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Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!

Art Thieme 14 Nov 08 - 07:17 PM
Art Thieme 15 Nov 08 - 04:38 PM
Azizi 15 Nov 08 - 05:25 PM
lisa null 15 Nov 08 - 10:26 PM
Art Thieme 15 Nov 08 - 11:21 PM
Art Thieme 16 Nov 08 - 01:17 PM
Azizi 16 Nov 08 - 01:35 PM
Azizi 16 Nov 08 - 01:40 PM
Art Thieme 16 Nov 08 - 01:59 PM
Art Thieme 18 Nov 08 - 02:28 PM
Art Thieme 18 Nov 08 - 11:04 PM
katlaughing 19 Nov 08 - 12:18 AM
stevec 19 Nov 08 - 11:06 PM
Azizi 19 Nov 08 - 11:27 PM
katlaughing 20 Nov 08 - 10:13 AM
Art Thieme 20 Nov 08 - 11:46 AM
Art Thieme 20 Nov 08 - 06:50 PM
stevec 21 Nov 08 - 12:26 AM
stevec 21 Nov 08 - 12:33 AM
Art Thieme 21 Nov 08 - 04:13 PM
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Subject: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 07:17 PM

If you love those old and newer cowboy songs done in the old roots way, with straight-ahead honesty, fine backup guitar, and a twinkle in the singer's eye --- well, friends, this is one you gotta hear.

Steve Cormier (pronounce Cor-meer)was living in Alma, Kansas when I first heard his music at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. He was a working cowboy then. His songs came from a deep well of nourishing waters that gave his sensitivities for the Western traditions all the proper nutrients. He does these songs with wonderful respect, and I must tell you that I most heartily recommend this--his first CD in a few years. If you want to feel the old West vicariously through the words of the men and boys who were there. --- In recent years, Steve has been teaching college history and playing supporting roles in films and on TV. He was a dead guy with various insects crawling on his face in one film--while the opening credits ran over him. (I don't remember which film that was though.) Steve also played a bartender in the fine film, Wyatt Earp.

Here's the lineup:

Rangers Command (Woody Guthrie)
Red River Valley (trad--a unique interpretation of the old song)
San Francisco Bay (Jesse Fuller)
Home On The Range (the way it was written by Brewster Higley-1878)
All Around The Water Tanks (Jimmie Rodgers)
Trail To Mexico (as collected and published by Jack Thorpe--1908)
Bob Dylan's Dream (by B.D.-- I like this better than Dylan's.)
Silver Jack (trad---A song Susan-Wysiwyg will love--really ;-)
The Searchers (Stan Jones--as sung by Tex Ritter in the film.)
Zebra Dun (trad--about a horse breaker--like Steve himself was)
Dewey Berry Boys (trad--A song from Kansas history.)
Wild Bill (Marc Miles--Steve sang it in the film "Mean As Hell")
Hound Dog (Katie Lee & James Smith--as sing by Cisco Houston)
Yellow Rose Of Texas (traditional-This sets the record straight!)
Closin' The Bar (by Steve---A true story-sort of!)
Calico Dress (by Steve Cormier--also from the film "Mean As Hell" --   in which Steve played the protagonist.

There you have it---old and new. Give it a listen!

It's on:
Makesense Records
3 Oakhill Drive
Sandia Park, N.M. 87047
505-281-8201

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 04:38 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 05:25 PM

Art, I don't suppose you have any link to sound clips or video clips of this CD? That would be helpful.

I'm intrigued by your comment about Yellow Rose Of Texas (traditional-This sets the record straight!) what did you mean by that comment?

Also, I didn't know that Hound Dog was a cowboy song. But I guess most any song could be sung in any style...


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: lisa null
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 10:26 PM

This is extremely exciting to me. I absolutely loved Steve Cormier's singing and his immersion in history while working as a cowboy was my first inspiration that i could use the insights and experiences I had learned as a folksinger and carry them back into academe.

I also remember his telling me he had worked on oil rigs and had songs from that experience. Never heard any though.

Thanks for posting this Art!


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 11:21 PM

Lisa, Howdy!---Lots o' water through the lock gates since we met last!!

I have heard a couple of Steve's songs about working on oil rigs. I think one was to the tune of "This Old House" as it was sung by Rosemary Clooney. I'll have to search out that ancient record. I know I have it----somewhere.

