A Tip of the Hat to Mr. Dylan

Here’s to the great Bob Dylan, the grand icon of American folk music. Nee Bob Zimmerman in 1941 in Duluth Minnesota, he early snatched the Dylan moniker from the Irish poet Dylan Thomas, took off for New York City, shifted the folk music world, and became a major influence on  culture world-wide. Also, he gave us a ton of great music. Big thank you and … Continue reading A Tip of the Hat to Mr. Dylan

Tom Paxton Song

Tom Paxton was, and still is, one of my favorites. Born in Oklahoma, he was much influenced by Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston. He was quite popular for a while. He established himself as a folksinger and writer in New York City, and last I heard, Tom Paxton is still writing and singing. His style and his music is generally simple, and there’s no harshness … Continue reading Tom Paxton Song

Bumbastories’ Middle of August Very Brief Political Supplement/Worried Man Blues

It takes a worried man to sing a worried song. It’s an old song….. but OK. OK. I was naive to think we would impeach him. I underestimated the depths to which the Republican Party would sink. I continue tobe amazed by the size of his “base”. And, yikes, 90% of Republican voters still support him. Yikes again. I thought (and still do) that there … Continue reading Bumbastories’ Middle of August Very Brief Political Supplement/Worried Man Blues

More on Getting Better

  We’ve discussed this before. This business about “getting better”. I was discussing the music I work on with Maybank: how we think we are getting better at it, how we feel encouraged by our “improvement”. I was saying that it’s a noble goal to get better. And I think it’s hard to argue with the proposition that generally it’s a good thing to get … Continue reading More on Getting Better


“OK. You made your New Year’s resolutions. Good for you! Personally speaking, for myself, I don’t bother with no resolutions. No way. No way you’re gonna see me trotting off to the gym every morning at the crack of dawn. You know, you do that for maybe a week. Maybe two weeks. And then, gradually, you stop. You stay in bed. And then you feel … Continue reading Irresolute

More Trains

Orange Blossom Special is a showpiece fiddle song written by Ervin T. Rouse in 1938, and recorded by Bill Monroe and Johnny Cash. It’s a song where the pickers and players show their licks. So I really shouldn’t attempt it. But the lyrics are so perfect… Look yonder coming Comin round that railroad track It’s that Orange Blossom Special Bringing my baby back Continue reading More Trains

Musical Notation and Malagasy Music

The Music of Rakotozafy Let’s start with A Quote “The Music of the Spheres It’ll grab you by the ears” Johannes Kepler Confession: Johannes Kepler didn’t really say that. But he might have! As a devoted cleric, mathematician, and astronomer, Kepler was obsessed by the “divine” power of the Pythagorean musical proportions. Kepler explored the 17th century skies to find the resonances of the simple … Continue reading Musical Notation and Malagasy Music

Fighting a Losing Battle But Having a Lot of Fun Trying to Win

One of my favorite songs of all time, this blues classic by Brownie McGee exemplifies something indominable about the human spirit. As we continue to fight (peacefully) for justice, as we navigate our way through the “constitutional crisis” (which is what we are entering into, so we better see a lot of people (like you) marching and demonstrating), we keep on fighting on no matter … Continue reading Fighting a Losing Battle But Having a Lot of Fun Trying to Win

Banks of the Ohio

We haven’t posted Banks of the Ohio in quite a while. How long did you think your luck could hold out? I’ve been playing Banks of the Ohio since Hector was a pup. The expression “Since Hector was a pup”, by the way, was a Chick Hearnism of the first order, being not only senseless, but also beautiful. I always thought that Chick was a crumby … Continue reading Banks of the Ohio