Robin Dale Ford in fireweed season
Robin Dale
Ford

Pat Fitzgerald, the hobo
Pat
Fitzgerald

Wild Nate laying down tracks
The Studio

10th Planet Records - It's out there!

The band DANG!
DANG!

Pat and Robin making music
Fitzgerald & Ford

Listening Helmet
Song O the Week

Listening_Helmet

What We're Listening To

On the turntable this week:

Cool & Strange:

First off a haunting song by a woman with a haunting story here's "Talking Like You (Two Tall Mountains )".

Next up something you can find on the internet--the singing parts of famous songs. These are the tracks as you might hear them in the recording studio as the singers sang to their instrumental tracks. You can even hear a bit of their headphone sound in between lines. This one is the Temptations singing "Just My Imagination". Crazy Baby!

 

Wow! What was that?

Saw a little story in Rolling Stone about this teen band from Ireland. It read alright and we're always looking for something that delivers the goods so we gave it a try on Youtube and, Holy Crap, the gods have kissed the earth once again. So here we present an "update", shall we say, to the Byrds classic "So You Wanna Be A Rock 'N Roll Star" The band: The Strypes. The song: What a Shame. Let's hope for nothing less that world domination!

Some voices take gettin' used to. It wasn't until we saw the documentary by Chris Hegedus & the great D.A.Pennebaker (Don't Look Back, Monterey Pop, Down From the Mountain) "Happy Come Home" (in 4 parts on Youtube) that we "got" Victoria Williams. Now we really get her. Maybe you will too. Here's "You R Loved" from her CD Loose and for those who want to dig deeper, check out the words & her story.

 

Here's a classic that Pat first heard and played with Lindy Raines in the 1960's (as a pre-teen). First off, the original of Hide Away by Freddie King. Then the highly influencial version (for young white blues/rock guitarists in the '60's) called Hideaway by Eric Clapton--20 years old playing with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Also check out this video of Stevie Ray Vaughn talking about and playing a bit of both styles!

 

 

Folks in the know in the music world are saluting the passing of a fairly unsung giant of electric guitar, Mickey Baker. Most know him for the Mickey & Sylvia hit , "Love Is Strange" (where he sang and added the signature riff). Less known is the mountain of R&B and R&R songs that he played on. Buy a compilation here and dig the far-ahead-for-his-time guitar on Louis Jordan's Caldonia from 1945!

 

 

Alright, alright we'll let Pat have his say. He's been listening to what he calls "The Really Big Beat" & here's an example, a song by the Sheep, created by the same guys who were involved in the Strangeloves (Nightime, I Want Candy, Cara-lin) and who, not coincidently,included Richard Gottehrer, later, as a producer, was responsible for some of those big, big drum sounds in the 1980's. Dig "Twelve Months Later." Happy, Pat? Get down offa that table!!!

Aw, hell. Levon Helm. Let's roll back the rug and "Rag Mama Rag" again, this time with a tear in our eyes.

 

We found Jesse DeNatale by chance when Pat's sister ask him to use her iTunes gift card and pick some tunes she might like. (Her internect connection was too slow to download.) Jesse quickly became a favorite and possibly the only artist we've ever known with a recommendation from Tom Waits. Check out "Twilight King" .

 

Ronnie Dawson was well known among rockabilly fans for his 1959 hit "Rockin' Bones". We caught a fondness for him during his comeback in the 1990's. This tune from his "Just Rockin' & Rollin" CD alway gets us shakin'. Warning: It's in mono. Ronnie never recorded in stereo until just before his passing in 2003. Check out "Fish Out O'Water" & TURN IT UP!!!

 

From Chuck Prophet's latest "Let Freedom Ring" a song that's been ringin' in our ears lately at the Planet. 'S called "Whose Gonna Miss You When You're Gone."

Pat got infected with a music bug some time ago (not another one!) he calls Paddy Rock after the internet station he originally found, (See shite n'onions internet site below) Sometime called Celtic Punk, you've heard it if you've heard the Dropkick Murphies, Flogging Molly or the originators, the Pogues. There's lots of songs of revolution and drinking and this lil' ditty sums up the latter in a minimalist manner. Here's Potatoes (& lyrics) by Barlyjuice.

 

Here's a song written by Tim Carrol that pretty much explains the rockin' half of what is now called Americana music. Punk Rockin' Honky Tonk Girl by The Blue Chieftains.