Azizi, Any background you have for the song is surely closer to the real story. (Somehow, I knew you'd be in here asking about that nomenclature quicker than a tick can burrow into the inner recesses of a belly's fat folds. ;-) It's just Steve's take on it---his understanding of the song's origins. Like all folklore, if it manages to be "the truth" of it, it's often an accident! The 'variations' are what's fun to see; like with the old game of 'Telephone'! Here are Steve Cormier's note on his version:

This song is from the 1850s---about Elizabeth Morgan. We used to think Morgan was a slave who was captured by Santa Ana during the Texas war for independence, spied on him, and escaped to take information back to the Texans, enabling them to win the battle of San Jacinto. We now know that Morgan, who was captured and did escape, was a free black woman and there is no proof that she did any spying. But who cares? It's a great love song.---Vocal and guitar by Steve Cormier: lead guitar by Jeff Cahill.

Hound Dog isn't a cowboy song. It IS a cowgirl song though. Seems it was written by Katie Lee---a fine singer of cowboy and song about the West. She has a fine LP on Smithsonian-Folkways - SONGS OF THE COLORADO RIVER. (She also did an old LP called "Songs Of Couch And Consultation"---about shrinks and their patients---1950s.)

Her versions of "Maria Consuela Arroyo" and Tom Russell's cockfight song: "Gallo Del Cielo" and Tom Scoggins' "Old Dolores" are just great.

I did call Steve to tell him about this thread I was starting, but he wasn't home. I left a message and I hope he'll jump in here one o' these days pretty soon.

Art Thieme

Art


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 01:17 PM

THIS OLD RIG
       I recorded Steve Cormier doing this at the No Exit in Chicago---mid-1970s. The tune is "This Old House" as sung by Rosemmary Clooney.

This old rig once had some roughnecks,
This old rig once had a crew,
Now they've got a bunch of weevils
And they don't know what to do,
Well is it any wonder,
'Cause it's 49 below,
I'm goin' back to Texas
Before I drill one more hole.

CHORUS)
Ain't a gonna need this rig no longer,
Ain't a gonna need this rig no more,
Ain't got time to fix the trawlers,
Ain't got time to wash the floor,
Ain't got time to oil them motors
Or to fix that spinnin' chain,
Ain't a gonna need this rig no longer,
I'm a-gettin' ready to make a change.

Now, I been workin' morning tower
And my car is a total loss,
Evening tower's on location
And the head is twisted off,
So yo yo up the drill stem,
Get it back at any cost,
Ya no sooner get it on the bottom
And the circulation's lost.

My old driller lies there sleepin'
He don't know he's gonna leave,
Sittin' up on the doghouse,
And he's _____ there an' grieve,
But his drilling days are over,
Ain't a-gonna need this rig no more,
His time went in this morning
When the blocks fell through the floor.

(Art Thieme)


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 01:35 PM

Somehow, I knew you'd be in here asking about that nomenclature quicker than a tick can burrow into the inner recesses of a belly's fat folds. ;-)

Gee, Art, I have to start being more unpredictable. And may I say that your images are quite um...colorful. But they're not at all descriptive of me. At least I'm not going to own up to having any fat folds in my belly. And I don't the only ticks that I have near me are those from a watch and a clock.

;o) Back atcha.


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 01:40 PM

Okay. I confess. I have a few.




Watches, that is.

:o)

**

I look forward to posts from Steve Cormier who I haven't had the pleasure of hearing yet. But I'll take your word and Lisa's
{Hi Lisa!} that he is well worth hearing.


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 01:59 PM

Azizi,
Steve's voice is a small bit like Scotch; same way Jack Elliott's or Woody's can be. Or Leadbelly's or The Masked Marvel/Charlie Patton singing "Boll Weevil". After the first efforts, it goes down easy--with a warm glow.

The belly/ticks reference was just a semantic flight of some kind. --- I was once doing a 12-step thing. The 4th one was '\coming face to face with one's self.' So I shaved my beard. There were so many chins in my mirror, I chose to grow it back -- real quick! ;-)

Art


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 02:28 PM

refresh--

-Steve's having a hard time finding this thread.


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 11:04 PM

once more!


