RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Friday, January 7

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown – November ’10 #3: “Desperados Waiting for a Train” by David Allan Coe

I am very thankful to have discovered this DAC version of this song, because before this I had mostly just heard the Jerry Jeff Walker version, which is a slow and plodding painful execution of what seems like it might be a good song. I don’t know, Jerry Jeff Walker is one of those things that I’m not sure is actually any good, but enough people will tell each other it’s good that everyone tricks themself into believing it. “But up against the wall, redneck fucker! That shit’s awesome!” Except it’s not. I mean, I’m not from Texas or nothing, and to me barbecue is made with pig not cow and it should have some vinegar taste to it, so maybe I’m just not culturally sensitive to Jerry Jeff Walker’s greatness. But from where I sit, it’s painful to listen to.
David Allan Coe takes the same slow and plodding style, but gives it some rasp and peaks and makes it seem like something you’d be stoked to drink Jim Beam to at your crazy uncle’s funeral, it blaring out loud across the back yard where everyone is partying in his memory after he died in a motorcycle accident. If there’s a Heaven, I hope that crazy uncle went there, and instead of pearly gates they’ve got cinderblock walls, and David Mann did murals down the whole fucking thing, and all the women wear tank tops and no bra.
Oddly enough, in my mind, this version of this song matches up really well conceptually with that “Straight Gangstaism” song off that one Geto Boys album when Big Mike joined the group, which was basically a song from The Convicts (Big Mike & 3-2) that was put on the Geto Boys album, probably because it was so goddamned awesome. Not to mention that might’ve been the best John Bido Rap-a-Lot house production beat ever made this side of “Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me”. But both “Straight Gangstaism” and this David Allan Coe “Desperadoes…” song have the “I’m a wild little fucker because of tagging along with my wild ass grandpa” to them, and even though you could easily get all gentrified neighborhood about it and shake your head and feel sad for the endless cycles of poverty and violence and unfulfilled dreams, you could also just be stoked for the simple scene of a wild ass little kid with wide eyes watching the grown men gamble and drink and talk their crazy ass grown man bullshit at each other for a few hours in some beautifully sad little corner of this non-shining world. It ain’t all gonna be neon and pastels, no matter how hard the developing the world types engineer and design things. Wherever they put their focus to fix up perfectly, that takes their focus away from whatever it was they already tried. And that’s when we move in, tear down the value of it all, muck it up with our wonderful grimy souls, and live beautiful fucked up lives, until we die and go get to look at all the David Mann murals in Heaven.
STEAL “Desperados Waiting for a Train”
We gonna let an old crazy ass dude do his thang!


kami said...

guy clark's version from heartworn highways is pretty good too but who can beat DAC ??

Raven Mack said...

you know, I just got that cd from the interwebs a few weeks ago and actually was thinking the guy clark one was better than jerry jeff but not nearly as good as DAC. also, that "River" song by DAC on that album is good and will probably be on a krupert listing at some point. you ever see that movie? I couldn't find it.

kami said...

havent seen it - i was lucky enough to find the cd at a cheap shop for a coupla dollars so i grabbed it... still gotta get around to the movie...