To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
111 messages

Art Thieme's CD: The Older I Get, The Better I Was

14 Sep 98 - 03:25 PM (#38091)
Subject: Thieme Thong....
From: Joe Offer

****Click here****

to get to Waterbug to order Art's new CD. The blurb from the Chicago Tribune says "Traditional ballads and shamelessly awful puns." Sounds like the Art we know and love, doesn't it?
As far as I can see, the CD isn't yet available on any of the "Support the Mudcat" distributors. It's listed on Amazon, but as "not yet available." I can't wait. I'm going to order mine from Waterbug today. I wanna be the first kid on my block to have an Art Thieme CD.
-Joe Offer-

15 Sep 98 - 01:23 AM (#38156)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Dale Rose

Hey, Art! Sorry I was not there at the Focal Point on June 20, 1981, to hear you do In & Around Nashville and no telling what other nifty things. Funny, but I don't remember now what might have been so important that I missed it. I have been to a good many shows at the Focal Point, and may well go to see the Gordons and the Buckhannons on September 25, while I am up in Illinois.

15 Sep 98 - 02:15 AM (#38165)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

Joe & Dale, thanks for the nice comments. I truly appreciate 'em. I do hope Max doesn't mind this blatant commercial ploy. Waterbug Records is run by Andrew Calhoun & Kat Eggleston in Chicago--fine people--incandescent singers---at least Kat is that ;-)---and both are wondrous songwriters and poets. Andrew is doing ALL distribution from there. That way I don't have to take mailorders to the post office as I'm rather limited physically now.

Dale, do you have it already? How did you know about that track being recorded in St.Louis?

Again, THANKS !


15 Sep 98 - 03:40 AM (#38174)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Dale Rose

No, it's mentioned on the Waterbug website that Joe pointed to. There are sound clips and recording info for In & Around Nashville, North County Tragedy, and Master of the Sheepfold. (one of my very favorite songs) You're quite right, it just would not work in dialect.

15 Sep 98 - 12:11 PM (#38197)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Barbara

Hey Art, congrats on getting the CD out! The tune to Master of the Sheepfold is very similar to the one I know, and I learned it with just a little black dialect in it (Massah; brung in; gloomin' nightpath) from my college friend Charlie Ipcar who lived on an island near Bath, Maine, (Robinhood Cove) and I'll bet money he learned it from Bill Bonyun. Charlie actually sang highland shepherd, not hireling,which is what happens when you have an oral tradition.

15 Sep 98 - 03:07 PM (#38213)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Alice

Hi Art,

It was neat to be able to download an audio clip and hear your voice singing. I look forward to the day when we can share a real song circle around the world on the internet, rather than our wishful 'fantasy' song circle that we carried on last year on the Mudcat. I would love to hear the voices of the other Mudcatters I have met in this cyber gathering.

alice in montana

15 Sep 98 - 09:51 PM (#38260)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Rockaday Johnny

The new CD is wonderful, a great choice of songs made even better by a great set notes that shed light on the songs -Craig Johnson's North Country Tragedy is a wonderful poke at traditional ballads and contemporary life --Great pickin' on guitar and banjo throughout -best $3.00 guitar I've ever heard. All you mudcatter's should get this for yourself and to send to all your singer/songwriter friends to tell 'em what folk really is --the only bad thing is the discography --it says "live at Winfield" is out of print --folks this is a great cassette - if you see it get it to...Nothing recorded at the "Spot" tho.......

15 Sep 98 - 11:55 PM (#38270)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

Johnny, Please accept my humble thanks. A bunch of the CDs will be at Winfield this weekend---thanks to the amazing Mr. Bob Redford. (As I've said here a few times, I sure do miss being there---and the grand drive down through the Flint Hills...)

16 Sep 98 - 02:19 AM (#38286)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Anne

Art: I'm leaving for Winfield tomorrow morning (WEDS) from Connecticut. I can't wait to pick up your CD. Also, I'm going to find the Chisholm Trail that you mentioned in a previous thread. I think Steve Gillette has a song (could just be stage banter) about takin the byways instead of the highways. And don't worry ART, you will be at Winfield. Anne

16 Sep 98 - 07:12 PM (#38360)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Roger Himler


You might be thinking of Steve's song, The Old Trail. It's in the DT CLICK HERE.

Roger in Baltimore

05 Oct 98 - 01:35 PM (#40376)
Subject: The Older I Get the Better I Was
From: BSeedkratz

Art, still doesn't have your CD. So many great things were said about it in the earlier thread about it I can't wait. I can't find that prior thread to check where you said it was available--can you update me (us) on that? --seed

05 Oct 98 - 02:45 PM (#40385)
Subject: RE: The Older I Get the Better I Was
From: Art Thieme


Amazon or anyone can get the CD from WATERBUG RECORDS in Chicago: (click here)

or their phone order # is: 1-800-466-0234

or from Elderly Instruments: 517-372-7890

Thanks for asking,

Art Thieme P.S.---I'm not sellin' it from here.

05 Oct 98 - 02:56 PM (#40387)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

SEED, Here's the link to Waterbug.

05 Oct 98 - 10:38 PM (#40456)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Big Mick


Ain't it great to be back. For the last four days I have been listening to your CD. Each time I find more I like about it. Folks, if you ain't got it now, get it soon.

All the best,


06 Oct 98 - 02:37 AM (#40495)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: BSeed

Art, I ordered it today and got email from waterbug stating it was on its way. I can't wait. --seed

17 Oct 98 - 12:25 AM (#42020)
Subject: Art Thieme's CD again
From: BSeed

Art, I finally received your CD from waterbug, along with their sampler CDs. I'm just starting to listen to it through again right now (it just finished the first time). I'll probably leave it in my CD player for the next week or so. It's really wonderful--all the performances seem like living room singing, so relaxed and intimate; great guitar and banjo playing (the nine-string guitar sounds great--I think I'll take the three bass octave strings off my twelve-string and replace the third octave with a wound string). --seed

17 Oct 98 - 01:14 AM (#42024)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD again
From: Art Thieme

Seed, thanks.

I had fun putting it together. Learned a lot about modern sound & graphics I never thought I'd ever need to pick up on.

Sure do miss the old 12 X 12 inch space to do liner notes in the vinyl LP days!

All the best,


07 Jan 99 - 01:23 PM (#52571)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Joe Offer

The Older I Get, The Better I Was

by the Infamous Art Thieme
concert recordings from three decades

I've posted links here to all of the songs I could find in the database or forum. If other lyrics are found or posted, I'll add them here. Art's outrageous lies are listed in italics above-you'll find some of them in the forum.
Art has a couple of great songs by Craig Johnson on the CD. A search of the database and forum will turn up others, but not the ones on the CD. Same with Jerry Rasmussen. Looks like a lot of these songs are missing from the database.
-Joe Offer-

07 Jan 99 - 08:51 PM (#52663)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

Joe, Mick, Seed--all,

Thanks again!

The unfamous Art

07 Jan 99 - 09:03 PM (#52665)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Sandy Paton

Hello, All:

Seconding all that has been said in praise of Art's Cd, I want to add a word of praise for Paul Stamler, who took a variety of recordings from live Thieme gigs all over hellandgone and put them together into a coherent whole. A massive task, well done. He also did it out of love for Art and his music. St. Louis is a better place for his being there.

