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September 22, 1977 - Image 7

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Michigan Daily, 1977-09-22

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 22,1977-Page 7 A

Ramblers warble atArk

By WENDY GOODMAN
and MIKE TAYLOR
"We all come from different back-
grounds, and we've tried to open our
music up so that all these different
roots could form part of the organism
we are," remarked Tommy Thomp-
son of the Red Clay Ramblers after
their Tuesday night performance. at
the Ark coffee house. The Ramblers,
consisting of Thompson, switching
between banjo, guitar, and bass, Bill
Hicks, bowing his fiddle, Mike Cra-
ver, pounding and strumming his
piano, guitar, and bass, Jim Watson
on mandolin, guitar, and bass, and
Jack Herrick, plucking, and blowing
his bass, guitar, penny whistle, and
trumpet, put on a fine show that drew
from diverse sources of material, yet
came across as a well-integrated
It was amazing to watch the
endless combinations of instruments
being formed. From time to time,
various band members would step
out, leaving the remaining, ones to
create simpler instrumental tex-
tures. Herrick, the group's main bass
player,' often appeared to be a
dancing appendage of his instru-
ment. Sometimes Watson strummed
his mandolin so enthusiastically that
it seemed like he was reaching into
the sound hole. As with most good
groups larger than one or two people,

. .

it was impossible to decide who to
watch at times. It was like being at a
three-ring circus.
Each member of the band sings,
allowing almost as many vocal
arrangements as instrumental ones.
They sang a few tunes a cappella,
providing ample proof of their mar-
velous harmonizing abilities. "Dan-
iel Preyed" and Parting Hand, two
old spirituals done without instru-
ments, were among the most moving
works of the evening.
Although the band works as a unit,
the individual members are not lost
in it. The lead singing was shared by
all of them, giving an individual
tough to each of the numbers. In
addition, each one took vocal solos
from time to time. Craver per-
formed a beautiful blues tune he
believes has =Dixieland origins. "At
least it came from a Dixieland
book," he explained. His soft, soaring
voice combined with his exquisite
piano work to form one of the even-
ing's highlights.
"A tenth of our repertoire are our
own songs," noted Thompson. The
band's original tunes peppered the
performance, adding spice to the
evening. "I Got Plans," one of
Thompson's songs, was an amusing
and melodic effort. Its content could
easily be compared to the lives of
numerous Ann Arbor residents, and

its chorus of When I grow up, I'm
gonna settle down sums up the whole
experience. The bulk of the group's
material, however, consists of old
American folk tunes such as The
Yellow Rose of Texas and Deep Elum
Blues.
Champagne velvet for the folks on
the hill - Blue Ribbon for the boys at
the bar, written by a textile union
organizer in the thirties, was a.
spirited social commentary. Accom-
panied only by two guitars, a Carter
family song, Anchored in Love,.
aroused warm feelings. Described by
the band as, "typically nonsensical",
and the Uncle Dave Macon tune
called Rabbit in the Pea Patch was
just that.
"You look like pretty hard-nosed
people. Try to be more sentimental,"
kidded Thompson before Stolen
Love," the title track of one of the
Ramblers' three albums. Craver's
piano shone on Wahoo, Wahoo,
Wahoo, a song with naughty lyrics.
"We thought we'd do one in the
language of the Beefalo, in memor-
andum as it were. We can't translate
Beefaloese, so we call it 'One Beefalo
Special'," noted Herrick as the group
launched onto another of Thompson's
zany originals. The lyrics were a bit
obscure, but the instrumentation was
fantastic. Although Hicks wrote the
words for Company Blues, Watson
sang them. This song featured piano,
bass,'and fiddle.
Instrumentals popped up every
now and then, giving the members
chances to show off their instrumen-
tal abilities. At one point, they played
.a couple of fiddle tunes, Fire on the
Mountain and Sugar in the Gourd.
Later on, the band played a few Irish
numbers, as well as a small collec-
tion of jigs.
"Ramblers is a traditional name
for mountain bands like us, and the

