Skeletons in the jukebox

“Skeletons” provides a forum for local musicians, artists, record-store owners, etc., to erase cool points by expressing their unseemly affection for an unhip album from their past.

Warrant, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich by Miles Swartz of Davenport

“I was living in the golden era of the Sony Walkman and mixed tapes. On this occasion I had three cassettes and four backup AA batteries. I was 10 years old and I was flying to Saudi Arabia from Charlotte with my older brother, Justin.

Unfortunately, I had no mixed tapes. All I had was Bon Jovi’s Bad Medicine and Warrant’s Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich.

We missed our flight in London, and spent the next 14 hours waiting in the Delta lounge. The only tape still in my possession was Warrant.

Sleepless for 14 hours, I drank free sodas and listened to that damned tape non-stop. My Walkman instantly reversed sides. By the time my batteries died I was hooked, and I refreshed the power supply as quickly as possible. By the time we got a new flight I couldn’t remove the headphones, and I listened until my backup batteries squirted every last ounce of energy. Amazingly enough, that happened to be a 10-hour flight, and [we had] another long delay in Bahrain, a measly two-hour drive from our suburban military compound.

I don’t think I ever listened to that tape again.”

Local music news

Local guitar abuser Woody Wood won the Brown Bag Songwriters Competition finals at the Root Bar on Saturday, April 22. Hosted by Jenny Greer (lead lass of funksters Jen and the Juice), the competition was whittled to 12 finalists before Wood took the top prize.

CD reviews

Eric Congdon, Green River: Two Stars

Genre(s): Singer/Songwriter, Rock, Blues

You’ll like it if: You enjoy face-value ballads that lack metaphorical enigmas.

Defining song: “Green River” — As gentle as the namesake river’s tranquil spots, the song bemoans the encroaching battle between development and nature.

An experienced songwriter/guitarist, Hendersonville’s Eric Congdon (whose uncle, Ralph Congdon, is the concert master for the Hendersonville Symphony) took a five-year layoff from music to focus on his family. His album, Green River, illustrates his desire to come back to the minstrel world, his stories chock full of inward demons that haunt the majority of truth seekers. Songs of cleansing country air, disregarding hindsight, creating direct lines of communication in tangled love, and working the mojo are all discussed here. His blues numbers are the strongest, demonstrating a man who understands the innards of a juke joint. However, his ballads dull quickly, the words relaying the obvious, like “finding the light at the end of the tunnel.” But the production — an electronic collaboration with musicians found via the Internet — is crisp. The good news is that Congdon is a talented musician, and hopefully his rekindled passion will eventually create more substantial outings down the river.

[When he’s not bending readers to his will, Hunter Pope cooks, gardens, hikes and spends his mortgage money on CDs he’s never heard.]

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