In the late 90’s I got myself a harmonica and took it down into my basement apartment and wrote this song in no time flat. From that point on I brought a harmonica to gigs, still do, even when I have no plan to play this song, even though it’s pretty much the only song I’ve ever played the harmonica on. Eventually, in Nashville, the talented Mr. Joe Bidewell took over the harp duties as can be heard on “Glorious Glorious” and “Olives and Oil.” But, much like in this song, I digress…
I wrote this song in Nashville in the unfinished upstairs apartment of a friends house. There was no kitchen but we had a bathroom and a blow-up bed. The bus stopped one street over and I would take it to Broadway where I had a gig at Dixieland Delights – an ice cream shop across the street from Gruhns Guitars. There was a plastic Elvis out front on the corner and I would play 4-5 hour slots of covers and originals for tips. Sounds like fun, but it was work. One time a family came in and their daughters took one look at me and then each other and feigned to shoot themselves in the head with their finger guns. It was worth every hungover minute of those Sunday 8am-12pm gigs just to say I had a regular gig on Broadway.
Here is the second performance in “The Canon” series. I wrote this one around 1998 in the basement of a house I lived in on Pine Needle in Athens, GA. It appears here on the album “Knee Deep” in all of its full band-ness but I’m partial to the acoustic version. Thanks for listening!
It may seem a tad much for me to refer to a part of my own body of work as “The Canon”and it just may be, but the alternative, like “The Classics,” would sound just as silly, no? So, “The Canon” it is. And what is “The Canon” exactly? Well, in this sense, it refers to the songs I have written over the past 25+ years that have remained in my set from their birth. Songs come and songs go but some stick around for awhile. I’ve decided to record myself playing the songs I’ve written that have stuck around in my live set longer than the others; for posterity. I hope you enjoy discovering them as much as I did writing them.
I’m starting off the series with the first song I wrote specifically to start my first band, Cafeteria (the first one where I was the song-writer, I had played instruments in other bands). I wrote this in an apartment my roommate and I called “The Sweet Pad” cause we thought it was super sweet. “The Cafeteria Tape” (see “music.thejoinerhouse.com“) has the original recording. The backing vocals were done in the shower for the reverb (in the original) as I recorded it on a Tascam 4 track cassette recorder with very few reverb options back in 1997. Anyway, I digress….without further ado…Polaroids.
Rachel and I had a band in Nashville with some wonderful musician friends. Calling ourselves The Joiners, we made two albums and a single that are now streaming on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, and all of your other favorite places to discover music. Go check it out and listen to our Nashville selves.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for Saturday night’s live stream! It was a roaring success and we really enjoyed everyone’s participation in the discussion section during the show. We will definitely be doing something again soon, so stay tuned! Meanwhile, here is a streamlined copy of the set with the silence edited out of the beginning. Don’t forget to subscribe to the John Thursday YouTube channel while you are there, and thank you for watching!