 

12/23/10 An appropriate song for the day and weather, Van Morrison's I Wanna Roo You (Scottish Derivitave).

Here's a tune from Jamaican Ska great (and Hammond B3 organist) Jackie Mittoo. 'S called Get Up and Get it.

Ah, sweet summertime! At the Planet ska parties we've agreed nothing says sun like Toots & the Maytals. Check out the classic "Pressure Drop" and tell us: Does a groove get tighter than this? Ouch!!!

Though music recorded at the 10th Planet ends up on CD's, we have lots o' viuyl here for our listening pleasure. Here's a song from a man & a band that's been putting out music since the 80's and still going strong. It talks about a very serious problem many of us face:"Dust On My Needle" by Barrence Whitfield & the Savages. Git yerself some!

"I Need Love": A staple around the Planet, Robin calls Sam Phillips "the 5th Beatle". She's a she ,not the Memphis recording legend, but we think she needs a shrine somewhere!

"Boot Heel Drag": A song that Herb Remington (steel guitar) recorded during his time with Bob Wills. MGM records made it the flip side of the famous "Faded Love"

We knew this was 2009's summer song the minute we heard it. It's by an Austin, TX band (3 brothers an a cousin) named Hacienda: "She's Got A Hold On Me".

Enamored as we've quickly become to The Subdudes, here's their ode to New Orleans, down but not out: "Poor Man's Paradise".

Somehow The Band album "Cahoots" got by us. So it's like there's a new Band album (with Robbie and Rick and Richard back again!). Here a great one. Check out the verse about trains: Where Do We Go From Here.

Regarding our mention of Peter Case earlier , we first heard this song on his first solo album. Finally, we've heard the original by the inimitable Shane McGowan with the Pogues, "A Pair of Brown Eyes".

Submitted for your aural perusal: The theme to the popular 50's/6o's TV show which we' got hooked on last winter at the Planet, the Perry Mason Theme.

Here's a cut from Northwest artist Arkie Shibley. "Hot Rod Race" was the precursor to other memorable car songs like"Hot Rod Lincoln" and "Maybelline". Little known is the fact that Fairbanks own Marilu Flesher played bass with Arkie and they both came to Anchorage and Fairbanks in the '50s. Arkie left soon. Marilu is still here and doing fine.

The Plimsouls are always a favorite around here. We've followed them from their first album through songwriter Peter Case's solo career. (He's been to Fairbanks once, Anchorage several times.) Here's a two-fer: A song from the first eponymous LP(1981), "I Want You Back " and one from the reunion CD (1998), "Play With Jack". (Clem Burke of Blondie fame on drums on this one.)

"The Greatest Show On Earth" by the Felice Brothers (2008 summer song.)

From Ragged Glory, a great Neil Young song dedicated to our Country Home here at the Planet.

A song from the documentary Catching Out by Portland resident (and one of our faves) Peter Droge called All Lit Up.

From the Langley Schools Music Project, 9 year old Sheila Behman nails one of Pat's all time favorite songs, Desperado, to the wall (with a note saying "Top this!")

Marah--Round Eye Blues.

R.I.P Danny Federici, B3 player for Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band. Here's the last song he asked to play with 'em before he got away, 4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy).

Felice Bros. (Best 1st verse since Howl)--here's Frankie's Gun!

The Band--Yazoo St.Scandal

The Loved Ones "You Can't StopMe"

Earnest East & the Pine Ridge Boys.

 

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Listen on the "Net...

We all need a little Wiggle Room! Back story: Pat's lil' brother, under his pseudonym, DJ Kave-In had conquered the seedier (read: more interesting) clubs in L.A. He needed to go beyond! He found a room the size of a shoebox that a fleabag hotel couldn't rent because their old, half-broken neon sign hung right outside the window. Forget sleeping...and that hum! (You'll hear it on everyshow). Room so small he couldn't fit the usual stack of LP's in there so he had to go with the 45 rpm's. Check out the Wiggle Room!

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If you're talking roots music, it don't get any better that Kidd Squidd's Mystery Jukebox. Listen on Saturday at 1pm Alaska time (DST) for the 3 hour show and hear why he's been voted best Tucson DJ for more that a decade.

