The Flowing Waters of Lake Jefferson

Saturday May 31, 2008 : Three on a Theme, plus Stan and Utah

This show will remain on the archive link at for two weeks following the live airing.

Monday - June 2 - marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Stan Rogers.  Stan was on a flight June 2, 1983 after the Kerrville Folk Festival, returning to Canada, via Ohio. The plane caught fire on the runway, and Stan perished on board. He was a phenomenal writer and singer and we can only imagine what he would have done these past two and a half decades. Mike Tully and his wife, area listeners, were on the voice box for the station hoping we would acknowledge his life and work.

1. Stan Rogers - Second Effort - Turnaround - Fogarty's Cove
The difficulty of trying again, surpases the first go round

2 Stan Rogers - Turnaround - Turnaround - Fogarty's Cove
Offering ot share a life

3 Stan Rogers - Forty Five Years - Forgary's Cove - Fogarty's Cove
"All I see is you"

Three on starting again:

4 Jody Kessler - Another Day of Loving -
Another Day of Loving - In The Moment Productions
I thought my tears would drown me

5 Eric Hansen - This Too Shall Pass
A Lover's Lullaby - half Moon Full Star
"Hopes a coming, don't give up, it will be all right"

6 Lui Collins - Baptism of Fire - Baptism of Fire - Green Linnet
"the truth eluded you.... the only way out is through"

Three on revenge:

7 Christine Lavin - Regretting what I said - Live at eh Cactus Cafe - Philo
"Id feel so guilty if you died, but I'm still mad at you"

8 Dixie Chicks- Goodbye Earl - Fly - Monument
"Earle had to die"

9 Warren Brothers - Between the River and Me
Well Deserved obscurity -

Three searching for words:

10. Les Barker - Amnesia - War on Terrier -

11. Zoe Lewis - That Thing - Sheep - Dog called Dog Productions
"Pass me that thing... right next to that thing"

12. Lou and Peter Berryman - Artisite Interrupted -Cornbelt Music

Three on the new partner suffering from the old one:

13 Chuck Brodsky- Until You Can Forgive
Letters in the Dirt - Red House

14 Nick Annis - I'm Not Him
Steal The Cow

15 Irene Kelley- It wasnt me
Simple Path - Irk Records

Three from the eyes of an abused child:

16. Suzanne Vega - Luka - Solitude Standing - A&M
"Walked into the door again"

17. Chenille Sisters - I Lie in the Dark - True to Life - Red House
"It must be something bad I did"

18. Catie Curtis- The Wolf - Truth from Lies - Guardian
"I heard him knock her down"

Two on drugs... hm, left Modern Man at home...

19 Austin Lounge Lizards - Drugs I need - single

20 Captiol Steps - Ten Pills
Campaign and Suffering -

Three Folk Promoters:

21 Scott Alarik - Fair and Tender Ladies
All that is True-

22 Larry Hoyt - Lets Go For A Ride-

23 Matt Watroba - Get Up and Go-

Utah Phillips  1935 - 2008
I read from the bio on his website:

also see:,0,6073174.story

Starlight on the Rails, Disc One...

Introduction to the Songbook
Intro to Telling Takes me Home
Telling takes me Home
Intro to Yuba City
Yuba City
Intro to All Used Up
All Used Up
Intro to Frisco Road
Frisco Road
Intro to Queen of the Rails.... faded out...

I ran this til the next show at one oclock. 

I was honored to review this final work for Sing Out Magazine.


Starlight on the Rails

Daemon Records 19047

 Bruce “Utah” Phillips has come out with the defining work of his career. It’s called Starlight on the Rails and is a four cd collection with a personal introduction by Utah to each cut.  It’s a musical documentary of his life experiences spanning decades, more rich than any American History Book. I can’t imagine any folk fan not having this in their collection. Period.

Utah Philips has richness beyond measure. He writes from hobo travel, where the leaving of a new song pays for a meal and where a longing can drive one traveling for days to locate an old friend. He has the sentiment of cherishing life’s opportunities and the eye for making heroes of everyday people. He is a promoter and supporter of unions, laborers, railroads, the Industrial Workers of the World, and laying down the weapons of privilege. He is a storymaker, storyteller, story spreader, historian, anarchist, pacifist, philanthropist, agitator, entertainer, curmudgeon, and producer of this work he calls a songbook.

On the first cut of CD one, Utah introduces the songbook by saying “This is a collection of songs I’ve made. I’m both a song learner and a song maker.” He credits those who live the events from which he shapes his songs saying, “Nothing happens inside my head until something happens outside of it.” He calls his head his office and says that taking a song out of it and writing it down makes him forget it, adding  “I’d rather rely on memory than paper and electricity.”

And relying on memory he does. He presents a social history with priceless detail.  He knows countless names, directions and distances between places, landmarks and patterns of life in small towns in America. We go hitchhiking into Wheeling West Virginia, travel an Army boat to Adak Alaska and Fort Devans, Massachusetts, and to the Roper yards in Salt Lake City near Ammon Hennacy’s Joe Hill house of hospitality for wayward folks. We visit Spokane Washington and Decatur Illinois, head to Butte Montana, Belmont Chicago (there on North Lincoln), with geographic precision, turning stories like pages of an atlas.

These songs are classics and little known ditties of the hundreds of songs Utah has made over the years. By his own count he’s lost track and asks if anyone has something he left in some town, he’d like to know.

You know these tunes.  Maybe over the years, depending on your age you’ve heard the Flatlanders doing “Going Away” (is that the moon I see….) or Uncle Earl doing “Orphan Train.” Maybe you know Rosalie Sorrell’s version of  “If I Could Be The Rain” or Robin and Linda Williams covering his “The Goodnight Loving Trail”, or perhaps Molly O’Brien singing “The Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia.”   CD 3 is entirely covers with Kate Wolf, Rosalie Sorrels, Kate Brislin and Jody Stecher among others performing his works.  Following the format of the collection Utah continues to introduce each cut.

It is the introductions throughout that make this collection really special.  These stories are gifts. They educate, they entertain and they, as Utah says, help adults wake up. The stories are what birthed each song and they are like family heirlooms. We hear the tale of catholic minors who carried morphine tins to “leave in a painless manner” if they were caught underground facing death. Others teach double-jack mining, or celebrate the value of the worker whose labor creates all wealth so should all wealth belongs to labor. He takes us with him: protesting the execution of an unfortunate Chicano boy, finding a dead hobo in a boxcar, feeding the hungry, singing struggles of the downtrodden, the weak, the under- privileged, and less fortunate.

On the release Utah apologizes to his children for choosing to meander and not be as present as he might have been in their lives. He states, “This is what I’ve done with my life kids, wish I’d been with you more. It’s been one long story and we’re all in it. Most we can hope for is that in the end it will be well told”

We should all thank his children for coping with this absence, for we are all so rich because of that life choice. I’m thankful as a parent, a librarian, a folk presenter and dj.  We don’t have Woody Guthrie or Joe Hill anymore, but damn it, we do have Utah Philips. —AP

Folk Plus is a SING OUT! magazine Radio Partner (

Index to Folk Plus setlists. Check out Angela's interviews    /    Return to WJFF
Thanks to all well wishers with my curret battle with neurotoxic poisoning and chemical sensitivities    (
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
There are no accidents... there is only some purpose that we haven't yet understood. Deepak Chopra

Folk Plus is a SING OUT! magazine Radio Partner (

Thanks to all well wishers with my curret battle with neurotoxic poisoning and chemical sensitivities    (

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



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Last update 01/12/2008