I'm re-reading that Ry Cooder penned book of fiction that I read last summer, and again, in the middle of the chapter that features cameos by Merle Travis and Joe Maphis, my thoughts turn to my brother. His tastes were varied. One minute it might be Flipper, the next Esquivel. So watching an old clip of some aw shucks he knows he's awesome picker was not out of the ordinary. The picker I speak of is Merle Travis, on a cabin porch in a rocking chair, introduced thusly, "With us today is Country and Western Hall of Fame member Merle Travis". I remember that because we, along with his roommate and assorted friends on different occasions, watched that clip many, many times. It was one of those things that you take delight in running into the ground. Keep in mind that there was usually beer or weed involved. When Travis gets to one part of the song, in the middle of some masterful picking, he says "I usually play that part on the jug." At an impromptu weekend afternoon party, hanging with friends, it was instant hysterics. It wasn't the clip, or Travis's comment, it became all about running it into the ground. We excelled at that. Merle Travis excelled at finger picking, and he made it look easy.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Merle Travis - Blue Smoke mp3 at Rocky 52
Merle Travis - Sixteen Tons mp3 at Rocky 52
Merle Travis - Louisiana Boogie mp3 at Bousculade (?)
Merle Travis - The Real Deal at YouTube Compilation of clips.