We'll see you the next time we head west, Art. Hope you get into your new digs by then.

Hang in there, friend.


08 Jan 99 - 08:37 AM (#52745)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Wolfgang Hell

Thanks Joe, for the compilation, it saves me a lot of trouble. I had already started doing the same work but not come that far. I only can add (from memory so there's a minor possibility of error) that Pokegama Bear is in RUS.


08 Jan 99 - 01:53 PM (#52813)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Joe Offer

Methinks yer memory is failing, Wolfgang. No Pokegama Bears in Rise Up Singing, or in the index at the University of Tennessee, or the Library of Congress and Levy sheet music collections. The tune is "Sweet Betsy from Pike," and even THAT isn't in RUS. Can anybody post the lyrics to this gem? Art's notes say:
It was written by Frank Hasty in 1874 for an anniversary of the town of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Pokegama Lake is a very wide area of the upper Mississippi River. The bears of the area could be real problems for the lumbering crews in the pine woods. (And the lumberjacks could be a real problem for the bears!)
-Joe Offer-

08 Jan 99 - 02:56 PM (#52828)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Wolfgang

methinks I'm getting old (knowing now for sure that I'm older than the average M-Mudcatter).

08 Jan 99 - 03:06 PM (#52832)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Joe Offer

Say, you'll find a tape from Jerry Rasmussen and some old ones from Art Thieme on this page (click here) at Folk-Legacy Records. Now, if they'd only release some of that old stuff on CD or start making custom-order CD's...
-Joe Offer-

08 Jan 99 - 04:49 PM (#52854)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Bob Schwarer

Ordered Art's CD from Waterbug a little bit ago. While running up & down their listing I found they also distribute James McCandless' recordings so I got a couple of those too. Had some tapes of his so I got the CDs. Some nice stuff although I didn't see his first recordings listed.

BTW Jerry Rasmussen is an old Janesville WI boy. Grew up in the same town well before he came along.

Bob S.

08 Jan 99 - 05:49 PM (#52878)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD

Wolfgang- All Mudcatters are above average. In every way.

08 Jan 99 - 11:41 PM (#52960)
Subject: ADD: Pokegama Bear (Art Thieme CD)
From: Art Thieme

I wrote this out once before. Took me two hours (I'm slow) and when I tried to post it, I only got half way and it crashed.

So, I'm gonna try again, in smaller chunks, and see if it'll post easier that way. Frustrating, but what's time to a pig? (Hope you know that joke.)


JOHN BERQUIST was my source for that song. It was John who put the tune of "Sweet Betsy From Pike" to the words by Frank Hasty (1874). John is a folklorist and a song collector from Eveleth, Minnesota--in the Mesabi (iron) Range---right now living in Chicago's Hyde Park area (for as short a time as he can arrange to make it, I'm pretty sure.) He is also a master of any kind of bellows instrument---button accordion etc. He has collected his tunes for those instruments from all of the many ethnic groups residing in Minnesota. His dialect tales are wonderful---as are his ballad renderings from the lumberjacks of the North woods. I'm proud to call him a friend. And I was truly glad I had a decent live version of this song to include on the CD.

Here's the song:

Don't you remember sweet Betsy from Pike,
Who crossed the boad prairie with her lover Ike,
With 2 yoke of oxen and an old army cot,
3 Charlie Parker records and 4 pounds of pot.

WHOOPS! That's wrong. Here's the right song...


from John Berquist
by Frank Hasty (1874)

Come all you good people who like to have fun,
Listen to me and I'll sing you a song,
Listen to me and the truth I'll declare
As I sing all about the Pokegama bear.

One cold winters mornin'-oh, the winds, how they blew,
It was into the pinewoods our days work to do,
Into the pinewoods our heroes did fare,
And there they encountered the Pokegama bear.

Now, Morris O'hearn was a bold Irish lad,
He was building a fire out in the pinewoods,
The ring of his ax filled the cold winter air,
When out popped the monstrous Pokegama bear.

With a roar like a lion O'hearn he did swear,
"Run boys, for Pete's sake, for I've found a bear."
When out of the bush Jimmy Quinn he did climb,
Sayin, "Forget that there bear. I got me own porcupine.

Now, into the swamp old bruin did go,
O'hearn, in haste, he did quickly pursue,
Into the swamp our hero did fare,
To capture or kill the Pokegama bear.

Old bruin got angry and in haste he did steer,
O'hearn followed after without dread or fear,
And with his teeth firmly set and his ax in the air,
He slipped and fell under Pokegama bear.

Now up on the road old bruin did go,
He thought that was better than wading in snow,
But little did he know what awaited him there,
For the fates were all against old Pokegama bear.

There was old Mike McAlpin of fame and renown,
He was a racer afoot on Canadian gound,
He ran up the road with his ax in the air,
And he dealt the death blow to Pokegama bear.

Now into the camp old bruin was sent,
Just to skin him and dress him it was our intent,
And we all did agree that we'd all get a share,
Of the grease and the fat from Pokegama bear.

And next it was sent to the cook and it fried,
And it was all very good it cannot be denied,
"Why it tastes just like turkey," Bill Monahan did swear,
As we feasted upon the Pokegama bear.

My song is ending--yes, it's drawing to an end,
Morris O'hearn, he got the the bear skin,
Here's long life to you---and long growth to your hair
When it's greased with the fat from Pokegama bear!

I LOVE THIS SONG! And I ask forbearance (pun intended) of animal rights folk or vegetarians. But IF WE WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO EAT ANIMALS, THEN WHY ARE THEY MADE OF MEAT!! (SMILE!! please?)

Art ^^

09 Jan 99 - 12:36 AM (#52970)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme on Paul Stamler

Folks, I must tell you how terribly important co-producer PAUL STAMLER was to the final product that is this new/last/only CD of mine. Paul took the DATs from Rich Warren at WFMT in Chicago and Tom Martin-Erickson of Wisconsin Public Radio and Alex McDougall of the Lake County, Illinois Folk Club and groomed them. He deleted unwanted embarrassing statements I made, belches and @#$%^&*&^%$*&, as well as extricating individual songs from medleys and long boring raps and dated jokes about Tom Jefferson's dalliances with Sally in the Oval Outhouse out back of Monticello.

Paul is also a folk DJ on St.Louis radio and you haven't heard anything until you have heard Paul's several hours of programming of songs about CHICKENS! He is a wizard of digital musical engineering, computer manipulations and pyrotechnics. He took these old tapes and made them sound like I was playing a rather seamless concert (almost). These various performances were from the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's. The concert halls were sometimes tiny coffeehouses with 7 people in the room and sometimes larger outdoor and indoor festival sets with thousands in attendance. It was not easy to make this sound as if it pretty much flowed. But Mr. Paul Stamler pretty much did it!

Paul, thank you for you expertise and your generosity---monetary and otherwise.---Thank you for reminding me, by your grand example, to adhere to valued political and social positions I sometimes have, out of lethargy and weariness, allowed to slide----but mostly, thank you for your friendship! I love ya, guy!


18 Jan 99 - 04:19 AM (#54652)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Alan of Australia

Just got this CD & I'm listening to it now. It's great!!

American performers don't feature much in my music collection so this is a pleasant change, and another triumph for Mudcat - I wouldn't have heard of Art without Mudcat.

