Season 612 - Sing Me Back Home / Gram Parsons

I learned this one for Remembrance Day, but realised that it fits here too.
"My boy came home from the war today"
Infantryman - John Wort Hannam

November 11, 2023

Ok, I managed to get it in.

I was actually thinking about selling this little drum kit last Saturday, then I saw the theme. I have wanted to add drum performances to some of my songs, and this one actually worked out. I guess I will hang on to this kit.

I recorded this song a few hundred seasons ago, but thought it was a good fit this time, and I was glad to record it again.

Thank you for hosting, Christopher!

This is a 2017 song by the shoegaze band Ride. I'm running the Fluke tenor through my trusty old Mel9 box for the strings sound.

(For those wondering what I meant by shoegaze, from Wikipedia: "Shoegaze is a subgenre of indie and alternative rock characterized by its ethereal mixture of obscured vocals, guitar distortion and effects, feedback, and overwhelming volume.")

We're in the home stretch, people! (ha ha)

I am looking forward to watching the fine submissions that are sure to come in on this last part of Season 612.

The playlist should be up-to-date, but please rattle my cage if I happened to have missed adding something there.

Thanks, everyone!
Sunday afternoon from the rooftop.
On the original song - it's one of those rare English songs where I noticed a very prominent British pronunciation of an important lyric - I couldn't bring myself to sing it as Kah-sel on the Hill.

Okay, this one could be described as a proto-blues song, probably from the mid 1890s. The "modern" version was written by W.C. Handy (born, November 16, 1873), and performed by him as part of the song Atlanta Blues - though there are certainly earlier performances. History is fun!

This also fits both seasons 612 and 613, making it the first time I've managed to pull off the double whammy! I've envied those who can pull that off for a while.

Oops, I forgot to post this here when I posted it in 613 last night.

My twice monthly attempt to pull off a live performance at the Sunday afternoon open mic at Chapters Bookstore of a song that meets both themes with almost no time to prepare, always a bit of a high wire act, went surprisingly well today. In fact my whole set went pretty well!

Always the opportunist, when I heard an amazing lead guitarist jump in on the set of an 11-year-old vocal rockstar named Sam, I quickly grabbed him (the lead player Johnson - Sam and his family, sadly, left not long after his set), and asked if he would join me on my set. I changed my entire planned set on the fly to do some cool rock songs with Johnson.

But I had to keep this one song, even though Johnson didn't know it, because it meets both themes, and I just had to. (Also, apparently no one outside North America really knows Neil Young.)

Not only did Johnson knock it out of the park, he grabbed a flawless solo after hearing only one verse!

Someone in the audience always plays percussion on my rock songs. I cannot hear it on stage, and am always pleasantly surprised by it when I edit the video.

Neil Young turns 78 today, and this song is, in a way, about going home ... to a new home, on another planet, an experience I can kind of relate to.

I was able to do one more song this week that I thought should be included in the "Sing Me Back Home" theme. It's 'Jesse' by Janis Ian... and it is such a beautiful, poignant song about wanting someone you love to come back home. I am playing my Guitarlele
I didn’t practice the Gram Parsons song I hoped to play this week enough to get it down.

Luckily, I’ve loved this perfect-for-this-Season Replacements song since I was a teenager!

Unluckily, it’s captured a feeling I’ve never been able to shake ever since then…

I nearly forgot this one! Once again I'm going to squeak in under the wire and come back and edit in the video link once it uploads, but I did manage to record it before the Season ends.

I planned this one for both my open mic sets this week, and for different reasons I ended up changing both sets on the fly - Tuesday at the Paddo because the audience was loving my originals, and yesterday (Sunday) at Chapters because Johnson was there playing such awesome leads with me that I opted for four rock songs.

So I finally managed it minutes before 8pm out here on the verandah in the dark.

It just misses qualifying for 613, because Dave Loggins was born November 8th. Here's a favorite from my radio youth: "Please Come to Boston".

<Insert video here 😁>
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I had to correct some omissions from the YouTube playlist. I watched and commented on all the videos, but somehow missed adding a few. Apologies to @dr_mitch, @Renaissance-Man, and @UkeCan1 for missing one each out of their submissions for this Season. I have a very cumbersome way of linking to and commenting on videos and mistakes seem to happen. I blame it all on my rust bucket computer, of course! 🤓
SOTU 612: Sing Me Back Home / Gram Parsons -- THE WRAP!

