By Duchess of Hackney

Hackney livin' n lovin'. Sarky frosty knickers always gobby, and perpetually pissed off for good reasons. Wind up merchant extraordinaire, but a nice old fashioned unusually unusual gal... Writing lots of wrongs.

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Charlie Robison, Mary Cutrufello and Chris Wall – Saturday listening Texas style

Charlie Robison, Mary Cutrufello and Chris Wall – Saturday listening Texas style

I didn’t have much of a Saturday.  Worked about 4 hours, came back to the hacienda and set to work on a web project that should have been completed a month ago.  Thank heavens the web site isn’t for anyone else but me.

I needed music! My Saturday listening started off with George Michael (I sound so middle of the road don’t I?) Then I switched to a radio station in Texas, who played Charlie Robisons “Loving County”. I hadn’t heard it in ages and remembered how a friend dragged me to a show at Floores Country Store in Helotees back in the 90’s.  I had no idea who Charlie Robison was, I was new to Texas and was still listening to country music out of Nashville and yet had to appreciate home grown Texas music and musicians.  True Texas country is true Americana, it’s unadulterated, not over produced and only Charlie Robison can perform a medley of songs in his own style so seamlessly, that includes Steve Millers “Joker”, Bob Marleys “Three Little Birds” and Waylon Jennings “Luckenbach Texas”. (Listen to My Hometown intro – Live).

What I heard in bars and clubs all over Texas and in particular Central Texas, kicks Nashville’s ass by a country mile. Even some musicians like Charlie Robison and Pat Green (to name a few), who were lured by Nashville, realised compromising their musical integrity wasn’t an option. To these guys and gals music is more an art form than business.

Then in walked a woman she’s looking richer than sin
And she had ten years worth of work on her hand.
Well I followed her home when she was alone
And I put my gun to her head.
And I don’t recall what happened next,
But now that rich woman… Well, she’s dead.

That’s what I love about country music, it tells stories. It’s real and human and “Lovely County” plays out like the type of movie you wake up to at 2 am, after falling asleep on your sofa.

The guy gives the ring he stole to the chic he’s mad about, tells her to hide it until they leave town, but she doesn’t, she wants everyone to see the darn ring.

Well that sheriff he found me out wandering all around El Paso
The very next day.
You see, I’d lost my mind on that broken white line
Before I even reached Balmorhea.
Well now she’s in Fort Worth and she’s just giving birth
To the son of that oil company man.
And they buried that sheriff’s poor old dead wife
With the ring that I stole on her hand.
You know sometimes they let me look up at that East Texas sky.
And the rain on the pines…Oh Lord, how it shines!
Like my diamond that sparkled
In the lights of Loving County.

And just like in the movies, he winds up on death-row in Huntsville.

Then somewhere around 4pm I rediscovered Mary Cutrufello. I saw her perform on Leno in 1998, I heard she was living and playing around Texas, but never got to see her perform live, always heard good things though. Even picked up her CD at a used CD shop I frequented often in San Antonio.

I Probably wouldn’t have found her yesterday had I  not landed on the Twitter page of another Texas Musician and song writer, Chris Wall, whom I sorta knew back in Austin. It’s a funny story that started off on an internet message forum circa 1999. Then crossing paths at a restaurant in Round Rock, except I didn’t know it was him, but he knew who I was I hed mentioned to him where I would be on a particular Laborday Monday.  I was with a male friend sitting at the bar waiting to be seated and Wall was right there watching….I know it sounds creepy – it isn’t, he’s a nice enough guy and he called me the following day to tell me.  Any way, I noticed a few tweets between Chris and Mary, which led me to checking her out on Spotify.

Mary Cutrufello and her truk. Image: Star Tribune

Mary Cutrufello and her truck. Image: Star Tribune

Mary, a Connecticut native and Yale graduate, dropped off the radar and now I know why. She’s still playing music, lives in St Paul, Minnesota and her day job is driving a FedEx truck, making deliveries around the suburbs.

I spent a while checking her out on YouTube, further delaying the completion of the web site I’m working on but it was nice to receive a tweet and a re-tweet from her after I mentioned her.

And I play classical music when it rains,
I play country when I am in pain.
But I won’t play Beethoven, the mood’s just not right –
Oh, I feel like Hank Williams tonight.

I had no idea who Chris Wall was at the time of the restaurant incident, then he told me he wrote “Trashy Women” a hit song for Confederate Rail Road. I knew who they were and knew the song well. Chris isn’t a native Texan, he was born and raised in Orange County, not that it makes a difference, he’s a genuine bonafide western article. Besides Southern California is technically a western state right? And Texas is part of the south west…..I’m Rambling.  Oh and he gave me a copy of his “Tainted Angel” CD!

Mary Cutrufello’s web site

Charlie Robison’s web site

Chris Wall’s web site

Star Tribune pieice on Mary Cutrufello

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