoke, and loud, loud music
Is the only kind of life you'll ever understand
Dim lights, thick smoke and loud, loud music
You'll never make a wife to a home-loving man
A drinking and dancing to a honky tonk band
Is the only kind of life you'll ever understand
Go out and have your fun, you think you've played it smart
I'm sorry for you and your honky tonk heart

Dim lights, thick smoke, and loud, loud music
Is the only kind of life you'll ever understand
Dim lights, thick smoke and loud, loud music
You'll never make a wife to a home-loving man

3 comments:

Graybeard said...

There's an R&B/bluesy song called "Too Much Barbecue" but that's impossible. An oxymoron. "It's a contradiction in terms, like jumbo shrimp"... as Carlin said.


thesouthtexaspistolero said...

Great tune. This is my favorite version of it, from Joe Maphis and Rose Lee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIcMJ4x-XAY

Ken said...

Pretty cool.