Art, congratulations & thanks for the words to Pokegama Bear, the tune is the one I know as Villikins... but I think that's been discussed here before.


18 Jan 99 - 12:16 PM (#54696)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme


Thank you!!! It's great to have the recording liked in your part of the world---a nation I've admired so very much. Through the songs I've sung, I've tended to live in a previous American era more in tune with my proclivities---and I've always seen Australia in that same light. Through the grand bush poets, folk ballads---films too---I've been able to visit your land vicariously if not actually. Having you enjoy it, somehow, connects me!

Also---looking at your inadvertantly doubly posted message through 3-D glasses makes the words JUMP OFF THE PAGE! Real cool.

Thanks again,


19 Jan 99 - 09:19 AM (#54715)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Aldus

Tell me please..... WHO is the ubiquitous Art Thieme. His name is everywhere, yet no one I have asked has a clue who he is.....I don"t mean to be rude..but ..Who he ?

19 Jan 99 - 09:40 AM (#54718)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Liam's Brother

Hi Aldus!

With the realization that Art Thieme is certainly World Famous (albeit not to EVERYONE in the World), I set out not long ago to answer your very question: Who Is Art Theime?

So far, my search has led me to

Now I know what he looks like and that he sings and plays guitar. However, stare as I may all day at that railroad brakeman, he still doesn't make a sound! What to do now?

Can anyone help me?

All the best,
Dan Milner

19 Jan 99 - 10:33 AM (#54732)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Roger the zimmer

Your discussion has made me order Art's CD from US, he doesn't seem to be represented on any of the UK internet record sites I've tried nor my local stores, seems we're missing out on this side of the pond.

19 Jan 99 - 11:05 AM (#54735)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art

Humbly, try this & click on m' name.

19 Jan 99 - 11:14 AM (#54737)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Dale Rose

For a few Wav files, and info about Art and his CD on Waterbug, go to the link given by Joe in the very first post to this thread. It is not working at the moment, but I am pretty sure there are three clips, In and Around Nashville, Master of the Sheepfold, and A North Country Tragedy. The CD is available directly from Waterbug, but if you are of a mind to order a whole bunch of stuff, you can get it from Elderly as well.

Yes, Art is certainly one of those who are outstanding in their field. Now, I don't think he has a field where he is living now, but if he did, I am sure he would be out standing in it.

19 Jan 99 - 12:00 PM (#54747)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Dale Rose

OK, here it is, an article from the Chicago Tribune of July 20, 1998. I know Art would not post it, but I don't think he'd mind if I did. I am not exactly sure how well I did with the html. I know I threw in just enough p's to break it up a little bit. It should be readable. It is no longer on line at the Trib, unless you want to pay $1.95 to get all 1,568 words. This is cheaper. It goes a fair way toward telling you who Art is and was, the man and the musician.


By Charles M. Madigan, Tribune Staff Writer.

PERU, Ill. The guitar, an altered Martin D-76 Bicentennial model with nine strings instead of six, sits in a corner by the sofa alongside the simple five-string banjo, with its single mother-of-pearl star on the head. Words march around the face of the banjo, an idea Art Thieme borrowed from Pete Seeger, who had scrawled "This Machine Kills Fascists" on the top of his instrument. Art's says, "This Machine Kills Time," as undoubtedly it did for many years.

The Old Town School of Folk Music - preparing for a move from Armitage Avenue to a bigger, better building, the former Hild Public Library at 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. - celebrated its roots with a festival Saturday and Sunday. The school presented a great collection of bands and singers aimed at underlining the vibrant, important role Chicago has played in the development of American folk music. But Art Thieme, a fixture on the Chicago folk scene almost from the day he first performed in 1959, wasn't there.

To find him, you had to drive a couple of hours west of Chicago to Peru, knock on the door of a gray old house on Sixth Street, and walk into a world full of guitars, banjos, recordings, belly laughs, a little sadness and some very powerful memories. He sits on this sunny, hot afternoon in a comfortable wing chair in the living room, a good eight feet away from the instruments that brought him fame, if not fortune, during nearly four decades on the American folk scene. The beard has gone totally gray now and, befitting his age, he is rounder than he was back when everyone in folk music in Chicago knew him as a solid guy who performed solid songs.

If Art Thieme, now 57, was writing a folk song about himself, what would it be? "Well, I guess it would be the title of the new CD, `The Older I Get, The Better I Was.' That sort of tells the story," he said. The CD, currently in the works on songwriter Andrew Calhoun's Waterbug label, should be available by October. Waterbug will be selling it on the Internet at or through its phone line (800-466-0234). It is 73 minutes and 50 seconds of the best of Art Thieme live, songs selected from concerts over the past 3 1/2 decades. Just a look at a few of the selections provides one measure of Thieme's presence, and importance, in the world of folk music. He sings the version of "Red Iron Ore" he learned from Bob Gibson in1959. He sings Uncle Dave Macon's "In and Around Nashville," and Jimmy Driftwood's "Tennessee Stud." He sings Josh White's version of "Betty and Dupree Blues," and "Pokegama Bear," a song written in 1874. "He is one of the greats of American folk music," Calhoun said. "He was not one of those people who had a gift for it, he had to work for it. He wasn't born to folk music, he was drawn to it. There aren't many people like him anymore, who work so hard to research the music and bring back the old songs."

Music was Thieme's constant companion for decades, but now that has been pushed to the side by something else, a problem that began making itself known some 15 years ago, when he first noticed a numbness in his hands and feet. More than a year ago, the doctors at Mayo Clinic finally isolated the cause and delivered a diagnosis: multiple sclerosis. The irony of it all is almost overwhelming. After years and years of work aimed at keeping his hands limber and his legs moving, after surgeries that fused discs in his back and neck, after therapy that had him wearing carpal tunnel braces and after packing his wrists in ice, he learned why none of that was really working. "I was starting to get very depressed about it. I have had four spinal surgeries over the last decade. I would just go to Columbus Hospital and get spinal surgery every time I would get an onset (of numbness) in my hands and feet," said Thieme. He was watching his considerable skills as a banjo and guitar player decline. The reason he drilled three holes in the tuning head of his Martin guitar and added three strings was that he could no longer get the volume he needed out of six strings. "I was fed up, but I didn't know what was happening," Thieme said. "I put myself in the local psych ward and got some (anti-depressants) and got feeling a lot better. But the bottom line was I didn't know what was happening. I couldn't walk. My legs started getting worse. My hands were number, and I was getting no answers." So off he went to Minnesota to visit the doctors at Mayo. It took two months, a spinal tap, a lot of tests and an MRI. "A Dr. Moses Rodriguez finally figured out I had MS," Thieme said. "It was totally liberating. It was just great knowing. Now I can put a name to it. I have learned how to accept it."

He spent much of the past year in a wheelchair, but after a recent return visit to Mayo, he gets around with the help of a cane. And these days, Thieme is happy to be walking and eager to offer everything from thoughts on music to a ham-and-cheese sandwich with mustard on white bread. He fairly hops out of his chair to retrieve a recently released Kingston Trio CD to listen to an old song. Dealing with a disease he could not even identify was difficult, he said. Listening to his four albums and recalling his live shows, it becomes apparent that Thieme spent more and more time on very clever puns and jokes and stories and less and less time on the challenges of guitar playing and singing. "It was a concerted effort when my hands started getting numb," he said. "I needed to use the humor to give my hands a rest between songs. "Some people knew there was something wrong. I was always shaking my hands on stage and complaining to friends. On occasion, I would ask people to do a song swap with me on stage rather than have me do a set and then have them do a set. I could do that with good friends. It would let me take a break." There is no sign of bitterness in any of these memories. And because of what he calls the dulling sameness of the United States, he doesn't miss touring anymore.