Thank you everybody for the fine songs you shared during Season 612. I enjoyed all your choices and performances.
There were a total of 75 videos posted from 41 Seasonistas.

Welcome, welcome, to the Newest Seasonista, Ale! ( @HaleAle ) Ale has been a member of UU for only a month, but he jumped into the pool with both feet with an emotional rendition of a Jack Johnson tune with the appropriate title, "Home." He was sporting "SOTO 612" tattooed across his knuckles! 🤜 🤛 Here is a link to the video if you missed seeing it.
HOME by Ale.

Marin ( @ChaosLibrarian ) has also been with the UU Forums for just a month and her lovely, Linda Ronstadt-inspired take on Blue Bayou is her second entry in the Seasons in as many weeks. It turns out she has secretly been singing songs that are favorite bedtime songs for her children that just happen to be perfect fits to the seasons. She has made it a perfect 3 in the current Season 613 with Moon River by Johnny Mercer and Henri Mancini which, along with Blue Bayou are the favorite requests of her eldest daughter, and the first was in Season 611 with Perfect For Me, her younger daughter's fave. Three wickets in three deliveries? Yes indeed, ladies and gentlemen, Marin has bowled a HAT-TRICK!
Take a look at Blue Bayou here: BLUE BAYOU by Marin
And you can congratulate her on her rare hat-trick performance with this link: MOON RIVER by Marin

@mikelz777 and @Renaissance-Man are both popular figures all across the UU Forums, but they were ON FIRE ❤️‍🔥 for Season 612. Scott posted five Gram Parsons-related tunes, many of them deep cuts, covering a broad spectrum of Parson's career.
Here is my fave of his: DRUGSTORE TRUCK DRIVING MAN
The Ren-Man was also hard at work bringing two Gram Parsons songs and this STONE COLD classic was offered up as a parallel to the Merle Haggard song, Sing Me Back Home. His vocals are extra-special on this and warrant another listen! THE GREEN GREEN GRASS OF HOME

A few chose to tip their hats to The Hag, the great Merle Haggard. @Oldscruggsfan and @TCK came up with some good'uns. TCK also dropped the fact that he has "Mama Tried" tattooed across his chest in honour of Merle (and his misspent youth?)

We had a lot of very fine originals penned for Season 612: @joo @AlanDP @jtsteam @pabrizzer @ukukeguy @bobjking @Barbablanca @engravertom (I hope I didn't miss any) all did one or more originals.
Alan sang about the changes to his old hometown of Stockdale, TX and "Blue Highways" which reference free-flowing traffic when using Google Maps. Edwin riffed off of a Simon and Garfunkel song to sing about train delays when heading home and a mystery song about shipwrecks and unexplained lights. Pa wrote three; that 'home' is pretty much where you make it, that there are no happy endings in a country music song, and a very pretty waltz called, "I'm Heading Home." Pa played this on his guitalele. If you missed it, click here so you don't miss out:

Joo turned in four submissions, all excellent. But her original was extra-special. She has been writing a whole series of songs inspired by a book about a boy and a bear in a boat. In this one, she makes a cup of tea and while she is waiting for her tea to brew, she picks up her ukulele and frails it clawhammer style while singing the words to the song the bear sings in the story. Honestly, this shows some of the best clawhammer technique anywhere on the UU Forums and it fits so well to her lyrical delivery.
THE TEA SONG - Original by Joo

Another standout original was this very moving piece by @ukukeguy about how he is a HOME BIRD.

Bobby ( @bobjking ) and his alter-ego, Bobby2 came up with not only a new song, but an entirely new genre of music that I am calling Apocalyptic Country. (My boy Bobby also did a cover of The Return of the Grievous Angel, a late solo era Gram Parsons song that I really love.... and there was much rejoicing!)
Berni ( @Barbablanca ) came up with two originals; one about an inveterate hoarder who saves the day and another which was a portrait of his home town in Spain on a Sunday morning. Finally, we had OUR BIRTHDAY BOY 🎂 Tom ( @engravertom ) with a swell production of his song, Almost Home, where he shows off many dimensions of his skills in ukulele, video production, and DRUMMING.
ALMOST HOME by Tom McArdle

