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“Big Sciota” from the out of print Troubles Up and Down the Road Old Crow Medicine Show EP. It’s friend Steve’s favorite, and it’s one of mine as well. Try not to mourn the departure of Willie Watson (the one singing the main vocals) when you listen, though.

In Nashville Steve and I met a bartender who told us a few pieces of Mr. Van Zandt’s sad life. This bartender, under the photo of Van Zandt that perched above the bar, assured us that it wasn’t staggering home so drunk you forget your lyrics-covered napkins beside your coaster that made a great artist. This place, the Gold Rush, is also where Shooter Jennings, and Justin Townes Earle have been known to drink from time to time.

Also, this song is about a bunch of cowboys jumping the devil, and then fucking him up. How is that not amazing?

A new discovery from the trip — sounds like Roscoe Holcome with a lot more pop and scratch and hiss, and a bit more mountain. I also have been collecting different versions of this song. That desperate man was indeed a real guy and a murderer, and somehow listening to the umpteeth version of that one murderer’s crime and how he was brought to justice, well, that made me love American in a manner most unwholesome for a libertarian anarchist pacifict. But anyway, Clarence Ashley is killer — and listen to his weird little hums at the end. That raised the hair on my neck.

Has there ever been a song narrator more concerned about the fate of a drug smuggler (or at least the delicious weed)? I do hope things worked out for old Henry.

My favorite Virginia boys rocking out the Juicy Fruit gum jingle and then the old time classic “Eliza Jane.”The former was inspired by a kick-ass tape by a bearded fellow named Sam Quinn — Steve (the fiddle player) and I nearly wore out the tape on our journey. “Juicy Fruit” is good with fiddle, it sounds better with pedal steel.

Look out the window at the Amtrak

Look at the mountains

Hang out in the observation car

Get your hair done

Take a smoke break

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New York City subway