Putting the CD together from the old concert tapes was tough. "The new recording is made up from concert tapes from those three different decades," he said. "It is hard to listen to those tapes because I can hear that I was competent with my instruments. The instruments were a lot of what I did." He can't see himself as an a cappella singer, he said, and he has never had much luck playing with anyone else. Art Thieme was always a solo act. "So, I was better than I am now as far as the music is concerned, but I'm changing."

He has a new computer in the bedroom. He is very close to his wife, Carol. He is alive and chatting almost all the time with friends all over the world on the Internet, where he can be reached at But what he won't do for outsiders is pick up that Martin guitar or the five-string banjo. He can still play a bit, but the numbness in his hands makes it difficult for him to keep his right hand elevated over the strings. That means he gets a thumpy sound when he wants a clear sound, a constant reminder that he no longer has the sensitivity he needs to perform to his own standard. That must be deeply frustrating for a musician who was so meticulous over the years. His banjo playing was pristine. It was old timey, a deep bow to the Appalachian style that was dominant before the bluegrass movement brought aggression and blistering speed to the instrument. His guitar playing was strong and always right to the point, the perfect backdrop for a voice that made up in depth what it lacked in range. He worked hard to make the music and the vocals fit perfectly, always a challenge for a soloist. There is a sense that, once a visitor leaves, Thieme will hop up again and maybe grab the banjo or any of the other instruments sitting all around his living room.

There is one item on the instrument list that is simply too Art Thieme to pass over. His "Star Wars" school lunchbox dulcimer, amplified with an electric pickup to thrill the grade-school masses he entertained for so many years, sits in one corner. He made it out of a tin lunch box, a piece of hard wood, some staples, a couple of bolts to hold it all in place and three cheap tuners. It still sounds just fine. As a measure of Thieme's sense of humor, when you open the lunch box, there is a rubber chicken inside, just in case he ever needed it. Anyone who knows the man can envision it happening. A children's nonsense song, some innocent jokes constructed on puns, and then, surprise, a rubber chicken! It is humor and music mixing in equal doses. And so is Art Thieme.

Copyright Chicago Tribune

19 Jan 99 - 12:06 PM (#54749)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Liam's Brother

Well, now we know it's possible to hear Art sing and strum by placing orders for his recordings over the internet... even in devilishly difficult places like the UK.

Prety soon, Art should have quite a following on the other side of the ocean... er, excuse me, pond. Anyone want to book this singing and strumming brakeman in Blighty?

One possible impediment, however. The railway does not run over the sea!

21 Jan 99 - 11:38 PM (#55157)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Alex McDougall

As someone from the other side of the pond who now lives in the US, I'd add my two cents woth to this thread, (but then I'd probably be broke). When we first formed the lake county folk club in Illinois in 1992, Art was one of the performers who were at the top of our list. He was our second featured artist 4/92 and played for us twice more (4/93 and 4/96). Art claims that he wasn't playing at his best but all his shows were great and most of all they were entertaining, funny and informative. If you want to know more -buy the CD. It's worth it.

22 Jan 99 - 09:03 AM (#55189)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Wolfgang

I (have) found the lyrics to another song from that CD on the web. Actually, they can be found quite close from here, namely in the DT-database. Jerry go and oil that car .
Joe, could you please link this and the Pokegama bear in that beautiful tracklist above? And in case, you are interested how I did find that song (despite the unusual spelling) when you had failed: pure luck, when I was looking for something completely different.
I'm looking forward to other finds or transcriptions from that CD.


27 Jan 99 - 10:46 AM (#55924)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Roger the zimmer

I got this in seven days from a US internet supplier, a lot quicker than orders placed at the same time with UK equivalents. Great service, guys, the cheaper cost of CDs in US outweighed the carriage costs.

11 Feb 99 - 10:59 AM (#58162)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Liam's Brother

I was sorely disappointed when I got this CD home and played it. Art is supposed to be from Peru and these are all American songs!!! I thought it would be great to have a CD of a real Peruvian singer doing Andean material. No such luck! No pan pipes. No armadillos with mandolin strings tacked on their bellies. None of that ethereal South American Celtic stuff. Well, I guess, if Paul Simon can do Peruvian stuff, it's ok for Art to sing American songs (Actually, he fakes the accent very well!) but I think Waterbug should let people know this before they part with their money!

Seriously, this is as fine a compilation of American songs as I have ever heard. The selection is so good that I intend copping a few of the songs to sing myself. Art has great phrasing. I will forever after think of him as the "Frank Sinatra of Peruvian singers of American folk songs." Nice going, Art! Great music! A sheer delight!

All the best,
Dan Milner

11 Feb 99 - 12:00 PM (#58183)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Lonesome EJ

Liam's Bro...thanks for reviving this thread.I had just read "Instrument Disasters" and was still laughing about Art's Tuba Story when I saw this.Went to the Waterbug page and placed my order right away.First thing I ever ordered on-line,and it was very easy!....LEJ

11 Feb 99 - 03:33 PM (#58216)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Joe Offer

Well, Dan, I'm sure you'll be able to do a good job on the songs you steal from Art, but I bet you won't be able to steal his lies. NOBODY can tell lies like Art Thieme can.
-Joe Offer-

11 Feb 99 - 05:01 PM (#58225)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

Hey folks

Thanks for the nice comments. I'd figured this thread was long gone. Do appreciate it's comin' up for air.

No need to steal the songs, Dan. They belong to us all. I'm honored you might want to learn some. But outright theft is basic to the method of disemination we all know and love as the FOLK PROCESS. Tradition depends on it.

11 Feb 99 - 10:27 PM (#58263)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Liam's Brother

Well, Art, I will have you know that you are World Famous at The Irish Arts Center in NYC because I played "Gerry, Go & Oil That Car" and "The Pokegama Bear" tonight. The Theime of the night was Irish-American folk songs and these were 2 great songs for the topic. I have seen and heard "Gerry" before, of course, but the "Bear" is a new one on me and just great! A real gem of a lumbering song! All the best,

15 Feb 99 - 10:47 AM (#58680)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

...isn't new any more.

21 Feb 99 - 12:53 AM (#59425)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Lonesome EJ

Hey Art! Just got yer Cd and I have to say...of all the painful puns I have ever heard,"Lock moss nesters" hit me the hardest. Seriously(if I may be so bold)the damn cd is great, and as I type this I am listening to Pokegema Bear. Kinda surprised. Thought it was a Raffi style kids song.

You sound just like I had you pictured,Brother!Mudcatters! Buy this cd! Art will refund yer money if you don't like it.

24 Feb 99 - 08:40 AM (#59983)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Wolfgang


I'd love to find more lyrics from that beautiful CD. Usually you are fairly easy to understand but for a nonnative speaker there are some bits missing here and there.
I understand the problems involved when the songs are copyrighted but could you give me a hint (for the nontraditional songs) whether the writers have songbooks or so. I couldn't find any more information on the web.


