Behind the Music Part III: My Cricket & Me

Behind the Music Part III: My Cricket & Me

[Read Part I &/or Part II]

Serves me right that I’m playing my first solo show in many years and then things really start to heat up in the studio. But in no way is that a bad thing.  I spent last weekend tracking guitars for the Matt MacKelcan record I’m producing and the last half of this past week was dedicated to the next batch of songs for the (freakin’ killer) Matt Nathanson record. I’m busy, a bit sick, yet trying to remain unbowed. And I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of holy mess I can make at Saint Rocke on the 21st.  I’ve been dropping hints as to what I’m going to play but this here post is as overt as overt can be.

My Cricket & Me

My Cricket & Me

I grew up listening to Willie Nelson.  My mother adores him and while I wasn’t always in step (hey, take an AC/DC fan and play him the Always On My Mind LP and it’s a hard sell, lemme tell ya), I grew to have a respectful familiarity.  But then I grew up a little and, more importantly, got my hands on a copy of Willie Live.  This low-budget live album from the mid-70s just burns from start to finish!  I listened to it non-stop and eventually added “I Gotta Get Drunk” to Betty Goo’s setlist (it’s lately been resurrected when I perform with The Burners).  A few years later he released the wonderful Spirit, another record that got continual play in my Brighton, MA bedroom.

And so, over the years, I have collected a good bunch of Willie’s albums. Some brilliant, some sappy, some worth one track alone.  But the man can never be accused of being lazy. I’ve seen him perform and he puts on one of the best, most gracious and classy performances I’ve ever seen.  In fact, you could say he cured me of alternative rock.  Ask me to explain that sometime if you give a shit.

The recent reissue of his Atlantic albums – Shotgun Willie and Phases & Stages – introduced me to a quiet little weeper called “My Cricket and Me” and I’ve been determined for a while to give it a go.  I’ll play it at the show, but for now here’s a late-night rendition that I snuck in last week.

My Cricket and Me

For the real deal, get your hands on one of the two versions of this song found on the great Atlantic Sessions discs (though you really ought to buy the whole thing):

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