Bob Weir: "George Jones is my favorite musician."


I have a new-found respect for Bob Weir! Though I consider Jones a singer, not a musician. A matter of semantics, perhaps. Many other singers consider(ed) Jones the greatest, including Gram Parsons and Elvis Costello. When it comes to Country music I myself reserve the top spot for Hank Williams. Hank was of course also a great songwriter, which George was not.

The quote is one spoken by Charlie Starr of the band Blackberry Smoke, in a conversation he had with Otis Gibbs. Otis tapes interviews with singers, songwriters, and musicians he meets in his travels around the U.S.A. (mostly, though also in other countries).

Also mentioned in the interview is that Weir likes to include the song "Up On Cripple Creek" by the Band in his live shows. I find it very encouraging that younger musicians like Starr still find the music of The Band highly relevant, as is made obvious in the video.

Like Weir I grew up just south of San Francisco (he in the Menlo Park area, I in San Jose/Cupertino), and in the late-60’s/early-70’s there was very much a "back-to-the-roots" movement amongst musicians in the Bay area. Everyone I knew was listening to The Byrds’ Notorious Byrd Brothers and Sweetheart Of The Rodeo albums, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Dylan’s John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline, Dillard & Clark, and especially The Band. Many songs by these bands and artists were being performed live by locals. Merle Haggard songs were also regularly heard being performed live in Bay area bars and clubs.

In conjunction with the above, we were all going back in time, investigating the origins of Hillbilly/Country & Western music. New Roots bands were popping up around the Bay area, including Asleep At The Wheel, Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, and Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks. The Dead joined the movement with their Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty albums. Better late than never. 😉







@bdp24 we are very much sympatico on that list (I listened to Loretta's Don't Come Home a-Drinkin'... on vinyl last night with my wife), although I am not very familiar with a lot of the newer artists you mention, but I will change that. For modern stuff, I've been following Gillian and David since Revival came out back in '96 - I've only seen them once, but it was at the Ryman and was pretty magical. I also love Hurray for the Riff Raff, although I'm not grokking their latest effort. I have always dug Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, k.d. lang, and that type of thing as well. 

I was lucky enough to see John and June Carter at Big Top Chataqua in Bayfield, WI in 1997 and just the memory of it gives me goosebumps. What a talent.

That Gram Tribute in 2004 was something I toyed with attending but funds and timing wouldn't allow it. 

I consider the Louvin Brothers to have the best harmonies of any performers I've ever heard. It's spooky how close the Everlys got but there was something about the way those Loudermilk boys sang that could stop a clock.

I've been binging on Ry Cooder and Gustav Mahler lately but I believe I will take a trip down the country lane after mowing the lawn today.

Happy weekend!

p.s. I love Gram's out-of-tune warble on "Love Hurts", as well as the Everly's AND Nazareth's version (love the guitar solo on that one)!


Oh yeah, I forgot to include Steve Earle. Iris DeMent too! Another great duo, this one more recently, was (Radney) Foster & (Bill) Lloyd. I could have included Lucinda Williams, but I don't think she is really a Country singer. Same with Mary Gauthier.



Another great duo are Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams. They have made three albums together, one very recently. All are full of excellent music making of the highest caliber.

Larry served as Dylan’s road band leader, multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, pedal steel, fiddle, and banjo!), and harmony singer for 7-1/2 years, then went to work for Levon Helm, providing him with the same service. He also produced Levon’s two Grammy-winning albums, as well as those of other artists. If that wasn’t enough, Larry also works as a session musician, with many recordings to his credit. Not just Country and/or Singer-Songwriters, but even bands like The Black Crowes. A very, very talented guy.

Larry and Teresa are coming to Portland in November, so I’ll finally get to see and hear them live on stage!


Not familiar, and I will check them out - Dylan, then Levon? That's quite a pedigree!