On episode 73 of the Americana Music Show, Lincoln Durham talks about his residency at Gruene Hall, why he can’t write love songs, his long path from playing fiddle to Son House and Fred McDowell, and why he wrote a creepy songs about ne’er-do-well characters playing forty two.
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The Americana Music Show is copyright 2012 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com.
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Lincoln Durham explains how he came up with the creepy title “The Shovel vs The Howling Bones” for his new CD. He says he doesn’t seem to be able to write a love song. He tried to come up with a way to describe the emotions throughout the CD.
Lincoln Durham talks about his favorite song “Mud Puddles.” because it gives us a hint about where his next CD is going to go. He enjoyed the chance to play some fiddle on this tune.
[plays “Mud Puddle”]
Lincoln Durham talks about the guidance he got from the CD’s co-producer, Ray Wylie Hubbard. Ray told him to emphasize being able to play and deliver a song by yourself and then add stuff to it. So he encouraged him to adopt a finger picking style with the thumb providing a base. Ray told him if you start like that you can feel comfortable booking a gig even if the band can’t show up.
Lincoln Durham took that advice to heart and the next thing he added was a porchboard bass/lo fi microphone, which is something he could also do on his own. Later he added harmonica as well and he already knew how to play fiddle from when he was a kid.
Lincoln Durham talks about how he did a show with Scott H. Biram a few months ago and how he was impressed and encouraged that someone was out there proving that there is a market for this kind of sound.
Lincoln Durham introduces “Love Letters” which is a free download from his web site. He says this one was especially fun to record and that it has a rockabilly-ish feel to it. It’s basic, no bass. mostly him and Rick Richards on drums. This song is about everyone has past lives and relationships that didn’t work out and how everyone “has love letters to burn.”
[plays “Love Letters”]
Lincoln Durham talks about how ended up as a blues man. He started out playing fiddle when he was 4 years old, thanks to the influence of his dad and granddad. He played monthly opry shows from around 7-8 until he was 15, out in a turn of the century school house. Back then it was largely bluegrass. Then he transitioned to guitar and wanted to be the next Hendrix. His father was into Outlaw Country listening to Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash etc. But His guitar interests led him to bands like Led Zeppelin who then pointed him to the early blues men like Son House and Fred McDowell. Lincoln Durham says that now he’s finally playing the music he wants to be instead of imitating others.
Lincoln Durham introduces “Reckoning Lament” This is a song that talks about Fred McDowell, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Robert Johnson, etc. The idea of it came from playing dominoes, especially 42, which he has played a lot of over the years. he had a dream about playing dominoes with ne’er do well characters. The next day he woke up and wrote the song in a single day which is unusual for him.
[plays “Reckoning Lament”]
Lincoln Durham talks about the residency he did at Gruene Hall, which claims to be the oldest dance hall in Texas.