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For those with, shall we say, more eclectic tastes check out the embarrasment of riches that they have over at Weirdsville! Six (count'em) stations of Exotica, weird, Psych, weird. Swank and more Weird!

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Of all the pure fun genres of music one of the most fun is Ska music, originally from Jamaica but with a couple revivals since the 60's. Here's a favorite 'net radio station called Ska Jerk! Skank it up!

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WMFE in the N.Y.C area has an archive of a great show, Secret Museum Of The Air that's chock full of gems from the early days of recordings from all around the world. Go ahead, open up that creaking door...

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Check out Ponderosa Stomp Radio,a station associated with the festival of the same name held each year in New Orleans. The music is so swampy and greasy it makes you want to take off your shoes and wrestle an alligator for drinks!

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Last winter Pat found one of his new musical passions. There's a few names for this kind of music but he likes "Paddy Rock". So Paddy Rock, Celtic Punk, whatever it's called, check out Shite N' Onions. Hit the listen button, crack an ale an have at it, lads & lassies!

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Maybe you're a fan of "Garage" rock. Maybe you've just heard of it in conjuction with The White Stripes or the Strokes. Do yourself a favor and trip on over to the home of this truly American artform, Little Steven's Underground Garage.Warning: push back the furniture! House party imminent!

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Fans of Americana music will like this jukebox of recent cuts from the little record store that could, Village Records, in Shawnee, Kansas.

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Press Play, then Pause for a few seconds to allow clip to load.

 

JamesBartlett circa 1970

 

This past summer 2015 our good friend and talented maestro of music James Bartlett passed away at his home in California. James played a hugh roll in the Fairbanks music scene starting in the late 1960's and continuing through the 1970's. He was an integral part of three of Fairbanks' most popular butt-rockin' and heart-knockin' bands: The Glass Bead Game (at whose 40th reunion two years ago he finally returned to Fairbanks stages after a long hiatus), Buckdancer and Coyote. The last two bands also were staffed with both Michael "Sparky" Gray (of Seattle's Pearl Django) and the GBG and Coyote had the vocals & guitar of the newly-returned Fairbanks resident Gary Westcott. Buckdancer also had the guitars and vocals of Dave Ratliff who went on, with Robin Dale Ford, Sparky & Joe and George Page to form the Rhythm Romancers in the 1980's. (We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that Coyote also featured the songwriting talents and vocals of the illustrious Gene Ryder who returned to town a few years back to be featured at a Blue Loon concert that Robin produced.) But through it all, there was James Bartlett, writing songs, singing his heart out & helping to kickstart a music scene that thrives to this day.

 

Here's a song that was mentioned in the News-Miner on May 6th, 1968

'Styr ofoam Mountain Performers Should Do It More Often: Review Reviewed by Jim Hadra Another beautiful spring Sunday afternoon and probably most local residents were out basking. However, a capacity crowd at Schaible Hall on the U of A campus found a more-than- warming reward for staying inside: a group of young student-performers, led by Douglas Herring, presented an all-too-brief musical review of compositions by Mr. Herring, under the collective title "Styrofoam Mountains and Other Things."

SunflowerBrandy-JamesBartlett

Another song that we can't find any info on so we'll assume it's a James Bartlett Original.

Cooing DoveJameBartlett

And lastly a song from Buckdancer on their last night of a run at the Howling dog Saloon Summer of 76? Mary McCaslin had become very popular nationwide and particularly in Fairbanks. This was song of hers that she did very quietly, fingerpicking an acoustic guitar. James did his own version:

YoungWesley-JamesBartlettWithBuckdancer

 

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Will Putman photo

OK, OK, Pat. We're tired of hearing you say, "One of the best damn songs I ever heard." Not only that but there's two of 'em! So if we share them on Song 'O the Week will you just cut it back a notch? But really, we at the Planet agree: Not only is our pal, Will Putman the best "Alaskana" writer you'll hear, (Check out his "Middle Of Nowhere" CD for proof of that) but the art of the story song is in no better hands . These are the two that Pat raves about. Dig we must! (Now will ya shaddup, Fitz?)

First off here's : On the Road with Tom (from the CD "15 Hours of Driving")

Next up--and let's all sing along--it's Blue Goose Saloon (from the CD "Ravin'")

 

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JimmySimpsonCassetteCover

--The cassette cover--

JimmySimpson2005

Jimmy Simpson in 2005 (thanks to Wired For Sound.)

