Henry's Songbook

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Banjo Man II

  • (Allan Taylor)

    How that man can sing, I got trouble on my mind
    It's good to know that he's a friend of mine

    Cowboy hat, cowboy boots
    Denim jacket full of Mexican cheroots

    He came to Paris from Portland town
    Carrying a banjo, playing around

    Too much whisky, too much wine
    Too much travelling down the line

    Headin' down that one-way track
    Carrying the devil on his back

    Got a lady so sweet and kind
    He's okay now, doing fine

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1997:] I started writing this song in Dougie MacLean's house in Butterstone, Perthshire. I was playing the dulcimer, an instrument I rarely play these days, and musically 'doodling'. I wrote a couple of lines (which turned out to be the third verse) and threw the scrap of paper in my guitar case and forgot about it. A week or so later I noticed this scrap of paper and I realised that I'd been thinking about Derroll Adams. It's an almost impossible task to try and describe this man in a short space of time. Now living in Antwerp, Derroll has travelled and busked his way around Europe, reaching a kind of legendary status along with former travelling and playing companions, Alex Campbell and Rambling Jack Elliot.

    I first met Derroll in Belgium around 1971, where we were playing a gig together in a holiday resort called, I think, Zon and Zee (the Belgian equivalent of Butlins Holiday Camp). We played in the middle of a grassed area in the camp without a P.A. system and it was hoped that the holiday crowd would come and watch. Only about ten or so did - it was a short gig and we took the money and left. The next time we met was three or four years later in Bonn, Germany, in a huge concert hall which was being used for a folk festival. I was due to follow Derroll, and as I stood and watched his set from backstage I got the urge to play guitar with him. At the end of the set he came to the side of the stage and waited to see if there would be an encore. It was obvious the audience wanted one, and impulsively I asked him if we could play "Trouble in mind" together. "Sure", he said, "Come out on stage with me" and we went out together and played the song. After the concert we went to a bar and I noticed that the few people who joined us were completely focussed on Derroll - he had this magnetism which demanded people's attention. Though more than twice the age of some of the women in the company, somehow they seemed to be transfixed by him.

    Since those times we've seen more of each other and become friends. His wonderful wife, Danny has helped him through some real bad times of alcoholism and provides him with the stability, care and love he needs. She's a great woman. It was really a joy to present this song to him, as a measure of my affection for him. We have since worked together on concerts and one memorable radio programme, recorded for Radio Scotland in 1994.
    Though now over 70 years old, his opinions, his ideas and his street-learned philosophy is as fresh and to a certain extent idealistic as a young man of twenty. He never lost sight of the dream that we all shared when we started out "on the road". Not for him fame or glory or money, just the joy of playing music and getting by. (Taylor, Songs 9)

Quelle: England

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Layout : Henry Kochlin (D-21435 Stelle)

aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 08.09.99