24 Feb 99 - 11:09 AM (#59998)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Ritchie

Well I've gone and done it now...

The last time I bought CD's from the internet from the U.S.of A. I got 'stung' for import duty and had to pay a small fortune to the Post Office and much worse than that I had to promise to my wife that that was more.

Well , I've always enjoyed Arts' comments at the Mudcat and after reading thro'this thread realised that it was going to be sometime before I got a chance to meet or hear him in person so at the press of a button....

Hey ,I'm a grown man, I can nearly do what I want to do, infact I might even buy a 'T'shirt... I'll show her.

Now if I can get to the postman before she can...

Art for Arts' sake...

love & happiness


24 Feb 99 - 11:46 AM (#60006)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme


What, specifically, would you like to know? Craig Johnson has no songbook. Neither does Carl Oglesby. Is it particular words or lines or verses that you're having trouble deciphering? Let me know and I'll try to set ya straight.


If you're hit too hard by the tax stuff, please let me know and I'll send you another one AS A GIFT---no duty at all on that I'm pretty sure. Then you can sell it and get your money back.


25 Feb 99 - 01:04 AM (#60131)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Reggie Miles

Dale, thanks for posting the article from the Chicago Tribune about Art. Though I myself am from the windy city I departed that area years ago before my exploration into this musical realm. Art congrats on your recent release. I remember Kat from out here in the Pacific Northwest. Where she was a regular at the Victory Music scene. I only wish I would have involved myself in the music scene when I lived there. Well does standing on the street pantomiming Beatles 45rpm records with cigar-box guitars with my brothers and sisters count? Saw ya later, Reggie

25 Feb 99 - 04:29 AM (#60168)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Wolfgang

Thanks for the offer, Art, I'll come back to that after doing a thorough rehearsal in order to come as far as I can without help.


04 Mar 99 - 12:06 AM (#61220)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Alex

-Check out the review of Art's album in Winter 1999 "Sing Out' V43#3 page126.

04 Mar 99 - 09:29 AM (#61252)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

Good friends,

My thanks go out to Matt Wotroba, a fine singer with an amazing CD out himself right now, for writing that grand review in Sing Out!!! It just arrived here yesterday and I only hope that, if/when you folks might hear it, my CD will live up to his flattering words. (Matt is also a FOLK DJ in the Detroit area.)

And thanks for all your kind comments and efforts within this thread. You are all amazing.

It's off to move finally. Will be off line for a bit. Onward...


05 Mar 99 - 10:39 AM (#61438)
From: Wolfgang

I shall use Art's offline time to add some of the lyrics. Here's the first one, mostly correct I guess, but I'd love to see corrections.



Chorus: Is your lamps gone out,
is your lamps gone out?
What you're gonna do in Egypt
when your lamps gone out?
Is your lamps gone out,
is your lamps gone out?
What you're gonna do in Egypt
when your lamps gone out?

1) All the tallest tree
in Paradise,
oh, what you're gonna do in Egypt
when your lamps gone out?
All the Christians they call it
the tree of life.
Oh, what you're gonna do in Egypt
when your lamps gone out?

2) Come on sister
and follow me
I will show you the man
that set me free,

3) If religion was a thing
that money could buy
oh, the rich they would live
and the poor would die.

4) The Jordan River
is chilly and cold
oh, it chills the body,
but not the soul. ^^

05 Mar 99 - 10:49 AM (#61439)
Subject: Lyr Add: IN 1795
From: Wolfgang

here's the next one, this time I'm much less confident (not only where I have marked ?), so go on and correct me, please.


In 1795

Well I come into this country
in 1795
considered myself lucky
(then even?) be alive
walked into the dooryard
and knocked upon the door
the girl there said: (Come on you, boy?)
don't you ramble no more.

Well I took this girl and married her
made the girl my wife,
considered myself luckier
than ever in my life.
The love that grew between us
made the sun, the moon to shine
and the stars sang a banjo tune
when she said that she'd be mine. ^^

05 Mar 99 - 11:13 AM (#61446)
Subject: ADD: Walkie in the Parlor (Art Thieme CD)
From: Wolfgang

Here's another, also with a couple of ?? and a missing bit, for I have no idea what substance made Adam sleep in the last verse. Again, I beg for corrections.


(George Sullivan)

Well, first they made the Earth,
then they made the sky,
then they made the little clouds
and hung 'em up there to dry
and then they made the Moon above,
made the Sun to shine,
then they made the little stars
from pretty babies' eyes.

Chorus: Walkie in the parlor, boys,
walkie in I say (?)v walkie in the parlor, boys,
and hear the banjo play.
Walkie in the parlor, boys,
and hear the banjo ring
and watch my honey's fingers
as she picks upon the strings.

Well, next they made the possum
and then they made the quail (?),
and then they made the old raccoon
with a ring around his tail.
Then they made Mr. Elephant
so big and large and stout,
but you know that he was not satisfied
until he got his snout.

Then they made old Adam
laid him out on the ground
and they gave him a dose of ....(?)
just to make him sleep so sound.
Then they took a couple of ribs
all from old Adam's side
and they made him a nice young Irish girl
for to be his loving bride.


09 Mar 99 - 10:10 PM (#62162)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme


Thanks for your interest. Your posted lyrics are correct except for the following few:

It's: What ya gonna do in Egypt when your lamps gone out?

It's: Considered myself lucky to even be alive.
The gal there said, "Come on in, boy, don't you ramble no more."

It's: Walkie in I say.

also: a "quail" is a bird---often hunted for food in the U.S.A. About the size of a chicken--only smaller. ;-) Has nothing to do with the former bumbling vice president of the USA ;-)

Also: LAUDENUM is an opiate liquid medicine of olden times. It was usewd as a tranquilizer and sleep inducer. Also as a painkiller. Laudenum is what made Adam "sleep so sound".


10 Mar 99 - 11:32 AM (#62238)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Wolfgang

Thanks, Art, for the corrections. I'll try one or two more in a couple of weeks.


13 Mar 99 - 10:05 AM (#62803)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD

Art, this is not strictly about your CD (which I haven't heard so far). It's only that I've been asked to pass on greetings from Reinhard Spielvogel (playing the hurdy gurdy in the German band 'Gutzgauch' that you asked about some months ago). He remembers sharing a stage or gig with you - I can't remember where now - and sends his best wishes - yes, for the CD as well. So do I, Susanne

13 Mar 99 - 03:38 PM (#62865)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme


Give Reinhard my best regards back. I still have a tape of at least some of that program. It was a radio show called the FLEA MARKET---a live show with audience broadcast live from the Old Town School of Folk Music every Sunday afternoon--in Chicago--circa mid 1980s. I was the host of the show, along with Larry Rand. Yes, they were/are a fine band--and also very funny intros etc.

All the best to 'em all!


15 Mar 99 - 09:04 AM (#63150)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Hank

I finially gave in to all the pressure and bought a copy. When I first tossed it in the Cd player I wondered what I had just done. To put it bluntly, it was the most horrid of any CD I've bought. After my 10th listenting in 5 days, I can say without a doubt that when something starts out at rock bottom there is no place to go but up, and this CD has gone up rather fast. Great work Art. I was at "Share the Fun" (a 4-H thing, 10 clubs each put on a one act play) and between clubs there was time for anyone to tell jokes or sing. If I'd have had the CD longer (enough to memorise it) I would have used the entire thing to entertain the audiance. It would have been perfect, inbetween Alice the Camel and a imprompto skit that I can't describe in the amount of time I feel like devoting to it.