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 12:18 AM

Ah, geez, Art, I knew I should look in this, something just kept tugging at me! This sounds like a very fine lineup of songs close to my heart and with your recommendation, I am definitely going to give Steve a call. I hope he finds his way in here, too. My dad would've really liked the The Old Rig as well as the others, of course.. I'll wonder forever if he ever heard that version. Thanks, dear friend.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: stevec
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 11:06 PM

Folks,
This is not a little exciting. The last time anyone had an online discussion on me, I think it was the police checking my record inter state. Lisa, I never was a roughneck, thank god. It's one of the few jobs I do not regret not having. I got the song "This old Rig" from Kackie Kinder in l975 when I lived in Wichita, before I started doing farm and ranch work. Jackie was a friend of Evelyn and Bob Beers. Jackie paved the way for me to play at Fox Hollow in l976, my first trip east. I also know (sort of, now) another oil field song called "tool picker from Snyder" (I think that's the name) that I used to sing about the same time that Art recorded me at No Exit. I stopped singing those songs because the more concerts I did the more I realized that oil rig songs didn't go over that well with night club crowds. Maybe now...
Anyway, I'm doing a concert at the University of New Mexico Fri, Dec.5. And I'm playing in Kansas City Fri., Jan. 2 and in El Dorado, Kansas Jan. 3.
Steve Cormier


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 11:27 PM

Steve Cormier,

Thanks for posting on Mudcat. Having grown up in New Jersey and now living in Pennsylvania, I confess to knowing very little about cowboy songs [other than the ones that may or may not be authentic that have made their way into children's school music books and American mass media].

It 'makes sense' that I rectify this particular gap in my knowledge of American folk music. I'll use the contact information that your "old" friend and my new friend Art Thiemes posted in his first comment to this thread,and purchase one of your CDs.

I look forward to hearing your CD.

Best wishes!

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 10:13 AM

Thanks for coming by and joining up, Steve! I'd love to hear that other oilfield song since I was an oilfield "brat" though my mother never claimed us as such. My dad made an honest living as a welder par excellence with music on the side, a big side, after growing up on a ranch in Western Colorado. The oil industry is booming here, if you make it up here to Grand Junction, Rifle, or a few other places, the oilfield songs would go over well, I think, as well as the cowboy ones. Probably not so much up the road in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Aspen, though.

You might be interested in This Old Thread about some cowboy songs which my brother recorded in the 1950s from my folks' old 78s. I am getting ready, next month, to put them on CDs for some more folks. If you are interested, please just add your name in the thread or send me a PM (personal Message) and I will add you to the list.

Thanks, again, and welcome to the Mudcat!

kat


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 11:46 AM

Steve,
I'm glad you found your way here. Re: "Tool Picker From Snyder": The song is on an LP (and probably a CD too) from the Archive Of Folk Culture at the Library Of Congress. It's called something like "Songs From American History" --- a later addition to those great earlier albums of collected songs --- LP albums issued by the old Archive Of Folk Song at the L. of C.

Azizi, I'll be in touch by P.M.

Art


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 06:50 PM

Steve,
If you are still around, what is the price of this CD? And should folks just send you a check to that address in New Mexico. I put it in an earlier post?

Art


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: stevec
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 12:26 AM

Friends,
For those of you that want to buy my cd, send $15 to:
Steve Cormier
3 Oakhill Drive
Sandia Park, NM 87047

Kat,
Your deal sounds interesting. I'm always interested in second generation ranch music. That's what I found when I did ranch work from l979 to l987.
Kat and Art,
As for oil rig music, the name of the second song I used to sing was "Tool pusher from Snyder", not "Tool picker from Snyder". I'm trying to remember it. With a little luck...

A note about Art Thieme,
For those of you who don't know Art's music, you are blogging with THE MASTER


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: stevec
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 12:33 AM

Folks,
I just managed to cut myself off. What I was saying about Art is, that he is THE MASTER of folk music, as a folklorist and especially as a performer. If you haven't heard this guy, go out and buy anything that he has recorded. I've been a fan of his for thirty years. I wish we could do festivals together again.
Steve Cormier


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Subject: RE: Review: new CD by old friend STEVE CORMIER!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 04:13 PM

I just clicked to submit a post here---and now it's gone! What the hell?!

It was long. I'll be back later and try to paraphrase it. But not right now.

Art


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