Tuesday, July 1, 2014

BATTLE OF THE BANDS XXIII - WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES 'ALMOST'





I guess you guys have figured out that my hearts not really in this today. Heck, it's after one in the afternoon here (I'm in the Pacific Time Zone), you guys on the East Coast are about packing it in for the day. I had originally planned a different song in celebration of the revolution, you remember the one we celebrate on the fourth of July every year here in the US. Almost seems pointless anymore, but well you know how it goes tradition and all that jazz.

Anyway...I don't have time to put all of that together, maybe it will show up as a belated revolutionary post on the 15th, we'll just have to wait and see. Instead, I've chosen something that's pretty much 'American'.

Let's start out with the man himself Mr. Woody Guthrie (you know Arlo's dad - please don't tell me you don't even know Arlo, let alone Woody.)


OK, I get it; that version is probably gonna drive a lot of you guys completely crazy, try to remember it was a long time ago.

Next up a completely different version by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.


I could have given you a choice between the more melodious, harmonious, and probably familiar version by Peter, Paul and Mary and then there is the absolutely horrible version (IMO) by Bruce Springsteen, but I went for some real diversity by going back to the original and then pairing it up with a newer more bluesy version. Not a whole lot of similarities here other than the very basic melody line and the words.

So there you have it, a song as American as...well, maybe the original American Revolution. Now you should know what to do and how to do it. when you finish up here head on over to Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends The home of the ever so charming Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy. Stephen will give you the links to the others who are participating in BOTB. I urge you to visit all of the sites and cast your votes.

I'll be back on the 7th with my vote and the final tally. I really do appreciate all of the continued support for this endeavor, especially since it seems to be about all I can find the time and energy to post anymore.
 

29 comments:

  1. I remember singing that in school and it didn't sound like either version. I'll have to go with the second one as it's faster and closer to what I remember of the song.

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    1. Yeah, I remember singing it in school also. Then it sounded more like Woody's version than the other. Thank for your vote.

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  2. I love Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings, and while this song works better as a folk song (I actually like Bruce's version), I'm not a Woody Guthrie fan, so I am voting for Mrs. Jones!

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    1. When Bruce sings it, he's singing it as a Communist. Hell, Woody probably was too, but at least Woody wrote it, and he was Commie when Commie wasn't cool. Bruce, he's just a bandwagon Commie.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    2. 'Bandwagon Commie', that actually made me laugh out loud. Thanks I needed that.

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    3. I first heard the Sharon Jones version as the intro on the movie 'Up In Air'. It sure makes an interesting comparision. I admit to being surprised at how the voting is going so far.

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  3. FAE ~
    Glad to see you're here! I was really starting to worry 'boutcha. E me!

    This was a damn good 'BOTB' match-up you put together. We've got the traditional going against the modern, and the arrangements are about 180-degrees different. EXCELLENT match-up - one of your best!

    There's a part of me (my left forearm, to be specific) that wants to vote for Woody Guthrie because it's the version I'm most accustomed too - and because I feel I'll be letting Bob Dylan down if I don't vote for his hero Woody. (And, yes, of course I know Woody well, and know his son Arlo, too. Heck, there used to be a place in Westwood Village that I passed 5 days a week for 8 years when I worked at U.C.L.A. It was called 'Alice's Restaurant'. I ate there once or twice; a kind of fancy place.)

    Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings - where do you people find these artists I've never even heard of?

    Well, Boy Howdy! That was some seriously soulful singin'. Great horns on that track too, with a pronounced beat that had me groovin' from the get-go! From Riverside, California, to Staten Island? Ha! How'd Riverside sneak in there? They might just as well have sung, "From beautiful downtown Burbank"... Johnny Carson's old line.

    Anyway... I hate to disappoint Bobby, but I gotta go with that Funky, Soulful, Bluesy version by Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings. That was MY kind of music right there!

    Sorry, Bobby... Woody... Arlo.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Thanks, I was starting to worry about me too.

      Glad you liked this match-up. Like I said it was a last minute decision. I wondered how the bluesy version would be received and so far it's working hard to shut Woody completely out.

      See my comment to LC as to where I found the Sharon Jones version.

      Bobby might have to forgive you. I think even he would like the bluesy version and the minor word changes Sharon and the Dap Kings have added. Ok, I'm about to say too much and give away my vote.

      'Alice's Restaurant' - now there's a song!

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  4. The Dap Kings was listenable, interesting, and engaging. Woody sounded like the guy who played with Ernest T Bass while Andy Griffith and the real musicians played down at the jail. One vote for # 2!

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    1. Yeah, that would be just about Woody's speed. Thanks for the vote.

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  5. I don't know who or what a Dap is, but I've got to give this one to the Dap Kings pretty easily. Great sound they've got there.

