I went to Nashville on a 2-week leave I had, and it changed my life. It was like I suddenly knew I was home because it was a town that was where creative people were all about the love of the songs…a total absence of ego and selfishness. You know, people liked other people’s songs just as much as they liked their own. It was just a wonderful atmosphere.
Alright y’all, you’ve got one final chance to win tickets to our 15th anniversary concert. Correctly answer this question by Thursday, April 18:
On the 2005 benefit album, “Our New Orleans,” Irma Thomas recorded a version of the classic “Back Water Blues.” Which legendary blues woman recorded the original 1927 version?
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win!
Kris Kristofferson had just started work as a janitor at Capitol Studios, when Bob Dylan was on his second week of the Blonde on Blonde sessions:
In those days – maybe it’s still the same, but – in a 3 hour session, they expected you to get three songs done, about that. And Bob went in there and sat down at the piano, and the band was all the top musicians in Nashville. They’re off playing ping-pong and pool and waiting, and he would write all night long, and then around 7 o’ clock in the morning, he’d call them in and they’d go in and cut some masterpiece.
Kris Kristofferson, on Janis Joplin and her version of “Me and Bobby McGee”:
Well, Janis was, we were very close for a short amount of time. She had learned the song from Bobby Neuwirth, who worked with Bob Dylan a lot. Bobby Neuwirth had shown her the song before I knew Bobby either – it was Roger Miller’s version of it – and she learned the song. I never heard her sing it while we were together. I heard it the day after she died, when the producer asked me to come to the studio to hear what they had done, and she had recorded it. It was very difficult for me to listen to it for a long time… It still pulls my heart.
Kris: It’s pretty amazing to me to this day that I can still remember driving down in Los Angeles and outside one of the big studios there’s this huge, huge picture of me and Barbra up there… shirtless.
Nick: You or Barbra?
Kris: Both of us, I think. But it was a long way from working 50 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.
The thing is, with country music…most performers were songwriters. But the song was the important thing. The song was the basis of it all. And people like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash were great performers and everything, but it was the songs that moved people. It was all from the heart and the soul. It wasn’t like something off of Tin Pan Alley, where you’re writing songs that somebody’s going to make a hit of. It was serious art for those of us that were doing it. We thought we were artists.
A conversation with a man of many talents: songwriter, actor, boxer, military man, among many titles, Kris Kristofferson, reflecting on his life in music, his songwriting craft, and the nature of gratitude for his life’s adventures, as expressed in his recent album, Feeling Mortal.
We were lucky enough to speak to Les in 2007, with a conversation about his work with Lightnin’ Hopkins, Clifton Chenier and Dizzy Gillespie. Listen here.
Join us on the festival grounds in Lafayette, LA for the 25th annual Festival International. We’ll sample outstanding live performances in Cajun, Creole, Latin and Blues, including Keb’ Mo’, Sonny Landreth, and Steve Riley. Be sure to get out your dancing shoes for cumbia with Miami’s Locos Por Juana, two-steps with Yvette Landry and Cajun waltzes with the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Plus an all-star South Louisiana tribute to the best of swamp pop, Cajun classics and zydeco.
We’re giving away one pair of free tickets every week leading up to the 15th Anniversary concert. To enter the drawing, correctly answer this week’s question:
What famous Hollywood actress made an appearance on the Lost Bayou Ramblers’ 2012 release, Mammoth?
Send your answer to email@example.com by Sunday, March 31 for a chance to win!