Guitar Slide Wednesday: Whiskeytown Version

I buy a lot of music. And sometimes, it takes a while to get around to listening to it. However, two recently released albums required immediate listening: (the ever dreamy) Rhett Miller’s The Dreamer and Kelly Hogan’s I Like to Keep Myself in Pain. While listening to the former, the pedal steel work on the album as a whole, but specifically on the song “Long Long Long,” reminded me of Whiskeytown. So then I listened to all of Faithless Street (1995) and felt a little old and nostalgic, and also remembered what a freaking great band they were. And then I listened to all of Strangers Almanac (1997), and well, you get the picture.

I have mentioned Ryan Adams around here before, but never Whiskeytown. The Raleigh, NC band has legendary status in alt.country lore, despite, or maybe due to its (relatively brief) five-ish year existence (three full-length albums and one EP). Although I’ve seen Ryan Adams live many times and Caitlin Cary a couple of times, I still hate it that I somehow never saw them live, er, back in the day.

I love the ALL of the guitar work and tones on the song “Everything I Do” (not to be confused with Bryan Adams’ song “Everything I Do I Do It for You”), and it even has a few lovely slides. Unfortunately, the video is nowhere to be found on the magical internets, and/or has been completely removed. Here it is on Spotify: Whiskeytown – Everything I Do (you really should check it out, or heck, go buy the whole album). Great, great song, and there’s a perfect subtle slide at the beginning of each chorus (and a few other places), but the best one, I think, is at the beginning of the second chorus (around 2:05).

But for the purpose of the post today (and for those Spotify-averse), here’s another fine Whiskeytown song. “Tennessee Square” features pedal steel and is a pretty good representative of Whiskeytown’s sound in general.

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Guitar Slide Wednesday: The Hag version

I would like to confess two things in this post:

1. I have a crush on young Merle Haggard, ca. 1960s/early 1970s.

2. My favorite version of the Merle Haggard song featured today is actually not by Merle Haggard. I confess that I like Whiskeytown’s cover of The Knitters cover of this song best.* In fact that version is one of my most favoritest songs to listen to. Ever.

I think the original is great, but the Whiskeytown version has a great guitar slide in it, along with some lovely ethereal pedal steel playing. However, I couldn’t find a video of it and am too lazy to make one currently. So we get the original, which I suppose is good and proper, except that it doesn’t actually have any guitar slides to speak of.

*Whiskeytown recorded this song on The Knitters tribute album, Poor Little Knitter on the Roadreleased by Bloodshot Records in 1999, which duplicated all of the tracks of The Knitters album, Poor Little Critter on the Road (1985). The Knitters were a country-ish side project of punk band X, featuring John Doe and Exene Cervenka.