Glenville Reel

Now that all my own musical aspirations are focused on various live / jamming projects this blog here can return to our regular “mp3 of bands what I like bulk good” type of blog.

First one up isn’t a band per se but a singer song-writer by the name of Loudon Wainwright III who I was introduced to back in 1992. My housemate Hickey produced this battered old 2 dollar LP from 1971, with a funny looking geezer on the cover, and we listened to it about once a day for about six months. I think I was particularly entranced by the guy’s voice. Back then he sang in this high-pitched anxious, slightly pathetic wail, that makes him sound not feminine but definitely not masculine and almost like he belongs to some separate third gender of angsty singer-songwriter. I late found out he was married to a McGarrigle and Rufus Wainwright is his son, so maybe this is why.

I got a hold of it recently and realized I had forgotten all but three tunes – Baby in the House (which is good but formulaic), Motel Room Blues (which I used to cover), and, the 3-part medley ending in Glenville Reel. I had forgotten the other two parts of this but always remembered the end of Glenville Reel:

Take off her clothes and throw ’em in the river

Wash her body and stick it in the sun

Give that gal everything that you can give her

You can give her the bullets if you can give her the gun

Great song. I don’t know why it’s called Glenville Reel, though. Glenville is in West Virginia and Loudon isn’t from there, and it sure isn’t a traditional song so I got no clue. Maybe he just wrote it while he was there.

Anyway I have lately been working on my own version, Glenside Reel, which takes its name from an Adelaide mental hospital. I’ll post a demo on the L and S site sometime in the next few months, maybe, and those who listen to both will be able to hear the resemblance.



I’m trying out the audio player, just for this post.


Look What They Done to My Song, Ma!

Looks like Emma Luker of The Fiddle Chicks has been getting her hands on my music and doing her own thing with it again!!!

The first such incident occurred a few years back when she got hold of an old demo tape that Bill Greenwoood and I made for his Honours cello audition in about 1990, featuring an instrumental tune of mine called simply The Third Waltz. When Emma was putting together a demo CD with her beau Soursob Bob, they made a recording of the tune with violin, guitar, bass and some percussion. Here it be. I can’t give you the original to compare. I think it was pretty basic. (The tune went on to become part of a full song called Never Come Close, a maudlin epic about love and loss that is best forgotten).

Mp3 – Emma Luker and Soursob Bob – The Third Waltz.

About six months later Emma e-mailed to ask if she could cover another tune, Goldfish at the Laundromat, this time from the Live at Home CD I made last year and have been banging on about on here. It’s a melancholy folk tune about love and loss etc, but it doesn’t annoy me at the moment.

Sure, I said. Why not?

At this point I had only met this person once, briefly, at the Wheaty last Christmas, completely by accident, and was kinda wondering who she was. Well, we’ve hooked up twice now, and had a trial recording session just yesterday, and I am pleased to report she is a fine musician who also seems to make a fair living out of being that, which I had previously thought to be a myth, like Craig MacLachlan’s music career. But this photograph proves her to be quite real.


Her version of the song is on her forthcoming debut solo CD. It’s all her, except apparently that the producer snuck in and did the snare drum while she wasn’t looking.

MP3 – Emma Luker – Goldfish at the Laundromat

I think I like it better than the original version, which was kind of patched together out of several different files with the home recording equivalent of sticky tape. You might not pick that but I hear it every time I listen to it…

Mp3 – Great Southern Steve – Goldfish at the Laundromat

Anyway there’s more where this all came from. I’ll be putting up a few mixes from the trial session, maybe including one of Bob’s tunes too, and hopefully we’ll do more folk together later in the year.