John of the South ( @Flatbaroque ) covered a Tom Waits tune and a great one by Louden Wainwright III called The Home Stretch.
THE HOME STRETCH by John of the South
This set the tone for a whole lot of soul searching and deeply moving songs. You can count on people like Del ( @DelGriff ) to bring the emotion. He did a Lindisfarne song (to much applause from Edwin, the biggest Lindisfarne Fan I know of) called Run For Home. Del played beautifully on his EWI (electronic wind instrument) as well as ukulele and harmony singing. Liz ( @cua94 ) did a song from The Hobbit soundtrack, The Last Goodbye. Jim in Canada ( @Canada Jim ) turned in FIVE submissions including a deeply tragic song, Infantryman, about Canada's fallen. I also liked Jim's take on My Old Kentucky Home, in particular. Wendy ( @UkeCan1 ) came with the feels when she sang Please Come To Boston. @Stoneyrun went full BOSS-MODE and covered one of the best songs off the Born In The USA album, Dancing In The Dark. John of the North ( @One Man And His Uke ) came up with a CSNY song, This Old House, written by Neil Young (that would fit into the current season) that was of deep personal meaning to him, having practically worn out a cassette copy of the album in his younger days.
THIS OLD HOUSE by John of the North

Rob ( @wee_ginga_yin ) brought six different songs to mind for this season, but one number, a spiritual from over ten years ago, set a soulful tone.

We are still on the subject of the strongly emotional songs. So now for some Rocky Horror Picture Show! What? You ask...that campy movie? Watch in wonder, folks, as @Ila leads you home...
I'M GOING HOME by Ila Press

I must mention a few submissions that touched me personally. Denise ( @caukulele ) and her husband Ray did a cover of 500 Miles, a song I remember well from my childhood (Denise also did a Janis Ian song late in the week called "Jessie.") Sabine ( @Ms Bean ) did a song out of the American Folk Canon, Home On The Range. A perfect song, in many ways. Ralf ( @TheOnlyUkeThatMatters ) reminded me of the time I lost my pants at a Replacements concert.

Everybody deserves mention. Seasons Stalwarts like @YorkSteve (a new one to me by Clive Gregson) , @xommen (also new to me by Martyn Joseph) , @LimousinLil (a Boxtops hit and Carole King) , @Charley B (he brought a Loving' Spoonful song I had never heard before!) @ukuleledaddy (Elvis!) Jim Persky ( @uke4ia ) brought us both prog (Jethro Tull) and shoe gaze (Ride). Chris ( @hands_on_lanzon ) came up with a couple; Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie and Coming Home by Leon Bridges. Rick ( @hendulele ) sang the Bob Dylan song You Ain't Going Nowhere which was covered by The Byrds when Gram Parsons was in the band. My fellow ex-pat, @Joko sat on his rooftop in Myanmar and sang an Ed Sheeran song for us. @dr_mitch gave us three submissions. Among them, he reimagines Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey as a country tune. I was surprised, but it works!

Brian ( @UkeFoote ) showed us how breezy swing is done, whistling and riffing on Walking My Baby Back Home. This was a double-dipper, qualifying for both 612 and 613. Wendy ( @UkeCan1 ) is the black-belt master of this, as many of us know. She did a Neil Young song to bridge to 613 and The Sloop John B to tie back to 611. Applause for Brian and Wendy!! Here is a link for Brian's tasty video:

We had a few collaborations. Arvin and Sumiko (@ukudancer and @SumiUke ) (hereafter known as AC/SC !!) did a cracking job on a Regina Spektor song that, as a big Regina Spektor fan, I had not previously heard! It was from a Chronicles of Narnia movie, so I missed out until now.

And then, we have THE MOTHERLODE. This, my friends, is the stuff of dreams. I kind of saw it coming from back in Denise's Season 608 when Amanda (@emba ) was wearing shades and a jeans jacket and crushing a Guy Clark tune. I saw her as the feminine counterpart to our king of cool, Mr. Bobby J King. In this season, it happened. Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris were reunited as Bobby and Amanda singing We'll Sweep Out the Ashes In the Morning. Bobby2 even makes a surprise appearance (or at least part of him appears) to pick a super super-imposed solo! They keep on their 'straight faces' right up until the very end.

Everyone has to smile after that one, eh?

The ashes are all swept out, and we keep on rolling down the road towards home.
Thanks again, Seasonistas. It was a blast.
xoxo Yukio
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