Here's a song that was among a bunch of 45's that we transferred to C D for the queen of Alaskana herself , Candy Waugaman. It's called The Alcan Run by Jimmy Simpson. It 's Alaskan themed, a hillybilly bopper to used the current term, and it pretty accurately describes the a drive up the Alcan Highway in the 50's and 60's. He wonders if the men that built the road were "going to hell or comin' out"! Yow!!! You can check out more info on this sweet music blog, Wired For Sound ,whose owner actually interviewed Jimmy. The Planet salutes you, Mistah Simpson!

THE ALCAN RUN--JIMMY SIMPSON (Starday Records 4664 45-538-B)

 

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45 rpm record label Walter Jessup

As we said on the front page, here's a mystery 45 found by brother Kevin Fitzgerald on Ebay. See the "Fairbanks, Alaska " on the label? Being a 45 rpm vinyl record it would be anywhere from the late 50's into the 70's but the nature of the music says "earlier". More info to come as we uncover it.

Update: There were two D.Hall's in Fairbanks that were drummers. Danny Hall and his son Dave Hall. Pat knew Danny from his Dad's store, the 26th St. Market but he had quit playing at the time. Dave Hall was a major musician in the early days (60's) of rock & soul in Fairbanks and was still living in town as recently as the early 2000's. We'll try to contact him and will update this with a photo.

Let's start with the rockin' B side "Slow Down"----

And proceed to the belt buckle shiner, "I'll Make It Up To You"

 

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Rest In Peace Mary Lou Flesher. Mary Lou babysat Pat and his siblings but it wasn't until later that he found out she was a musician when he was called to play some "casuals"--weddings and such--and they renewed their friendship. We also found out that Mary Lou came to Alaska with Arkie Shibley. Arkie's not a house hold name but he did something musicially that was of note. He recorded a song called Hot Rod Race that was the precursor to songs like Hot Rod Lincoln and Maybelline. In the 50's Alaska was a hotbed for musicians because of the military bases and in Fairbanks the bars were open 24 hours a day. Mary Lou came to Fairbanks with Arkie to look around. She liked it, he didn't. MaryLou became well know in the area and eventually was the head of the musicians union. We used to see here at the Fred Meyer store in her 80's dressed to the nines. She was a true friend to many people and we will miss her. She said she played on several of Arkie's demos so here's a couple tunes we know she knew well.

Beautiful Coer'd Alene

I Wish I was Somebody's Rose

 

Mary Lou Flesher at Montana Club

Mary Lou Flesher (right) at the Montana Club, Anchorage 1950's

 

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Catching Up... with ourselves here after a while away...here's a quick one by Pat with his P.F.Flyers circe 1985. A cover of the Stones song "Get Off Of My Cloud."

 

Buddy Tabor

 

R.I.P. We'd only see Buddy Tabor once a year if we took the beautiful trek to Southeast Alaska for the Alaska Folk Festival. it seemed he always had a new CD. He was a prolific writer and his recordings were simple and sounded much the same. In Buddy's case sounding the same from CD to CD was not a drawback. It made one listen more closely to the words and his subjects were anything but the same from song to song. He was never afraid to take a stand in song and when he did it was with an extraordinary poetic sense. Besides our admiration for him in this respect, he was also a fan, and if need be, a critic of Bob Dylan. That made him all the more endearing. (It's so easy trusting someone who has a healthy knowledge of Mr. Zimmerman!) Here's three songs, each the first song from Vol. 1, 2. & 3 of his self-chosen anthology. The last song is a fitting curtain closer for an Alaskan original. His music will live on...

Abandoned Cars & Broken Hearts

Year of Jubilee

Blinding Flash Of Light

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Ann McBeth

We've decided that it's time to give a shout about our good friend and most wonderful singer and songwriter Ann McBeth. Her CD "No Going Back" is a most enjoyable journey through the hiways and byways of life and it's a CD that hasn't gotten enough attention. Sure Mike Flynn plays songs from it often on his nationally syndicated radio show "Folk Sampler" but we've got to do our part and point you all once again to her distinctive voice. Here's a couple songs from the CD and if you like what you hear, click on her name above and buy CD or some downloads. It's the right thing to do. . Enjoy "Harvest Moon" and "Restless Feeling".

