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1 Ash Grove Announcer : Story

The Ash Grove arranged to have an unseen announcer introduce performers over the loud speaker. Though the quality of this track is not up to studio standards, It is still a pleasant jolt from the past to hear Steve Mann announced as coming up next.

2 If You Live :: Lyrics and Story

A song by Mose Allison, with a bluesy groove, but original words, perhaps "If You Live" is short for "If you live long enough, you will eventually get what you want."            

3 Jelly Roll :: Lyrics and Story

Although "Jelly Roll" (also a pastry delicacy) usually refers to women in blues terminology, Steve jokingly implies that he does not wish to give the impression, as Bessie Smith does in the original recording, that his Jelly Roll is unavailable. This is just a great old song and he has a lot of fun with it.


4 Soldier's Drill :: Story

The Reverend Gary Davis was an eclectic listener of radio, popular songs, show bands, street singers, bluesmen, whatever was out there, and he would take a whack at playing whatever he thought was interesting. This one happens to be a military march.

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5 Elephant Song :: Lyrics and Story

Although Steve may not have owned a real elephant, he somehow knows that policemen often come in pairs, and do not play music in their cars. The mystery is still unsolved.

6 Amazing Gospel Tune :: Story

One of the most beautiful guitar instrumentals in captivity today, with its dynamic, emotional gospel piano sound, sometimes strong, sometimes delicate, breathtakingly performed. Nobody does it like Steve.

7 Charlie James :: Lyrics and Story

"...I've had a whole lot of trouble since I saw you last; Don't know my future, sure won't tell my past." A great lyric, as Steve remarks. One of his favorites.

8 Rag Mama :: Lyrics and Story

This rag speaks from a world where fighting over women is common, good sense means collecting a few extra females for your yourself and your buddy in case some leave or die, and threatening to grab a brick if your woman walks around with another man.

9 East Colorado :: Lyrics and Story

Related to the song "John Henry," the protagonist in this song finds a bloody hammer beside the road where he is working, possibly in prison, and tells his buddy to take the hammer to the captain and "tell him I'm gone."

10 Two Nineteen Train :: Lyrics and Story

The Two Nineteen was simply a train that left the station at 2:19.    See the explanation for train songs in the blues "Q and A" section. Janis Joplin sings this with her heart-rending voice and Steve plays the perfect blues back-up guitar. Story of Steve and Janis linked from the ABOUT page.

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11 Trouble in Mind :: Lyrics and Story

A classic blues show-stopper sung by Janis, Steve's accompaniment fits like a glove; supportive and perfectly in keeping with Janis' mournful wail. At the end Steve' voice can be heard saying, "You were going to show me..." before he turns off the tape recorder in their private recording session.

12 Winin' Boy :: Lyrics and Story

"Winin' Boy" is a man's bragging song about his sexual prowess, but that doesn't seem to keep Janis from singing it (just as Steve couldn't resist doing "Jelly Roll"). This song and the term "Stavin Chain" are also discussed in the blues Q and A section.                                           

13 Here I am Again :: Lyrics and Story

A sad, lonesome song written by Steve Mann, about feeling abandoned, down and out. His friends are all leaving town, he's bored and out of luck. It has a simple but interesting chord progression of dominant sevenths that sound bluesy, but are not in a conventional twelve bar pattern.

14 Holly :: Story

Steve Mann's signature piece, still gorgeous after all these years. This version begins and ends with the finger picking section and has the bossa nova part in the middle, the chord changes being the same in both parts.

15 Mopper's Blues :: Lyrics and Story

Bill Broonzy, while a prolific recording artist, also worked as a janitor for awhile in a school district, and came up with this rollicking celebration of the joys of cleaning, sweeping, and mopping. Enthusiastic mopper Steve adds "Soapy water in my shoes" to the mix.

16 Hasta Luego :: Story

A BRAND NEW INSTRUMENTAL   by Steve Mann, composed in 2004 and recorded at Bella Roma Studios. It floats along peacefully between the two sections, and is more playable than most of Steve's finger buster pieces. Hasta Luego has a Spanish tinge to its Am, G, F, E chord progression.

17 Medley for David :: Lyrics and Story

A taped dedication to David Bromberg and a medley of "She Caught the Katy," Cowboy Boogie Blues," (renamed from Steve's former Cow Cow Blues), and "Mississippi Blues." Truly beautiful, this is Steve at his best. See also the note from Dave Bromberg in "Comments from Friends."

18 Prison Cell Blues :: Lyrics and Story

Famous for his arrangement of this Blind Lemon piece, Steve plays it here on a twelve-string guitar. The effect is huge, while including all the incredible riffs of the six-string arrangement. A truly awesome performance.

19 Seven Foot Freakout :: Monologue Story

A joke panic announcement followed by some killer guitar ending chords, that only Steve Mann could come up with. A fitting sign-off from whimsical Steve.

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