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    1. Me neither (about the Dap thing, but they certainly are the Kings of it). Got your vote. Glad you liked the sound, better than you like soccer anyway.

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  6. That song is easy to get stuck in the head indeed. #2 gets my vote.

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    1. It does have one of those recurring jingle kind of sounds doesn't it? Got your vote helping to work on this shut-out.

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  7. Sheboyganboy SixJuly 1, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    I was never a Guthrie fan (either of 'em), but I would have voted for him if he did the song better.

    He didn't.

    Ms. Jones and "the kings of fishing by letting the bait fall lightly in the water." I'd cross the road to listen to that soulful voice. Then I'd hope she sang a better song!

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    1. Another one for Sharon. I suppose she could sing a better song and if you go to YouTube you'll see that often she does, but there is a lot of soul in this one.

      So, are you telling me that 'dap' is a fishing term. I finally looked it up and the Urban Dictionary says it's the equivalent of a 'fist bump'. Beats me.

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  8. Gotta be Sharon Jones for me. I enjoyed that rendition of a song that I don't particularly like. I'm not much of a Woody Guthrie fan. That Jones version really cooks.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Can't argue with the fact that Ms. Jones does know what she's doin' in the kitchen.

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  9. Guthrie all the way for me. Love that folklore sound. I'm a red-neck, ya know. Couldn't listen past the first few seconds of Sharon Jones.

    I'm not posting this month for BotB.

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    1. Ta Da! the Shut-Out is over. I really hate it when one of my BOTB's comes up as a shut out. These are two very diverse versions and I know the voting is always subjective, but I'm still grateful to see everyone get at least one vote. Thank you very much.

      Sorry you're not joining the fun this month, but I'll keep checking. You're ISWG post was excellent. One I truly enjoyed.

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  10. Sorry to read that things seem to be going tough for you.

    I know that feeling of your heart not being in something. :-/

    Sadly, I can't vote today. Internet sucks eggs today, so it might take me past the 7th just to get your songs to play.

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    1. Sometimes it's like that, but thanks for stopping by anyway, and the good wishes.

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  11. Hi FAE, I haven't been around much lately, but I stopped by to check out your BOTB entry. I hope you're feeling better soon -- fight the funk!

    But speaking of funk -- Dang! I'd never heard of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, but whoa! That's funky!!! The Woody Guthrie version is a part of American history and led to a song that's been sung by millions of kids over the years. You have to give the man props for that, even if he was probably writing it in some part as a protest against the evil capitalists who controlled the land and kept it from "the people".

    But as something I'd want to actually listen to? Well, Sharon and the DKs easily win my vote. Love the horns, the beat, and she is clearly a much better vocalist than ol' Woody. So absolutely -- Sharon for me. Can't fight that funk...

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    1. Hey Chris, nice to see you out and about. I've noticed you're back voting regularly at 'Write Club' and was wondering if you might be by. You know, you can jump in any ole time on BOTB and post a contest. Just make sure you put something in one of the other participants comments box, so we know to check your space out and others can find you. Always glad to have you.

      Yeah, Woody was certainly a part of the big march into socialism or worse. for whatever reason he penned this song, it definitely has the ring of a national anthem, too bad his version doesn't stand up better over time. I wonder if people will think the same thing about Dylan in another 50 or 60 years.

      Can't argue with the tone and the vocals in Ms.Jones version.

      Thanks for coming by, don't be such a stranger.

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  12. I am sorry that it has taken me SO LONG to get here. I sure am sorry that you are feeling so lousy. I know what that is like and it is no fun.

    I am very familiar with the Guthrie version of this song and it lines up more with how I am used to hearing it. I am one of those people who actually likes folk music. There is beauty in the simplicity. If he had a better singing voice it might have been a tougher match-up. The thing is I wanted to vote for him because I read through the comments as I was listening to the song (as I said I'd heard it many times before) and I could see that he was getting killed in the voting. Thank goodness for Donna Hole because as soon as I started the second one.... holy cow. What a voice. What a beat. What instrumentation. What a great song. There was NO WAY I could NOT vote for it.

    So, chalk up another one for the lady with the big voice.

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    1. No problem on the timing, after all I was pretty late in even getting this posted. Thanks for the good wishes. I'm working through it.

      Another one for SJ and the DK.

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  13. Keep your chin up! I am struggling with health issues, again. I was trying so hard to ignore all the signs. I hope you get your mojo back and your head in the game again. Use the time to reflect and get into your characters. Make up lists in your mind about their likes, dislikes, different personality traits. That helps me pass the time when I can't do much of anything else!

    Bottom line, this too shall pass!

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  14. Thanks for the encouragement. I'll keep those things in mind.

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