soil where we live is red," explained
Thompson, -discussing the origin of
the name of the Chapel Hill, North
Carolina based group. "Chapel Hill is
a music town," he continued. After
playing together informally, like
many other musicians in town, the .
three original members of the band
decided they could make it as a
touring group.
When the Ramblers left the stage,
the crowd kept clapping. Obviously,
an encore, a rare event at the Ark,
was needed. The group came back to
do a rousing version of Rockingham
Cindy. This got the crowd even more z
ext ited forcing a second encore.
This time Herrick came on with his
trumpet. What followed was one of,
the evening's most outstanding mo-,
ments. "Merchant Lunch", which
will be the title of the Ramblers' next
album on Flying Fish Records, is a
beautifully orchestrated, cleverly
written tour de force about a bar in
Nashville, Tennessee, so sleazy that
"it looked like half past midnight in
the afterno'on," and a man who went
there. It was a stylish end to a
wonderful evening. It was also the
Red Clay Ramblers' first appear-
ance at the Ark. With luck, they'll be
back again and again.
THE ANN ARBOR
FILM!CO-OPERATIVE
is looking for energetic
people with a strong in-
terest in movies.
Stop by one of our
showings for details

Bzzzzzzzzzz ... APP

Olivia deHavilland appears in a scene from the soon-to-be-released epic
thriller, The Swarm.

Iggy, Foghat release new albums

Live Foghat
If you really enjoy Foghat's music,
this new album may prove itself the
piece de resistance. Foghat Live
(Bearsville BRK 6971) is both new and
exciting. The group has been known for
years as a good heavy blues-rock band;
this album underscores the fact by ad-
dihg the live touch.
Like Fleetwood Mac, Foghat is a
British band popular in this country but
virtually unknown in its native land.
The group is an offshoot of the Savoy
Brown band; guitarist Lonesome Dave
and drummer Roger Earl are original
members. ,Lead guitarist Rod Price,
and bassist Craig MacGregor were ad-
dedto the lineup.
The hit single Fool for the City gets
the disc off to a start. Crisp drumming
and heavy bluesy guitar 'make this
tune, as well as others, exciting to listen
tQ. This particpilar so i js nded with an
exceptionally long agir'solo by Price.,
aiome in myHand lbegs with a good
drum-guitar combination and then
everything seems-to blend into one long
chord until the end.
I Just Want to'Make Love To You be-
gi.ns with a long, suspense-filled pre-
lude, then the band explodes into the
spirited melody. Both melody and
prelude material come back together at
the end.
.Sounding very similar to the Aero-
smith hit Train Kept A Rollin,' Honey
Hush is a fast-paced rocker with a driv-
ing rhythm guitar and an ear-splittig
Price guitar solo with an abrupt ending,
unlike all of the other tunes.
'Providing a great finale to this hour
of live, driven music, the Fool for the
City album smash hit Slow Ride with a
deep, basslike lead guitar and a thump-
inig drum that complements it.
Everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Foghat is one of the top heavy rock-
blues bands today thanks to hits like I
Just Want To Make Love, Fool for the
City, and Slow Ride. This is one of the
best live LPs I've listened to.
The cuts are filling the FM airways in
Detroit and as drummer Carl puts it,
'It's one of our most successful efforts
ever."
- TIM YAGLE
REPLACING
SYNTHETICS
NEW YORK (AP)-Replacing syn-
thetic fibers with cotton would require
4U million acres of cotton-growing land
-- nearly the total arable land in
Mtssissippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Ala-
bama and Texas, according to the
Society of the Plastics Industry.
-The essential role of manmade fibers
such as nylons and polyesters becomes
obvious when a theoretical attempt is
made to replace them, .said Ralph L.
Harding Jr., president of the industry
group.
Substituting wool for synthetic fi-
bers would demand a billion acres of
grazing land, equal to all the agricultur-
al land in the UnitedStates, according
to Harding.
* ":
* *
ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S *
SPELLBOUND *
*GREGORY PECK thinks he's a Mental *
* Hospital director, but he's not really
*cr nn1I ..DRflANDC set him ~

