Saturday, 4 July 2009

Food for the Fourth

The greatest thing about America's 4 July celebrations is not the fireworks but the gluttony that accompanies them. So, in honour of the USA's annual pig-out here are some food related songs from Carnival Saloon regulars, plus a couple of oldies, to go with your meat feasts.

MP3: Wendy Rene - Bar-B-Q

There's no other tribute to grilled meat that compares to Wendy Rene's 1964 Stax single. In this year's Southern Music issue of the Oxford American Zeth Landry even suggests that Bar-B-Q "should be adopted as our nation's tailgating anthem". Trivia: According to the OA article Rene owned a pet monkey called Chico that used to terrorise the likes of Rufus Thomas and Stax boss Jim Stewart.
More Wendy Rene: Wikipedia | Amazon | 7digital

MP3: Tom Waits - Filipino Box Spring Hog (1993 version)

In Tom's own words: "When we lived on Union Avenue in LA, we had parties. We sawed the floorboards out of the living room, and we took the bed, the box spring, and first dug out the hole and filled it with wood, poured gasoline on it, and lit a fire. And the box spring over the top, that was the grill. We brought in a pig and cooked it right there." This is an earlier version than the one on Mule Variations. It's from the 1993 benefit record Born to Choose.
More Tom Waits: MySpace | Amazon | 7digital

MP3: Old Crow Medicine Show - Mary's Kitchen

One of the great things about many American food songs is their penchant for innuendo. When the Old Crows sing "come on into Mary's kitchen if you want your sausage ground" I don't think that they're talking about a pound of bangers.
More Old Crows: official site | Amazon | 7digital

MP3: Justin Townes Earle - Chitlin' Cooking Time in Cheatham County (live)

We saw Justin Townes Earle perform this rip-snorter with the brilliant Cory Younts at the Borderline in January. Pig intestines aren't to everyone's taste (though Joanne loves 'em) but if you do fancy eating them the Virginia Department of Health offers the following advice: Keep children out of the kitchen until the chitlins are pre-boiled and the kitchen is thoroughly cleaned.
More Justin Townes Earle: MySpace | Amazon

MP3: Charlie Singleton - Alligator Meat

I once ate alligator meat in the Florida Everglades. I found it tough and not quite as "all reet" as Charlie Singleton suggests. Singleton went to the same school as Charlie Parker in Kansas City and started recording in 1949, aged just 19.
More Charlie Singleton: All Music | Amazon

Enjoy your Independence Day - and remember Americans - if it wasn't for us Brits you'd have nothing to celebrate today. You're welcome!

Related Posts
Chicken Songs for the Soul - finger lickin' goodness
Tom Waits Covers #2: Bruce Sprinsgteen - posted a year ago today


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