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Friday, August 30, 2013

Iron & Wine -- The Creek Drank the Cradle


I'm gonna talk about myself, that's the point of these things, they're for me, and if you like them, fine.
I was fairly optimistic in the spring of 2005. Sure my crawfishing gig was soon to end, and no one was knocking my door down over my recently acquired English degree, and my mom was often dropping hints that me sleeping in my old bedroom all the time was getting old, but hey, I had friends and the mindset of a vagabond, and if I was going to wander, I was at least going to enjoy it. My good friends, the Slavens, always had their doors open to me, and I took great enjoyment in discussing life, politics, religion, and music with them. They introduced me to Iron & Wine's debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle, knowing me to be a good country boy. Since I was exiled to the country outside of my wanderings (though I live there now again and would rather be nowhere else), this album made a fitting soundtrack to lazy cane field days, and hanging out at barns, and looking at the old rusted pig coop, and watching the moon rise over the Mississippi and all its towering oaks, and my dog waking me up at night as he barked at a train, and my cat poaching baby blue jays from their nests and leaving them on the steps, and eating all my parent's ice cream, and watching the movie Godspell while eating some fried chicken my old man bought and drinking a bunch of Kool Aid blasts I bummed from somewhere. Ah, to again be 23 and aimless. Actually, I'm glad that happened, but I'm glad it's over. Better to have a purpose and goals and stuff at this age, but anyway, ramble tamble, The Creek Drank the Cradle was recorded by Sam Bean on a four track with an acoustic guitar, and a banjo, and according to Wikipedia, a slide guitar. It's a bunch of songs about country stuff, and I miss Joanie Jarreau's rooster puffing out his chest at me while I fed all his hens. This ain't country music, though, I don't know what it is, though it is evocative of the country. I guess it's folk music or something? though it doesn't really sound like folk music. In genreless terms, I guess its just Sam Bean's unique musical vision, and maybe he's read Flannery O'Connor a lot, too, because this sounds like the horizon from one of her books, sometimes. If there's a weakness, though, it's that Bean kind of stretches things lyrically in that neo-folk way where he seems more apt to enjoy thinking of milking cows and dragging a bushel while he drinks his imported whiskey at some trendy dive bar, but maybe not, maybe he grew up in the country, too, and this is his version of it. It does sound like he recorded this in a barn with the wind blowing the vane on top and grain swaying in the breeze, and the trees slowly heaving, and a snake resting in the shade. Whatever the case, I love run-on sentences and paragraphs, and I love thinking and writing about my experiences in 2005 very much, and I like this album and how it reminds me of some of that stuff, and I picked and shucked a pick-up truck full of corn this morning and if you don't believe me, look at my hands, they're all yellow, and that's never happened before until now, so it must be the strain of corn we planted this year, and did you get up at 5 am this morning?

I was also watching the second season of Deadwood on HBO that spring. I always felt like this song should have popped up in the end credits at some point, but it never did.

2002 Sub Pop
1. Lion's Mane 2:49
2. Bird Stealing Bread 4:21
3. Faded from the Winter 3:17
4. Promising Light 2:49
5. The Rooster Moans 3:24
6. Upward over the Mountain 5:56
7. Southern Anthem 3:54
8. An Angry Blade 3:48
9. Weary Memory 4:01
10. Promise What You Will 2:24
11. Muddy Hymnal 2:43

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