Atomic Duo @ Folk Alliance Conference, 2011

The Atomic Duo, aka my old pal Silas and I, traveled north to Memphis to attend the Folk Alliance Conference. Our goal was to come meet some folks, pun intended, and see if anybody else likes what we do as much as we do.

As it turns out, lots of folks do! Had a wonderful meeting with Si Kahn, who has been an inspiration for many years, and picked up quite a few pointers from him. Saw lots of truly amazing and talented acts; Jerron Paxton, Two Man Gentleman Band, Betse Ellis and every single band who performed at the Steam Powered Preservation Society's informal showcases, (follow the link to hear two live tunes from us.) Got quite a bit of jamming in with friends old and new. And saw soooo much good music being made by genuinely nice people that it puts to lie the tired yarn that "there's no good music today."

Here's a few little highlights:

First up, from a "Rooted Traditions" showcase hosted by roots guitar maestro Andy Cohen, we were asked to perform only tunes by our "masters." We chose Gil Scott Herron (w/ our jugband rendition of "Whitey On The Moon") and this lovely little Scott Joplin gem, "Scott Joplin's New Rag."

And here's the first tune from our formal showcase, the world debut of Silas' new composition "Trickle Down."


Here's the lyrics (all rights reserved, c Silas Lowe.):

Verse
My mother raised me up alone
working three jobs at a time
Barely made enough each week
to put away a dime
So I don’t want to hear about
the wealthy’s pain and woes
Cause they ain’t trickled nothing down
to help the working poor

Chorus
They talk about trickle down
but I ain’t seen a drop
They say they worked the hardest
for all the things they got
But they don’t know the pain to raise a
failing dust bowl crop
It’s time things started flowing
from the bottom to the top

Verse
They trickled all the money
to banks in Switzerland
They trickled all our children
to fight Afghanistan
They trickled all the good jobs
down to Mexico
But they ain’t trickled nothing down
to help the working poor

They talk about trickle down
but I ain’t seen a drop
They say they worked the hardest
for all the things they got
They ain’t lived a lifetime pushing
round a dusty mop
It’s time things started flowing
from the bottom to the top

Verse
The pressure sure is building
and something’s gonna crash
the credit cards are all maxed out
and no one uses cash
Things had best start changing soon
cause the bottoms gonna blow
and they won’t like what boils up
from the starving poor

They talk about trickle down
but I ain’t seen a drop
They say they worked the hardest
for all the things they got
But they don’t hungry child whose
crying just won’t stop
It’s time things started flowing
from the bottom to the top