Iggy POP'
When Iggy Pop's old band, the
Stooges, succumbed to the fast-paced,
non-stop existence they flaunted, a live-
ly and innovative force disappeared
from the rock music scene. The Stooges
were a crazy bunch of punks from the
Ann Arbor area that played ear crunch-
ing rock n' roll with an intensity almost
unheard of before, or' heard since. The
Stooges were among the forerunners of
what is now called the "New Wave."
Their primitive music and menacing
lyrics attacked all that was considered
proper in musical circles. Unfortunate-
ly, the band members ended up in drug
centers, the cemetery, and, in Iggy's
case, a mental institution.
However, Iggy has returned to the
world of the vinyl disc. Earlier this
year, Iggy released The Idiot, an album
filled with intriguing avante-garde
sounds. The album was a result of a col-
laboration between Iggy and David.
Bowie and his band, and was recorded'
in 1976. Unfortunately, The Idiot lacked
the energy, emotion, and reckless aban-
don that made the Stooges so vital.
Now, with his new Lust For Life, the
thorazine-contrived music of The Idiot
is abandoned for a gutsy, alcohol fueled
mix of straight-forward rock n' roll that
is much closer to the original spirit of
the Stooges.
Bowie is back again as producer, pi-
anist, and background vocalist. His
presence is best felt on tunes like
"Some Weird Sin,'' a tune reminiscent
of the hard rock music Bowie used to
play earlier this decade. Soupy Sales'
sons Hunt and Tony'- play competent
drums and bass, and Carlos Alomar
and Ricky Gardner, from Bowies' most
recent band, play guitar with great fer-
vor. Although the instrumentation is
quite simple, the song structures in-
corporate rapidly changing tempos and

melodies to produce a record rich with
variety.
Iggy has a number of unusual per-
spectives on the world, and his lyrics
reflect this. Some of his songs, like
"Fall In Love With Me," "Sixteen,"
and "Tonight" deal with love and in-
terpersonal relations from a decidedly
different point of view; others such as,
"The Passenger," "Turn Blue," and
"Neighborhood Threat" come across
as visions of a madman. Pop's soul-
searching vocals mark him as one of
rock's intensest singer, and considering
the band's quickly changing rhythmic
patterns, Iggy sings with remarkable
precision.
The record opens with a flurry of
frefizield drum beats, reminiscent of
"She Has Funny Cars," an old Jef-
ferson Airplane number. Iggy
screeches of his unrequited love for all
facets of today's technology:
"I'm worth a million in prizes
with ny torture film.
drive a gto
wear a uniform
all on a government loan
... well, I'm just a modern guy. "
Filled with ominous guitar chords
and highlighted by Bowie's piano work,
"Sixteen" is Iggy's version of a teen
rock ballad. "Fall in Love With Me"
uses keyboards to achieve a 'hypnotic
effect on the listener. "The Passenger"
replies on Pop's voice to convey a sim-
ilar feeling. A surrealistic track vague-
ly reminiscent of Antonioni's film of the
same name, it is about someone who
sees without ever being anyplace or do-
ing anything.
Iggy Pop, along with other luminar-
ies such as Jonathan Richman, Lou
Reed. Tom Verlaine, and Patti Smith,
is able to transcend mediocrity in musi-

cal writing and simultaneously offer a
personal glimpse of a reality very dis-
tinct from the overdosed
"grooviness/guilt" trip to L.A. slick-
ness, or'the depthless "down home"
style of Southern boogie. Iggy's music
exists in a world of it own, somewhere
west of Detroit and north of oblivion.
Lust For Life is a successful album.
Successful in the fact that it comes
close to rekindling the magically manic
brand of rock n' roll the Stooges were
once famous for. Iggy's maturation as
an artist is also clearly evident on Lust
For Life, although his growth is far
from complete. It will undoubtedly be
continued on his future recordings. One
more piece of advice: kick out your
roommate before listening to this
record; Lust For Life begs to be played
loud.
-ALAN RUBENFELD
NOW STUDENTS, LET'S
TURN TO PAGE THREE
William Holmes McGuffey, well-
known educator and author of the fam-
ous "McGuffey Readers," was born
near Claysville, Pennsylvania, on Sep-
tember 23, 1800. Eventual sales of his
"Reader," popular as a standard text
for almost a century in some areas,
topped 122 million. McGuffey's birth-
place is now part of Greenfield Village,
Dearborn, Michigan.

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MASS

MEETING

FOR tUSRERS
MICHIGAN UNION ASSEMBLY HALL
THURSDAY, SEPT. 22
7:00 p.m.

art & craft classes
beginning Sept.26
Uu of m artists &
craftsmen guild
2nd floor
michigan union
763-4430

FIRST PROGRAM
BROWNE 2 Introductions, 3 Cadenzas, and 6 Maps
C4 ~* kriom'O 00 0 hkCoopr, 1,,001.1.
c J Uo d .IrOwn1 ,Cariivrc

SCHUMANN
SCHUBERT

Scott Y7ooCWC4Ve, yiotC; TO~rg 5kTwCdii4 etk i i
Liederkreis (Eichendorff)
antonaF minofornPanoDun Bo t
'Fanta si inm F minor for Piano Duet

JAZZ "Chicago in the 1920s°

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