15 Mar 99 - 12:47 PM (#63182)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Lonesome EJ

LMAO at Hank! Guess you are saying what we all knew...Art grows on you! I'll bet Art, who is not known for shyness, appreciates your candor, Hank.Great blues picking on "Betty and Dupree",dontcha think?

20 Mar 99 - 04:02 AM (#64463)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Liam's Brother

Hi Art!

I hope your move went well.

I'm giving a little talk in a few days and I'll be using a few recorded musical illustrations. I think "Jerry, Go And Oil The Car" will fit in nicely. I'm wondering whether you have any feeling about the meaning of the phrase "he never hired a tar" in that song. Send me a personal message if that's easiest. Many thanks.

All the best,

20 Mar 99 - 06:38 PM (#64602)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

Dan, I figure it shows that, even in those olden times, some bosses didn't hire anyone that smoked cigarettes. Why only tar is mentioned, and not nicotine, I've no idea. ;-)

Actually, for some vague reason the guy wasn't interested in having former sailors on his work gang. Were seafaring guys bad workers? Possibly he'd had a bad experience with sailors in the past.

HANK, Thanks! My head was gettin' so/too big & it was ready to explode. I needed that. Some folks tell the truth, others have tact. As my wife says, I'm an acquired taste.

27 Mar 99 - 09:02 AM (#66283)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Ritchie

Hey Art,

Got the CD and don't you tax.

I was passing home whist out working in the area and thought it a good idea if I popped in. Imagine my delight when I found a parcel. I quickly opened it up , destroyed and disposed of the packaging and put the CD's on for a quick spin.I had also bought Chuck E Weiss & a band called the Tractors taking advantage of the lower prices of CD's. from the States.

That evening on my official return from work my wife asked if there had been any mail ."Just the usual junk stuff I told her" " what about the CD's ?" she asked.She had called home her self ,saw the CD's but decided to say nothing and just leave them for me to find ! She knew exactly what I would do.Damn she knows me better than I know myself.

Excellent stuff Art, it was like having a friend play in the kitchen, but I think I liked it best when my young son ,who was in the other room when I was playing your CD came into the room and said that for a moment he thought that it was me singing and playing...praise indeed I've arrived.

Ritchie, son of Art.

08 Apr 99 - 10:38 AM (#69124)
Subject: Lyr Add: HANDFUL OF SONGS (Jerry Rasmussen)^^
From: Wolfgang

I did a bit of careful listening and here I'm again posting another song from that CD. I don't expect too many mistakes in this one, but don't hesitate to correct where I'm wrong.


(Jerry Rasmussen)
As recorded by Jerry Rasmussen on "Handful of Songs" (2006)

All that I have is my grandfather's hammer,
And his old railroad watch with the casing all worn,
And the bible my grandmother bought her last Christmas,
That she gave to my mother, now she's passed it on.

Ch.: And some may leave money from a lifetime of savings,
Some just their name on a marble stone.
And it's not what you leave, it's the joy of remembering
And all I can leave you is a handful of songs.

Some may leave stories, well tuned in the telling
Some may leave jokes that can still make you laugh,
some may leave lessons, hard in the learning,
And some just a smile in an old photograph

How many days slip away without notice,
How many friends have we lost on the way,
How many good times are taken for granted
And only remembered when they've passed away.

WH ^^

08 Apr 99 - 11:17 AM (#69134)
From: Wolfgang

I'm less confident with the next one, though there are many similar versions to compare. However, I couldn't solve my problems in the first and last verse.



Near (Medicine Bough?) where I was born,
there was a fair maid dwelling,
made all the boys ride saddle sore
and her name was Barbara Allen. (rep. last line in all verses)

'Twas in the merry month of May,
green buds they were swelling,
young Billy come to the Western Range,
come a courting Barbara Allen.

'Twas in the merry month of June,
green leaves they was blooming,
young Billy on his deathbed lay,
just for loving Barbara Allen.

We (sent?) a message out to her
place where she was (dogging?),
saying come and see young Billy today,
all we think that he is dying.

Now slowly, slowly she got up,
slowly she went to him,
and when she pulled the blanket back
said: „Bill, I guess you're dying."

„Yes, I am sick, I'm very sick,
I never shall get better
until I get the love of you,
oh, the love of Barbara Allen."

Well, as she went walking back through the brush,
she heard the cattle moaning,
and every moan they seemed to say:
Hard-hearted Barbara Allen.

„Oh father, oh father, go dig my grave,
dig it deep and narrow.
Young Billy died for me today,
I'm gonna die for him tomorrow.

We buried her in the old churchyard,
Bill his grave was nigh her,
and from his grave grew a red red rose,
and from hers grew a briar.

Well, they tangled 'round the (?) rocks,
they couldn't grow no higher,
and there they tied the true love knot,
oh, the rose and the thorny briar.

Rep. first verse

08 Apr 99 - 10:06 PM (#69283)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

Again, Glad to answer your questions.

In the song "A HANDFUL OF SONGS" by Jerry Rasmussen

1) should be----well tuned in the "telling".

2) should be----a smile "in" an old photograph.

In the song "Cowboys Barbara Allen"

1) The name of the town is MEDICINE BOW-----The Medicine Bow National Forrest is a beautiful pine-covered mountain range. The "BOW" was a weapon used by Native Americans (American Indians). A "MEDICINE BOW" was an especially powerful weapon. It might've been said to have "big medicine"---like Thor's hammer. The Shaman of the tribes were the "MEDICINE MEN". They knew the secrets of the herbs and the legends of the tribal lore. Knew what herbs did what as medicine to cure ailments and alter perception or enhance awareness of spiritual matters. One man's "magic" is another man's having secured knowledge that others don't posess. So it might seem like magic to some. I do suspect that's all that magic ever was---OR IS.

2)we SENT a message out to her, to the place where she was DUG IN.

--------In those times, on the American plains, it was common to literally dig a hole in the ground to make your home. The SOD dug out (chunks of roughly square earth matted by grass and roots) was used for building blocks. They were cemented in place with mud. You didn't wash these floors; you would sweep them as best you could using a tumbleweed or another natural broom. There wasn't very much rain in Wyoming---unless there was a huge one with a flash flood that would destroy the house anyway. Then another home would need to be built the same way. For these "improvements" the U.S. government would give away the farm to the homesteader.

3) They tangled 'round the MARKER rocks...

These MARKER ROCKS were piled upon the grave to discourage wolves and coyotes from digging up the deceased bodies and devouring them. The rocks didn't always work.

I do hope this helps some!

All the best,

Art Thieme

09 Apr 99 - 03:17 AM (#69333)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Wolfgang

Art, thanks for the quick response pointing out the mistakes. I had heard "marker", but it didn't make sense for me. Now it does.
These were the "easy" ones for me. I'll give it a pause before I try the difficult ones.


01 Feb 00 - 12:35 PM (#171730)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: katlaughing

Refreshed for Mary in Kentucky and JAB, who were both asking about this WONDERFUL cd in hearme last night.