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Way back in the '90's STOV was THE dance band in Fairbanks, mixing funky grooves with original songs they packed the local watering holes everytime they played. Let's go back to those days, shall we? And listen to three songs written by one of our 10th Planet favorites , George Zuzi-Cobb: Hippie Chick, Firewater Willy's & (based on a true Fairbanks tale) Live In A Hole. On the latter check out one of Robin's favorite lyrics: "You can all come over-- one at a time." Also word has it there are still some boxes of the CD these songs came f rom, called "Burn", if you'd like to have your own collectors item. Give us a shout!

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We've been lamenting the late, long gone Sunday morning sermon of the air that was the Eat At Joe's show on KSUA-FM . Hosted by Joe Hickman and kept alive by a dedicated cast while he moved out of state & returned, it was one of our roots connections every week. Pat even wrote a song for one of the anniversary shows--it's called, oddly enough, Eat At Joe's.

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It seems some fella came upon "56 Below" in a thrift store in near Santa Barbara, CA this past year and wrote for info on it. Ya see, it's on a 45 rpm vinyl record! Yes, Pat received a grant in olden days from Solstice, Inc. (a group who put on a very popular and groovy Solstice Festival starting in the late '70's through 1984) to record and press this disc and perhaps 500 were made. The fella from California was a collector and said it was the best "punk" 45 he owned! Yowza!! That's Lindy Raines on guitar and Gary Sloan on harmonica. (It goes out per the request of our pal, Nathan in Tucson, Arizona) So here it is for ya along with a live cut just uncovered of a band of Pat's called the P.F.Flyers (precursor to the Flyers of Howling Dog fame.) The P.F. stood for Pat Fitzgerald (doh!)and they played old r&b covers and a slew of Pat's early originals. Check out "When the Rubber Meets the Road". And go to Pat's page for more tunes!

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Some recent history: One of the great recording sessions here at the Planet in more recent times concerned this song and it's maker, Willis Fireball. Singing the choruses are a bunch of the singers and players that have been keeping Fairbanks a great music town in recent years. You'll hear the voices of Chip Brookes, Jody Hassel, Kendra Calhoun,Brooklyn Bellinger, Margaret Bonnell, Leighton Nunez, Jessica Knott, Tristan Cobine, Chuck Brainerd, Dave Magoffin, Sarie Birch & Janet Cline. Song's called "You Can Be My Waterjug".

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John Denver at McCarthy Alaska 1975

A bit of history to go with the photo above. On the left is John Denver (of "Country Roads" and "Rocky Mountain High" fame) in McCarthy in 1975. The photo is taken in the old McCarthy Lodge (now the dining room). Denver was making a movie about Alaska and evidently was instrumental (no pun intended) in helping the movement for the creation of the Wrangell/St. Elias National Park. Though it's creation was controvertial at the time (perhaps still is) one thing you can bet: The mess left by the mine is now contained within the "museum" boundaries at Kennicott and the rest of the land will never be that kind of dump. This tape was made by Dave Davenport (with the guitar on the left), a friend of the 10th Planet from the Delta area and made somewhat listenable by Pat here at the studio. Take a listen to "Rocky Mountain Suite" and "Two Shots", live in '75!

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Time to throw back the rug for a little cajun two-step followed by a cajun waltz courtesy of late '90's pan-Alaska band Bayou Beer. Band members include Aileen McGuinness (vocals, triangle, washboard), Scottie Meyer (accordian, fiddle, vocals), Forrest Gibson (electric guitar),all ex-Fairbanksans living in Anchorage, Ray Geraghty (fiddle), ex-pat' living in Homer & yours truly on bass and drums. Check out Parlez Nous A Boire & Mon Chere Bebe Creole.

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FOUND SONGS: First up, a song from a time when just about the only people seriously writing songs in Fairbanks were Gene Ryder and Cheryl Brewster (daughter of long-time Fbks musician Harlan Walrath)and her musical partner Mike Heimbuch. Here's Cheryl & Mike playing Cheryl's song, "Take You For A Ride." (1973)

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Some may have heard of the infamous Doctor Ogstad's Travelling Medicine Show (and Wahog Circus). A bunch of folks put together this show complete with skits and music to sell a bit of "magic elixer" to raise funds to get the troupe on down the road to the next town. Music was provided at times by The Sidewinders and at other times by Ryder's Retreads (Gene Ryder, Robin Dale Ford, Danny Constenstein, Kent Setzer). At the end of the show the whole cast came out and sang the Theme song written by our boy, Gene Ryder. Here's the Dr. Ogstad Theme.

