Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt..

Last week we picked up a documentary on Pete Seeger called ‘The Power of Song‘. It was especially moving, full of great archived footage, and worth recommending to anyone. We were inspired to dig up some old union music and add it to our repertoire. Now, for some of you this song may be familiar, but apparently it wasn’t too well known in the mines I worked in growing up in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Here’s a great video of Tennessee Ernie Ford singing 16 Tons:

There are a couple of hilarious things about this video. The obvious, of course, is that a man with a mustache like that would name his fists ‘iron’ and ‘steel’. Maybe Subscooby said it best in the comments of the Youtube video when he remarked “it seems a little incongruous, a song about back-breaking labour being sung by a guy who looks like he would be more at home´╗┐ sipping martinis while smooth talking Miss Sweden 1955”. Indeed, I couldn’t agree more.

A little bit of research (read: visiting the wikipedia page), revealed that Sixteen Tons was claimed to have been written by Merle Travis, although another man named George S. Davis (who had actually been a coal miner) claimed that he was in fact the true author.

The song refers to the truck system in which workers were paid in vouchers redeemable at the company store instead of cash. This system prevented them from saving any money and forced the laborers into debt bondage. We found this all very fascinating, and there’s a good possibility that more union music can be heard at TDH shows in the future.


Why Should the Devil Get All the Good Tunes?

This was given to us last by night Bozeman’s finest dinner partier, Marlene Saccoccia:

As the Dust Settles…

As we step gleefully into the summer months, the dust is beginning to settle at Tumbledown Headquarters. We’ve recently moved into a new apartment and purchased a magic bullet, which is in my humble opinion, the most amazing invention since birth control. We have a wonderful summer booked, mostly in Montana. In August we will be embarking upon a week long tour in Alaska, from which we hope to return without getting shot.

This morning I finished routing our fall tour, which could be described as “ambitious” or more appropriately “likely regrettable”. Here’s a map:

View Larger Map

The tour will be very similar to the one we did last year, except we will partake in a larger excursion of the Deep South and, in an attempt to save money and brain cells, will spend a little less time in New Orleans. If you happen to have any suggestions of venues we should contact along our route, please email us.

Finally, here’s a video segment from a show produced by Tucson-12 called ‘DTOWN’. They edited together an interview of us with snippets of our ‘Race Track Song’. Enjoy.


What Gives?!?

Hello dear readers, and welcome to the new (and slightly improved)!!

Maybe you are thinking, “Hey! This website isn’t that different from your old website, which was so awesome and loaded to the gills with wonderful pictures, hilarious razor-sharp wit, and nostalgic tour photos!”

Those things are all true, and I apologize for the change of format. Basically, Google decided to discontinue FTP publishing for their blogger platform, which our old website was based on. “What the hell does that mean?”, you’re probably asking yourself. Without getting into it, it means that I’ve had to spend the last few days reprogramming our website from the ground up so that we can continue our blog format and bring you new juicy stories from the road. If you’d like to review any of our past blogs, you can do so here.

So, this website will be under construction for awhile while I make improvements! We will now be able to blog at our leisure, and will do so with renewed vigor and enthusiasm! If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.