Friday Five: The Phoenix
As Engine 145 finds its legs and more importantly, its audience, it is probably important to look back as we look forward. For years, a collection of writers from all over the map came together and contributed to another website called The 9513. We celebrated the country music that inspired us and critiqued new releases- the good, the bad and the ugly. Hopefully along the way, we educated, entertained, and engaged. The site’s owners, the appreciated Vercher brothers, decided that they would retire on top and pulled the plug on the site earlier this year.
Several writers from The 9513 believed that same community of interest in bluegrass, Americana, roots and country music should live on—albeit in a new forum. And so a new home for music discussion was born. As a result, our first Friday Five, a playlist celebrating a singular topic that ranges from the serious to the whimsical, celebrates the phoenix. For those not brushed up on their ancient mythology, a phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage that after 500 to 1000 years, bursts into flames; from its ashes, a new, young phoenix arises, reborn anew to live again.
This politically charged song is about Sioux Indian John Trudell whose 1970s activism caused—as many have claimed—the burning of his home and death of his wife and children. Kristofferson released this track off of his 1995 independent album Moment of Forever and this performance is from one of the Highwaymen tours.
“‘Tullamore Dew’ was written as an instrumental prelude to the Phoenix album, It is also the name of a very fine Irish whiskey that I used to have quite an affinity for. ‘Phoenix’ is a hard driving piece that I wrote about resurrection. We all suffer the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ but the human heart is an amazingly resilient muscle.” — Dan Fogelberg
Written by Vince Bell, this eccentric tale was included on her 1993 Grammy winning Contemporary Folk Album and genre tribute Other Voices, Other Rooms.
Four years after her husband’s passing in 2002, Mrs. Waylon Jennings released what could be thought of as an entire album dedicated to the phoenix called Out of the Ashes. The track that best exemplified the theme of the album is this one. “Outta the ashes, the phoenix rises.”
Back in 1996, Miss Dollywood herself starred in a made-for-television special in which she was a selfish country music star who met her end. In order for her to earn her wings and make it to heaven, she has to reunite a family in time for Christmas. This was the theme song from the movie.
“Like the phoenix/ From the ash and dirt/ I rose up from the pain and hurt/ When I was at my very worst/ I found you.”
- Paul W Dennis: Tom T & Dixie Hall are good people and I wish them all the best through this difficult time
- Paul W Dennis: Actually , it is not. We have so thoroughly debased our language that it is no longer possible to praise …
- Leeann Ward: Sheesh, Paul, that's a random/strange dig!
- Jack Williams: After reading that New Yorker article, I canceled my pre-order of the Basement Tapes box set. I love Bob …
- Leeann Ward: Wow! How terrible for Dixie Hall and Tom.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Another twisted collection of songs to put into the Friday Five Hall of Fame, Juli.
- Arlene: I'd have included "Omie Wise." Doc Watson's is the version I'm familiar with but I think it's been recorded by …
- luckyoldsun: I think the number one country murder ballad is "Frankie and Johnny"--by Jimmie. Also, how about "Delia's Gone" from Harry Belafonte …
- Juli Thanki: Colloquial use of "fantastic" as a synonym for "excellent" dates back to the 1930s. And if it's good enough for …
- Paul W Dennis: I think "Banks of The Ohio", "Miller's Cave" and "It's Nothing to Me" are far creepier than several of the …