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12/25/2009

Merry Christmas from the Kennett Brothers (repost)

This is a repost of a post I wrote three years ago. Enjoy, while I take the rest of the day off.

Santa is Real, the Christmas record my old band the Kennett Brothers put together, is long out-of-print, and, thanks to the efforts of obsessive Wilco completists, prohibitively expensive on the second-hand market. In the spirit of the season, I’m posting an MP3 of one of the tracks, our cover of the Louvin Brothers song ‘A Shutin at Christmas‘.

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(download link below the jump)

(more…)

12/9/2008

More Merry Christmas, from the Kennett Brothers (repost)

Today’s post is more reposty goodness for the holiday season. Enjoy

Here’s another song from the Kennett Brothers’ long out of print and now ridiculously pricey Xmas CD, Santa is Real. This time, it’s the Kennett’s performance of the Marty Robbins tune, ‘One of You in Every Size‘.

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The lineup as best I remember:
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12/6/2008

Merry Christmas from the Kennett Brothers (repost)

This is a repost of a post I wrote two years ago. Enjoy, while I take the rest of the day off.

Santa is Real, the Christmas record my old band the Kennett Brothers put together, is long out-of-print, and, thanks to the efforts of obsessive Wilco completists, prohibitively expensive on the second-hand market. In the spirit of the season, I’m posting an MP3 of one of the tracks, our cover of the Louvin Brothers song ‘A Shutin at Christmas‘.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(download link below the jump)

(more…)

6/11/2008

The Viper and His Famous Orchestra playing Winnebago Bay

Way back in the wondrous days of yore, or, more precisely, the mid-to-late 1990s, I was fortunate to cross paths with a jive-talking, ukulele-playing, yodeling hipster who called himself The Viper. He led a Spirits Of Rhythm-inspired combo called The Famous Orchestra, who recorded two CDs before The Viper left the corn belt to teach Jive in Turkey.

I played steel guitar on the second disc, Everything for Everyone, on this ditty, a Hawaiian song about Wisconsin.

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Read more about the record on the Viper Blog

Buy the CD on CDBaby.com

5/22/2008

The Great Driver Has No Cash reuinion

If you lived in Champaign Urbana in the early 1990s, you likely remember Driver Has No Cash, a trio featuring amplified ukulele, toy drums, and the melodious vocals of Frank Gill. If you feel like spending a few moments wallowing in the gloriousness of that time and place, you’re in luck. Driver Has No Cash are reuniting this weekend.

From Bill’s blog, the Williwaw Endeavor:

driver has no cash – francis bradley gill, robert rising & the artist somewhat rarely known as williwaw – have, like the Great Phoenix, risen from the ashes.

SUNDAY MAY 25 8 PM
THE HIGH DIVE
51 MAIN STREET
CHAMPAIGN USA

there will be much roaring, much whimpering, cowering even, from the mighty rock. can you handle such rock? no, you can’t. but you’ll try, oh how you’ll try, to carry on. there are tickets. there will be no t-shirts. no, don’t cry, there will be other trinkets. there will be other bands. so many bands. so much rock. you, you really should stay away. you, you’re just not ready. stay home. yes, the sofa. that’s the place for you…

12/17/2007

Merry Christmas from the Kennett Brothers, part II (repost)

Today’s post is more reposty goodness for the holiday season. Enjoy

Here’s another song from the Kennett Brothers’ long out of print and now ridiculously pricey Xmas CD, Santa is Real. This time, it’s the Kennett’s performance of the Marty Robbins tune, ‘One of You in Every Size‘. The lineup as best I remember:
(more…)

12/16/2007

Merry Christmas from the Kennett Brothers (repost)

This is a repost of a post I wrote last year. Enjoy, while I take the rest of the day off.

Santa is Real, the Christmas record my old band the Kennett Brothers put together, is long out-of-print, and, thanks to the efforts of obsessive Wilco completists, prohibitively expensive on the second-hand market. In the spirit of the season, I’m posting an MP3 of one of the tracks, our cover of the Louvin Brothers song ‘A Shutin at Christmas‘.
(more…)

10/25/2007

The Cornlikkers playing Ginseng Blues

I used to play in a jug band down in Champaign called the Cornlikkers, who played together for about two years before we all scattered. Toward the end of our time together, we were invited to perform on the local CBS affiliate, WCIA, the TV home of downstate Illinois’ only full-time radio meteorologist.

The tune is Ginseng Blues, which Tangleweed recorded in a similar fashion, on our second record. On this version, though, there’s yodeling in all the solo breaks, and Ryan Jerving is a much better yodeler than I. There’s a basically inaudible mandolin solo in the middle.

The lineup:

  • Ryan Jerving: baritone ukulele and vocals
  • Bill Whitemer: banjo ukulele and vocals
  • Riley Broach: Bass
  • Edward Burch: guitar and vocals
  • Kenneth Rainey: mandolin and vocals
  • Jim “Jugs” Randall: jug

Like so many of the other great juggists of the 20th Century, Jim Randall was classically trained. We could pair him with our backup juggist, Jerry, for the “jugs-a-plenty” rhythm section, and have them play Bach two part inventions.

All the folks at WCIA were great. After we finished playing, one of the newscasters excitedly played Mike Ditka’s amazingly punk rock performance of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” a rare treat in those halcyon pre-YouTube days. We got to rub elbows with the aforementioned full-time radio meteorologist. And our performance was followed by a story about a man and his pet fish, a wild 16-inch largemouth bass that would come when called:

“Do you have a name for him?”
“No. Just fish is all.”

This performance was transfered from an old VHS tape, so the audio is not great. My apologies.