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ANOTHER BIG HELPING! This time it's The Sidewinders in honor of the Pete Bowers' Old Time Herald article on old time string band music in Alaska. Here's "Tell It To Me", "Jesse James", "Union Man", "Truly Understand", and "Solid Gone". So roll up the rug (Ma, don't let them dance on your new rug.) and raise a ruckus!

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A BIG HELPING OF GENE RYDER FOR YA! We've sung his praises before and now he's coming up to join us for our annual trip to McCarthy (our 20th!) Then the week after we'll all play a concert/dance at the Blue Loon (Special guest Gary Wescott is back too!). So we've decide to prime the pump with a heapin' helpin' of Ryder. Feast yo' ears on: "Came To Mobile", "Trail Ridge Road", "One Door Closes", "Bye and Bye", and "Curve of a Brand New World" and get ready for the real thing September 12th.

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Next up, a song with an interesting past. Crooner Mel Torme recorded a hit version of the song "Comin' Home Baby" in 1962.That same year, jazz flutist Herbie Mann came out with the breakthrough album "Live at the Village Vanguard" that had an instrumental version of the same song. Pat says that everyone he knew played the song in Fairbanks in the '60's: It was funky, bluesy and easy to jam on. So it's no surprise then that the 1973 juggernaut that was the Glass Bead Game played the song. In this live version, probably a concert from early September '73, you'll hear the Herbie Mann influence with the flute of Donna Stewart. Also included are Sam Levine on alto sax and the phenomenon of Al Green on two trumpets at once! The band split their material between vocal tunes and instrumentals, rock tunes and jazz. Members also included Gary Westcott on guitar & vocals, James Bartlett on acoustic guitar and vocals, Suze McGuiness on vocals, Riff Rafson (of the Raines Bros. band) on bass, Phil Falkowki on piano. Oh, and that's baby Pat hisself on drums. Check out Comin' Home Baby.

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The most popular band in Fairbanks in '79 was one called Coyote. Consisting of Gary Wescott (gtr.), Michael "Sparky" Gray (fdle), James Bartlett(bass) (uncle of local soundman, thespian and set-builder James Bartlett ), Mark Siegmeister (drums) and the venerable Gene Ryder (gtr). The big difference with this band is that they played a lot of original material of Gene's--rare for the time period. Also rare was a local band having a recording in a saleable form. Coyote never made a record but they did record. This was one of three or four songs recorded live at the Howling Dog Saloon sans audience by Les Stuck, local madman musician and all around geek. It's a Ryder song called "Blue Lake Lullaby"

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In honor of the release of Charlie Hunt new CD, The Cabin Hunter's Mandolin, we thought you might like to hear a song from the band it was named after: A cut from the early 1980's from the Cabin Hunters called (because we're not sure of the names of the tunes) "Cabin Hunter's Medley".

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Now a song that does double duty as a piece of Fairbanks musical history and a testament to, as our Canadian friends to the south say, "the colorful 5 percent": The individuals that add the spice to the Northern stew. From the late 1970's, here's Don Kruse (with help from his friend and ours, Gene Ryder), singing a song he wrote called"The Ballad Of Harold Bram".

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As 2009 comes in like a roaring 40 below tiger our thoughts turn to warmer times. Like the winter in the 90's when we visited our good pal Steve "Mojo" Mertz at his place a few miles from Tombstone, Arizona. Here's a couple songs we recorded: (Robin on bass, Pat on guitar and singing, Mojo first on slide then on blues harp. You see where he gets his nickname.) "Highway 61" and "Confessin' The Blues".

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Digging into the vaults again. This time it's a showcase tune by 1976 Fairbanks' hottest band, Buckdancer, live at the Howling Dog Saloon. Members included Dave Ratliff and Lori Rodgers on guitars and vocals (heard previously in this column singing "Sad As It Seems"), James Bartlett on bass, veteran of several notable bands (Glass Bead Game, Coyote), Lars Larson on drums, (Michael) Sparky Gray on fiddle (later in Coyote and The Flyers' 1st drummer, now in Pearl Django) and Timberline Rose on harmony vocals. Here's their take on "Mama Don't Allow".