Next time we are in hearme, Art, how about joining in? Ya don't have to do anything ya don't want to; there is a text chat function; and, it is fun to actually hear everyone's voices. I was telling them about your Cowboy Barbara Allen and the tape you shared of the Woody Tribute with Hobo's Lullaby etc. We sang songs and read poetry and visited.

Phoaks, you canNOT go wrong buying this incredible CD. It is one of the very best. When I call him our FINE Art, I mean it!


01 Feb 00 - 02:56 PM (#171805)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Lin in Kansas

kat-- Many thanks for renewing this thread--I've played Art's "The Older I Get the Better I Was" CD many times since finding it at Winfield, but didn't have any other music by him (and hadn't gotten as far as searching Folk Legacy, shame on me!)--Am placing an order with them ASAP.

Art, you're wonderful--a pleasure to listen to, both on the CD and here at Mudcat...


01 Feb 00 - 05:04 PM (#171847)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: katlaughing

Yer welcome, JL. Can't say enough good about da'Man!

19 May 00 - 10:36 AM (#230505)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Wolfgang

I'm still determined to get all the lyrics from this CD together. Three more I can provide and I have put them in extra threads. But since I like to have all the information at one place, here are the links:

Way down the road
Bye and bye
In and around Nashville.

Two to go.


20 May 00 - 10:51 PM (#231244)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme


Are you the same Wolfgang H. in Germany that we've been in touch with here at Mudcat of several years now? Or are you a whole other person? Whatever, now I'm wondering if I am talking to the person I thought/think I'm talking to. But then again, do we ever really know who we're talking to now that Mudcat has 50% of the people here being GUESTS? It feels sort of like Alice In Wonderland around these parts in recent times...

Art Thieme

22 May 00 - 04:52 AM (#231700)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Wolfgang

Art, I'm the same Wolfgang Hell. When I lost my cookie once I decided to come back without my last name.

Wolfgang H.

22 May 00 - 09:25 PM (#232260)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

Yes, I think I understand...

(last name invisible)

22 May 00 - 09:51 PM (#232269)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: katlaughing

Wolfgang, thanks for bringing this back up and for posting the lyrics! I have the cd, and will have some time next week, if you want any help with getting together the other two songs' lyrics...just let me know, please.



29 May 00 - 04:02 AM (#235340)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Wolfgang

North Country Tragedy has now been added too.


30 May 00 - 03:10 PM (#235927)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: katlaughing

Why White Men Cannot See Clearly/The Cherokee Queen has also been added.

09 Jul 00 - 12:02 AM (#254354)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: katlaughing

Refresh for people who've been hearing Art's songs in HearMe and want to know more about him, his CD (gotta have it) and the lyrics to all, thanks to Wolfgang.


20 Oct 02 - 06:43 AM (#807128)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: katlaughing

Refreshed for the new crop.:-)

20 Oct 02 - 11:27 AM (#807237)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Stephen L. Rich

Art, I loved the sound clips of the songs. It's been a lomg time since I've heard you. I used to live in Chicago over on Estes which meant that, even in winter, it was an easy walk to go see you at the old No Exit. I also haven't heard anyone else sing "In & Around Nashville" for many years. I've been singing it myself for a long time, but the last time that I heard someone else sing it was at the late lamented Barbarossa. The singer was Marty Pieffer. That shows you how long ago that was. Glad to see that you're still in there pitching.

Stephen L. Rich

20 Oct 02 - 02:03 PM (#807296)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme


Thanks so much. Those were fun times at that oasis that was the No Exit Coffeehouse back then. This CD was taken from tapes made back then since I'm unable to play these days. But Dennis Cook in Mayland (and Judy) are digitizing some decent taoes right as we speak so there might be others one day. We will see. (Jean Paul Sartre said, in his play, NO EXIT-----about a group of dead folks stuck in a room they couldn't get out of----a room that turned out to actually be HELL----Sartre said that "hell IS other people." That can either be true or not true. Here at Mudcat, and at the old NO EXIT COFFEEHOUSE in Chicago, it surely proved not to be the case. There have been some threads here at Mudcat about older clubs and coffeehouses. I highly recommend those.


20 Oct 02 - 03:11 PM (#807313)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: JedMarum

Funny this thread should come up now. My wife and I have developed a recent pleassurable pass-time; in the evenings we've been sitting in the living room, playing scrabble and listening to my collection of Art Thieme recordings. Somehow Art's pleasing and mellow voice and his banjo or guitar picking just provide a perfect backdrop for his midwest stories. People, places, heroes, legends and tall tales roll before our mind's eye as we puzzle over the scrabble pass-time ...

What a treat! Great stuff, Art. Thanks!

20 Oct 02 - 04:34 PM (#807346)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

It's mutual, Jed. Your new one is gonna be a favorite of many, many folks, I am certain. With Big Mick helping it cannot miss ;-)
I found out some bunch of years ago that I hada Xanax kind of voice. How else to figure all those that fell asleep during my shows?! And those were in coffeehouses too.


20 Oct 02 - 04:43 PM (#807351)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha

Art not only sent me the CD and a couple of Tapes but he busted the trans-Atlantic postal record, well my unoffical one, his Mail[Post] arrived in three days from the US, and his CD and Tapes are still being played.
Well done Art. Ard Mhacha

21 Oct 02 - 01:45 AM (#807586)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme

And Ard Mhacha reciprocated with a CD and two fine cassettes by the man himself, John McCormack. Carol's had those playing ever since they got here. Thanks again.


21 Oct 02 - 07:30 AM (#807670)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD

Carol listen to his singing of The Snowy breasted Pearl, a classic, Still listening Art. Ard Mhacha.

22 Oct 02 - 11:39 PM (#809043)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Big Mick

Art, one of our CD's is going out this week. If it gives you one tenth the pleasure that I have gotten out of your CD, then you will enjoy it greatly. If it were possible to wear out a CD, I would have worn yours out long ago. In fact I played it twice on the drive home from this years Getaway, from which I just walked in.

Thanks for the nice comments. Jed's new CD will, indeed, be a hit.


24 Mar 03 - 06:25 AM (#916908)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Sandra in Sydney

I've been listening to Bob Bolton's copy of this CD - lots of good stuff, especially A North Country Tragedy which I was looking for in DT & Forum & found this thread. I agree with Jed Marum that Art's voice & presentation is a pleasure to listen to.


24 Mar 03 - 08:08 PM (#917510)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme


Thank you. Very nice of you to say that.
I just heard Dave de Hugard's new CD---Songs Of The Wallaby Track---as passed on to me by B.B. That's how narrative songs ought to be done me thinks. Also, Stewie (in Darwin) and I have been swapping things from our music collections in recent days. It's grand to realize that even at this later date in my life, I can hear new people who resonate with my musical likes almost instantly.

Sandra, are you part of Backblocks Musicians?

Again, thanks.

Art Thieme

25 Mar 03 - 01:48 AM (#917642)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: GUEST,Sandy Paton sans cookie

Since you're reading this thread, Art, let me use it to tell you that CD versions of your two Folk-Legacy albums, now available as "made-to-order" CDs, will be on their way to you tomorrow. Lots of good stuff there, m'lad! You can be proud of 'em.

25 Mar 03 - 03:11 AM (#917666)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: katlaughing

That is wonderful to hear, Sandydarlin'! I'll be giving you a call, soon!


