The Flowing Waters of Lake Jefferson

Saturday June 4, 2005

Truth and Lies

Folk Plus airs Saturdays from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on WJFF,
at 90.5 fm in Jeffersonville, N.Y. and 94.5 in Monticello N.Y.
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Last week I played a cut right after the noon break from HOTWALKER, a new release by Tom Russell. Controversy has arison over the inclusion of Little Jack Horton on the release. Horton evidently is fictional and not a primary source of the times at all. Discussion circled around to what end the label or artist is guilty of fraud or great imagination. Some dont care and have been saying that art is art, and others felt misled by a label perpetuating the lie.

His new cd is one long documentary, folk opera sort of approach to pay tribute to Chares Bukowski, Dave Van Ronk, Woody Guthrie and others. He uses a piece by a character names "Little Jack Horton" a circus worker.

Neither Hightone Records nor Tom gave any indication that this was actually not a real character. It turns out this is most likely Tom himself, whose voice has been sped up. Is this fraud? Just good fitcion? where does trust and turth come in? Is truth revered anymore?

Today's Theme: Truth and Lies
*For more on the controversy that spawned the theme, see below.*

1 Tish Hinojosa - Sign of Truth 352
Sign of Truth - Rounder

2 Lynn Miles - I Always Told You The Truth 327
slightly haunted - Philo

3 Terri Hendrix - Truth is Strange 320
The Ring - Wilory Records

4 Kristina Olsen - Life Drawing 135 - Truth of A Woman 421
All Over Down Under - Take A Break

5 Rosenshontz - Its the Truth 418
Its the Truth - Lightyear

6. Temptations - (Whitfield/Strong) Papa was a Rolling stone
single 45   - GordyRecords
"Mama Im counting on you to tell me the truth"

7 Jackson Browne - Lives in the Balance 419
Lives in the Balance - Aslyum
"Where a government lies to a people and a country is drifting to war..where their business interest runs"

8 Jackson Browne - Til I Go Down 418
Lives in the Balance - Aslyum
"Ive already seen the lies" "Im not gonna shut my mouth, I'm for the truth to come out"

9 Holy Near - No More Genocide321
Lifeline Extended - Appleseed
"Why are our history books so full of lies?"

10 Rod MacDonald - For the Good of America 525
Recognition - Wind River
"If their lips are moving they're doing you wrong"

11 David Rovics - Who Will Tell the People 547
Livng in these Times -
"the truth is too dangerous for someone to report"

12 Parton, Ronstadt & Harris (L. Thompson ) -
"Telling Me Lies"  Trio

13 Vance Gilbert - Lie to Me 330
Unfamiliar Moon - Disismye records

14 Jay Mankita - They Lied 434
Dogs Are watching us -Dreams on tape records

15 Modern Man -  Virtual Circle of Hell 428
Modern Immaturity - Inverted Turtle
Lieing on the internet

16 Stan Rogers - Lies 535
Northwest Passage - Fogarty's Cove

17 Modabo - If You Keep Telling Me Lies 208
The Many and the One - Turn up that music

18 Christine Lavin - Good Thing He Can't Read My Mind
Compass -

19 David Wilcox - Language of the Heart 441
How Did You Find Me Here -
"You can say that you always were honest"

20 Trout Fishing in America - Closer to the Truth 320
Closer to the Truth - Trout Music

21 Annie Gallup - Truth about Disguise 334
Backbone - Prime Cd

22 Richard Shindell - Fishing 425
Courier - Signature Sounds
No mention of the truth, although thats what is being fishing for

23 Steve Cohen - True Love 601
Silent Too Long - Hurricane Recording
"all we do is lie about what we really need"

24 Billy Jonas - Joy 344
Get Real - Bang A Bucket
Does he tell the truth, or lie?

*Here is the labels press release for the cd: "The taking-off point for Hotwalker is Tom's correspondence with outsider writer/poet Charles Bukowski in the 1960's.  Tom and circus midget/actor Little Jack Horton read parts of the correspondence and narrates an historical landscape, dotted with the voices of Lenny Bruce, Jack Kerouac, Dave van Ronk, radical environmentalist Edward Abbey, hobo classical composer Harry Partch, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and Bukwoski himself."

Lets hear some of the vocal national djs on the topic:

Tom Coxworth The CKUA Radio NEtwork - " It's about the art of creation and suspension of belief - Accept the artist and get lost in art."

Mike Flynn-  I don't care if there ever was a Little Jack....I love Tom Russell and his imagination.

Susan Forbes Hanson : "is it not possible for us to go on-air and say "guess what, dear listener -- Tom Russell created a character so realistic he fooled even me?"

Mike Regenstreif - Even in its fictional moments, Hotwalker is filled with truth.- Reviewer/Feature Writer: Montreal Gazette

Steve Jerrett KOPN - When it comes down to it, all works of art are fiction..." yet he added " BTW, I remember Peter Yarrow saying in an intro to "Puff": "If we write a
song about marajuana, we will TELL you".

Rich Warren: I don't think Tom should not have used the device of Little
Jack. It is exceedingly clever. I would request, somewhere on the CD case
in perhaps eight point type to see a statement such as: "Some of the
characters in this recording are fictional."

Ron Olesko:  "If Russell simply recorded the songs and left it to our
imagination that would be one thing... The issue is a record company went along with the joke and helped foster a lie. "

"The problem I have is that the record company and publicists took the lead and created additional lies.  I've checked a few stories and additional details that emerged
such as Little Jack passing away in Florida.   Obviously Little Jack won't be able to give interviews so they had to come up with something.  Why spread lies?  Do they think we
can't handle the truth????

Angela Page WJFF : I like to know when I'm at a documentary what is really true. I want to know that the author did their homework and I can relax and believe. Thats
important to me. Googling the train ride that Jack Horton speaks about, only brings up Tom Russell. I'd like to have been saved the searching, and have known it was just a damn good story and bit of imagination.

Index to Folk Plus setlists. Check out Angela's interviews    /    Return to WJFF

We should no longer accept the counsel of those who tell us that we must fill our world with poisonous chemicals, we should look around and see what other course is open to us."        Rachel Carson
Thanks to all well wishers with my curret battle with neurotoxic poisoning and chemical sensitivities and welcome to new listeners on the web. (

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.


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