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This past summer we had the pleasure of a visit by the inimitable Knute Tonga and his lovely daughter Kristen. Knute (often playing along side his equally talented wife, Heather) is well known in acoustic music circles in the State for the enormous number of songs he knows and his multi-instrument musicianship. While visiting we pushed them into the studio and rolled tape. Here's "Hobo's Song" and "What Will Become of the Old Home Place."

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We've been slowly moving toward a CD of Pat's Dad's songs. "Palaces & Mansions" was the first (see below) and now you can add "Riding On The Bottom Line" and "Homestead On The Moon"(written by Bill Fitzgerald) . Both feature the fantastic Bob Banghart (from Juneau) on fiddle and our pal Alex Clarke on lap steel.

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A tune from around 1978. Robin on clawhammer banjo, George Page (Joe's brother) on 3 finger melodic-style banjo. The rest of the band may be what was known then as Tanana Grass, a long-lived band that went through many members. But since Robin usually played bass in her version of that band we're not sure who's on bass here. If it is TG then it's Jay Zemotel on guitar and Dave Manheimer on fiddle. A song called Sleighride.

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Did ya know we love us some jug band music here at the Planet? Oh yeah. Goin' back to the Jim Queskin Jug Band and later, the much older Memphis Jug Band and the Mississippi Sheiks. And we just had to share this tune from the fine local purveyors of such, The Bac'untry Bruthers live at the Marlin: Don't Hate the Playa

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We had the pleasure of having Leighton Nunez in the studio with his lovely daughter Jesse (both of Louisiaska fame) to demo a group of songs and he said we could share one with ya. Here's I Thought You Loved me.

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We lost one of Fairbanks own this past week (4/14/08). A fine picker & singer and an encouraging voice for all musicians. May he rest in peace. Here's Dan Ison, Mary Ann

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A track from late '70's by Dave Ratliff and Joe Page as they were just forming the Rhythm Romancers: Cannonball Rag. Recorded at the UA Pub.

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A track Pat recorded a decade ago on his ancient 4-track Tascam cassette recorder. (Just for that tape sound.) "All I need's some "Action Tonight".

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OK, just 'cause we love you here a couple more gems from the master, Gene Ryder: Spinning Your Wheels & 100 Years Too Late.

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Just in case you're shy, just in case you can't bring yourself to press the candy-like button that sends you to 45 heaven (we got a theme goin' with these 45s...) In case you need help, here's a little helping of DJ Kave-In from his Wiggle Room #15 along with proof of what makes us wiggle on the Planet. Don't be afraid of the sound. We told you in the left hand column about the Wiggle Room and the busted neon sign. Now go for it!!!

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OK, it's colder than a rich man's heart out there but guess what? It's been colder! (Make ya feel better?) This song was inspired by the temperature at the corner of 2nd and Cushman one winter long ago. Later that summer, Uncle Buck was on the board of the Solstice committee (that put on the fabulous Solstice festivals of the late '70's/early 80's) and helped procure a small grant to have a 45 rpm disc printed. Here 'tis 56 Below.

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Here's a couple more songs by the great Sidewinders string band (see Pat's Blog). These, songs, some of ,their only studio recordings,, were saved from the trash in a purging of our local public radio station's archives in the 90's. Check out a song that's Become popular again nowadays for some reason (oh yeah, Old Crow Medicine Show) that the Sidewinders were famous for, "Tell It To Me." Bust Down!!!

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For fans of garage rock(see sidebar to the left)and honky tonk there are no more impassioned singers that in the Alaska Native communities. Here's a sample: The closing tune of the Athabaskan Fiddle Festival of a couple years ago. Sorry no info on the artists but dig one of the classic songs, Indian Rock & Roll.

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Happy 80th Birthday, Doc South! (January '08) Here's a tune from his prime Fairbanks years (1970's). Joe Page is on mandolin (a Gibson A40 with the serial #s scratched out bought from Clyde Boggan (R.I.P.) , Brent Edwards on a Lane brand banjo and Doc, as always, on fiddle: Doc South Band. And how 'bout a bonus track? Old timey at it's best by two people who shared stages with Doc back in the Fairbanks days. Danny Consenstein and our own Robin Dale Ford recorded "Ramblin' Reckless Hobo" back when they were part of the infamous Sidewinders, an old timey band that packed the Howling Dog (Ester and Fox)in the 70's.

