A man who has taken to drinking and smoking since his girlfriend left him, a fellow who murdered a two timing partner and someone bidding their lover good-bye. Sounds pretty sad and it was. Those were themes of songs we heard at a concert at the Higley Performance Centre here in Arizona. We listened to three different folk groups. Each sang at least one blues song that talked about just how sad love can be.
Linda Bilque and the musicians who accompained her sang The No Account Blues.
You left me oh my darling
And now I have to live with me
So I’m smoking and drinking darling
I’ve got a case of those no account blues
I toss and I turn in my teardrops
Like a fool whose got nothing to lose.
J.C. and Laney a talented duo performed Don’t Need a Good Reason.
Don’t need a good reason for things to change
When you’re not looking time steals what you arrange
We’re on borrowed time and our love was over
Long before you said the word good-bye.
Three Legged Dog a group of three amazing musicians who each played so many different instruments it left you dizzy did a number called Three Quarter Time.
One verse talks about how a man catches his girlfriend cheating on him and says she “trod upon my heart in three quarter time.”
The following verse describes how he killed that girlfriend and threw her in the pond where “the bullfrogs sang in three quarter time.”
The song ends with the man being hung for his crime and “doing the gallows dance in three quarter time.”
On Valentine’s Day we celebrate the beauty of love but the folk concert we attended reminded us that sometimes love can have a pretty dark side too.
The most interesting performer of the evening was James Sallis, referred to as the “irascible banjo player” who we discovered is an American crime writer best known for his novel Drive which was adapted into a movie in 2011 starring Ryan Gosling.