25 Mar 03 - 07:08 AM (#917773)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Sandra in Sydney

Hello, Art

Bob said he was sending Dave's CD - it's great isn't it? Dave's style of performing is very relaxed, like yours I guess.

Thanks for the compliment, but I'm not a musician, tho Bob I are both on the Bush Music Club Committee. I run a folk club which is Bob's local & he is our official photographer & my source of knowledge - folk & lots of other stuff.

I'm not a performer - I can't hold a tune on my own but I add my voice to any session or chorus going. Very occasionally I read a poem at JennyO's Come All Ye session & might (maybe perhaps) read the North Country Tragedy there one day. It appeals to my sense of humour (poor Foo Foo & Fifi!)


25 Mar 03 - 08:13 AM (#917805)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: JennyO

Okay Sandra, I'll hold you to that! But why wait till then? What about a little Sandra floor spot on Thursday week?

Hey I'd like to have a listen to that CD too.


25 Mar 03 - 05:33 PM (#918302)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Art Thieme


That's amazing of you to be doing these custom CDs. It's a perfect way for Folk Legacy to not have to keep tons of stock that might or might not sell. I'll look forward to having 'em. It's a great boost for the old ego to have those two albums on CD. I'll be in touch real soon. Carol had a treatment yesterday---so today I'm just watching out for her.


Some Native-American Indian tribes say that recipes for those are quite tasty. I saw a recipe book called A HUNDRED WAYS TO WOK YOUR DOG. (Must be from S.E. Asia.)


If Bob can do it, have him copy his for you. That's fine with me.


19 Apr 04 - 10:19 PM (#1165656)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: GUEST,Dale

While we're talking about The Master of the Sheepfold, it would be good to have this one up where new people can see it, AND the old people can refresh their memories. Do read the Trib story I posted on 19 Jan 99 - 12:00 PM. It's still good.

06 Sep 04 - 05:50 PM (#1265560)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD again
From: katlaughing

Dear Fine Art,

You know how much I LOVE your music and you. I just wanted to let you know the "NextGen" at our house thinks you're magic, too! My grandson, Morgan, now almost 10 months old, stops everything he might be doing when he hears your voice and pickin'. He gets excited and tries to sing along with me. Today's session was extra special, twice when he has been getting sleepy, I've put on your CD, held him in my arms as I sing with you and he's drifed off to a very peaceful snooze. Just magic moments that swell my heart with love and gratitude. Thanks, my friend, for sharing so much.


06 Sep 04 - 11:59 PM (#1265764)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: mike_in_st_c

I first heard Art in Iowa City, IA around '78,'79 I think, at a place called The Mill. I was transformed. Bought his album that night---I think it was "Bold Faced Lies"---being a disc it's still packed in boxes, but I do hope I can get the music in cd form. I'm definitely ordering the one mentioned in the above posts. Art inspired me to pursue playing the guitar...back then, although I'm still trying to run down that dream. (Guess I'm a slow learner...or is it just that life gets in the way? I will say Art's music inspired me more in following the dream than my older brother, who played jazz professionally in San Francisco for 30 years. Go figure;-}. Mike

07 Sep 04 - 12:09 AM (#1265768)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's New CD
From: Peace

Congratulations, Art. You have people who love you and your music. AND, you have a 'hit' on your hands. I wish you every success with it. I'll be putting in a request for it at our 'record' store in the Mall.


07 Sep 04 - 08:47 PM (#1266424)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD: The Older I Get, The Better I Was
From: GUEST,Art Thieme


I do remember The Mill. It was Keith Dempster's place. Loud!! But it's good to know someone was listening through the din. Keith put us singers up in his farm house. I fell asleep one night knowing a few bikers were expected in. Next morning there were motorcycles to the horizon all around the place. They had "borrowed" a cadaver table from the University, filled it with charcoal briquettes, covered it wil a chain link fence, and by noon there must've been 200 steaks on to cook. It was a great time that was had by all. A year or two later that farm house of Keith's burnt down---and took his great instrument collection with it. I do hope he is alive, kickin' and doing well.

Art Thieme

01 Apr 05 - 01:44 PM (#1449260)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD: The Older I Get, The Better I Was
From: Amos

I recently gained in fair exchange a copy of Art's CD. I just finished listening to the last cut, Jerry's "Handful of Songs", and I loved every minute of the whole disc. in fact I just hit the Replay button, probably for the first of many times. A fine voice, full of vim, and the instrumental support is perfect, balanced and talented; most important of all, the songs -- the songs are terrific, from all over and all brought together by his impeccable delivery.

Art Thieme is a master.

Great job, great disc, great pleasure, Art.


01 Apr 05 - 01:53 PM (#1449267)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD: The Older I Get, The Better I Was
From: frogprince

Hey, just happened to glance at this thread again, and found out I've had at least one song by a mudcatter, the legendary Jerry R., since long before I knew there was a mudcat. Great album, great song.

01 Apr 05 - 03:16 PM (#1449361)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD: The Older I Get, The Better I Was
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

Amos, Thanks for your too kind words. I do appreciate 'em a lot. And it's nice to see this old thread resurrected. This now old CD was picked by Scott Alarik and the Boston Globe as one of the top ten folk albums of 1998. (I was honored in spite of the fact that he is an old friend. Sometimes, it's "who ya know".)

And as you know (since I told you on the phone last week) I'm really enjoying your CD as well. That Steve Gillette song about "The River" (was that it's name?) is a great one--as are your own compositions.

All the best,


01 Apr 05 - 03:37 PM (#1449388)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD: The Older I Get, The Better I Was
From: Amos

Thank _you_.

I believe it is formally called "That Song About the River". It does capture a certain something.



02 Apr 05 - 02:54 AM (#1449807)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD: The Older I Get, The Better I Was
From: Big Al Whittle

just read this thread from the start.

I should like to wish Art all the best.

Big Al Whittle.

02 Apr 05 - 05:25 AM (#1449857)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD: The Older I Get, The Better I Was
From: kendall

This kid is good!

02 Apr 05 - 06:23 AM (#1449871)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD: The Older I Get, The Better I Was
From: Wolfgang

I think this was the first Mudcatter CD I ever bought (without MC I'm sure I'd never even heard the name Art Thieme). Then I bought an LP from Jerry R. without even ever having heard a single track by him for the sole reason that I had fallen in love with 'Handful of songs' on Art's CD.

Then I have bought Kendall's Beginner's luck, then the MC Colours/Fruits CDs, next I shall buy one or more Harvey A. for the sole reason that I have fallen in love with 'The song' on the MC CDs.

Mudcat has enriched my LP and CD collection and with the exception of one or two tracks on the whole bunch of MC Colours I've never been disappointed.


20 Mar 08 - 12:38 AM (#2293281)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD: The Older I Get, The Better I Was
From: katlaughing

Hey folks. I was just over at Waterbug and noticed there are no reviews of this incredible CD. There are some of you whose words carry more weight than mine when it comes to reviews and technical stuff about pickin' etc. So...maybe a few of you might want to copy and paste what you've already written or post something completely new at Waterbug. Out of all of our CDs, we listen to this one more than ever and it always lifts our spirits.



20 Mar 08 - 05:53 PM (#2294005)
Subject: RE: Art Thieme's CD: The Older I Get, The Better I Was
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

Dear Art:

For us who are certifiable old farts, that isn't just the name of a great CD -it's the bloody truth! Isn't it??