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The more times are changin'... This from an editorial by Senator Bernie Sanders: "Meanwhile, the people on top have never had it so good. The richest 1 percent now own more than 34 percent of the nation°¶s private wealth, more than the combined wealth of the bottom 90 percent. The share of the national income held by the top 1 percent is now higher than at any time since 1928." 1928-just before the bottom dropped out. Here's a song of Pat's from the Reagan era written after reading a chapter in Studs Terkal's book "Hard Times" about the bonus army. It's called "Burning Down Hooverville"

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A special present for the new year from the archives: A tw0-fer from Gene Ryder. First up a song from the late 70's probably recorded at KUAC-FM called "Grandpa". Then about 20 years later from the sessions here at the Planet,"St. Elias Through A Cracked Windshield", written after Gene accompanied us on our yearly trip to McCarthy in the Wrangell/St.Elias area.

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In the spirit of the New Year, here's a song from our swing band, Swang!, written by Pat. Here's wishing a right proper "Blast Off" into 2008!

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Here's a "Song for Ramona"written by Gangly Moose's primary songwriter John Knechtel for the Zapatistas of Chiapas. It's dedicated to a member of that group who, though small in stature, looms large in the hearts of the people of that country. (Read an account of a trip to Zapatista territory here.)

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In his job as drummer for the infamous Circle Jerks, Pat's brother, Kevin, recently wrote a tune that became their first recording in 10 years ("I'm Gonna Live"). Here's his follow-up: A demo called "The Mouth", music by the boy wonder hisself and some mysterious band of street urchins in that same sweaty shoebox hotel room described on the left side of this page.

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Here's a first time appearance on the mighty, mighty Web by the mighty, mighty Flyers! Not much of a name, sure, but the Flyers rocked the Howling Dog Saloon in Fox, Alaska for about a decade from the mid '80's to the mid-90's. Here's a cut of an old soul song, "Love Got Me" from July 1990. That's Pat and Robin on the vocals, Pat on lead guitar, Robin on bass, Curtis Cunningham on guitar and John Carnahan on drums.

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A song performed by another old friend, Gary Wescott. Gary played in a few bands long time Fairbansans will remember: The Glass Bead Game and Coyote among others (see Gene Ryder, below). He lives in Seattle like so many expatriates but he visited a couple years ago and we coaxed him into the studio to play on a song of Pat's and also record this song, "Cry Just A Little",written by ones of his musical partners Reggie Garrett.

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Here we have a song by one of our favorite songwriters in the whole 'round world. Gene Ryder drifted up to Fairbanks in the '70's and set a fire under the Fairbanks scene, being one of the first songwriters with a true body of work that was growing by leaps and bounds every day. Besides stirring solo performances , he played his more rocking material in the band Coyote and had a little group on the side called Ryder's Retreads that sometimes provided music for the Doc Ogstad's Medicine Show.He eventually drifted back to his home state of Virginia but visited us in the late '90's and laid down some riveting tracks with just him and his guitar. This one's called "One Door Closes". Our ol' pal Nate Montgomery does a cover of it and there's a lot more in the vaults. Stay tuned!

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"Sad As It Seems", a song from about 1979 performed byDave Ratliff and Lori Rodgers recorded live at the UAF Pub. These two made a lot of music here in the late '70's, early 80's. Dave was in a band called Buckdancer that swung and rocked the Howling Dog Saloon (cuts on them to appear shortly). Lori was in Buckdancer with Dave and our ol' pal Michael "Sparky" Gray (the Flyers' first drummer, now a bit more, ahem, dignified in Seattle's Pearl Django.) All three went on to fame in Anchorage as Three To Get Ready before Dave and Sparky helped form the formidable Rhythm Romancers with Joe Page and our own Robin Dale Ford.

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This one is called "Palaces & Mansions", written by Pat's dad, Bill Fitzgerald. It is part of an upcoming CD of Bill's songs. Enjoy!

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Waiting for Something to Happen” is from Pat’s album “Wild Harvest,” this one has its roots in seeing a man on a Tucson street corner from a passing bus. It seems to have wider connotations since Sept. 11th. Robin and Pat have begun playing this one live with banjo, acoustic guitar and harmonica.

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