Saturday, 30 May 2009
Iowa, the "Hawkeye State", has never been high on my list of places to visit. I'm happy to be corrected but my brief research has only uncovered one tourist attraction that intrigues me - The John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset. Still, the state has inspired some good tunes. As usual let me know what you think and suggest ones I've missed.
MP3: Eleni Mandell - Iowa City
My friend John Barner tipped me off to Eleni Mandell many years ago, presumably knowing I'd fall for anyone who regularly cited Tom Waits as an influence. Coincidentally John also lived in Iowa City for a short time. This song's lyrics may or may not have a special meaning for him.
More Eleni Mandell: MySpace | Amazon
MP3: The Jayhawks - Sioux City
One of my favourite tracks from The Jayhawks' first album proper Blue Earth (1989). This clip is from a 1995 gig in Germany circa the Tomorrow the Green Grass album.
More Jayhawks: Fan site | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: Tom T Hall - It Sure Can Get Cold In Des Moines
I first heard this song, performed by Jayhawk Mark Olson, on Real: The Tom T Hall Project tribute album. Since I've already had one Jayhawks song for Iowa it only seems fair to post Hall's original. The track is from one of his most highly regarded albums, 1971's In Search of a Song.
More Tom T Hall: Wikipedia | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: Joni Mitchell — The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines
More Des Moines. Joni Mitchell's collaboration with Charlie Mingus, recorded just a few months before the jazz legend's death in 1979, can be a perplexing listen for fans of Blue and Court and Spark. Like most of the tracks on the album, this one about an out-of-towner on a lucky streak in Vegas, sets Micthell's lyrics to one of the last tunes Mingus wrote.
More Joni Mitchell: official site | Amazon | 7digital
More Charlie Mingus: official site | 7digital
We're staying in middle America for the next leg of the journey and saying hello to Kansas.
State Songs #14: Illinois - Frank Zappa, Wilco, Tom Waits, The Handsome Family, Sufjan Stevens, Three Bits of Rhythm
The Journey So Far
State Songs - links to every post on this musical road trip