The Mira Sound Germany Audio-CD ‘Country Roots’ – Michel Montecrossa sings Jimmie Roders and related Artists features 10 Jimmie Rodgers songs including ‘My Blue Eyed Jane’, ‘Dreaming With Tears In My Eyes’ and ‘Jimmie The Kid’ as well as songs of related artists: Michel Montecrossa will be presented with the songs: ‘Lonesome’, ‘Another Lonesome Cowboy’, ‘Littel Bit Of Lovin” and ‘When I Hold You In My Arms’ and Bob Dylan with the songs ‘Dignity’ and ‘Lay Lady Lay’. In addition there are three treasures of Stan Jones, Lonnie Donegan and Robert Johnson: ‘Ghost Riders In The Sky’, ‘Does Your Chewing Gum Loose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Over Night’, and ‘Come On In My Kitchen’.
Michel Montecrossa’s song-collection ‘Country Roots’ is about Jimmie Rodgers the ‘Singing Brakeman and Blue Yodeler’ and ‘Father of Country Music’, as he was called later, and some of the artists who are part of the great stream of music’s mystery Jimmie set free, like Bob Dylan and his Visionary Music, Cowboy Songwriter Stan Jones, Skiffle Man Lonnie Donegan, CyberRocker Michel Montecrossa and Jimmie Rodgers’ contemporary, the Blues-Legend Robert Johnson. Michel Montecrossa presents them all in his own essential style singing from the heart of their individuality. It is the direct, unlimited realness of 10 of Jimmie Rodgers’ songs that forms the core of Michel Montecrossa’s ‘Country Roots’.
The Jimmie Rodgers songs are: ‘Jimmie The Kid’, an autobiographical song reflecting Jimmie Rodgers’ way up from water carrier to brakeman when he followed his father into the Mobile and Ohio Railway, enjoying traveling the country, hearing the music of different areas, observing the social conditions and making his way to the top. ‘Any Old Time’ is one of the many songs delivering Jimmie’s message, as Bob Dylan says “like nectar that can drill through steel”. ‘Prairie Lullaby’ in its tenderness is as charming as is the playful and joyfully dynamic ‘Pistol Packin’ Papa’ or the direct talking ‘Looking for a New Mama’. ‘Frankie and Johnny’ is a well known folk song Jimmie Rodgers too performed in his unique way. Michel Montecrossa presents it as ‘Frankie and Johnny Alive’ giving the story of loss and finding a special turn. ‘I’m Lonesome Too’, the heartbreaking ‘Dreamin’ With Tears in My Eyes’ and the yearning ‘My Blue Eyed Jane’ as well as the scary ‘Gamblin’ Bar Room Blues’ are four more masterpieces of Jimmie Rodgers’ genius and power to “get into the mystery of life and death without saying too much”, as Bob Dylan puts it. Jimmie Rodgers has been, is and will always be a force of inspiration for unnumbered musicians through his living individuality, his seriousness, his humor and his Blue Yodel Trademark because he is, as in the Warren Smith ballad, the man who “… held your hand and sang you a song.”
Songs by other artists:
The Bob Dylan song ‘Dignity’ was chosen by Michel Montecrossa as the opening track. “It reflects the quest of Jimmie Rodgers’ life”, says Michel Montecrossa, “as much as it reflects the meaning of every true life sensing and looking for the inmost reality. It is thus a fitting prologue to Jimmie’s songs. In the same way is Bob Dylan’s ‘Lay Lady Lay’ a salute to Jimmie’s art of giving the message between the lines, ‘like the smell of flowers’ as Bob says.”
‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’ the cowboy-myth by Stan Jones, the hilarious Lonnie Donegan skiffle song ‘Does Your Chewing-Gum Loose Its Flavor on the Bedpost over Night’ and the profound Robert Johnson blues ‘Come On In My Kitchen’ are included by Michel Montecrossa “as three examples of artists and songs of different times and backgrounds who share that stream of expressiveness which you can’t kill by defining it, because it will overflow every circle you draw around it.
It’s the same energy that Jimmie Rodgers knew.” The bitter-sweet ‘Lonesome’, the 12string blues ‘Another Lonesome Cowboy’, the heartfelt ‘Little Bit of Lovin” and the intense ‘When I Hold You in My Arms’ are Michel Montecrossa’s own contributions.
He says: “They are sap of the roots. They are from the place where I can easily see Jimmie Rodgers. And I see him as the root and most precious flower of country music because he embodied that rare soul-power which by its innocence brings new light. Jimmie Rodgers had that innocence and his music and personality radiate it: touching and naked.”
Due to tuberculosis his life was short, beginning in poverty but it was crowned for a few quickly fading years by an immensely creative career. Born on 8th September 1897 in Pine Springs, Mississippi as the son of a railway foreman he made his way through as brakeman with little to loose and all to win. In 1924 he turned to songwriting and performing. In 1927 his music rose to popularity and from then on he bravely fought the battle against death with one song after the other, right to the end. His body died on 26th May 1933 in a New York hotel while working on his last recording. But his soul is ever present in his music with the freshness of self-renewing life, the simple mystery.
– Michel Montecrossa & Mira Sound Gemany 2001
- Jimmie The Kid
- Any Old Time
- Prairie Lullaby
- Pistol Packin’ Papa
- Ghost Riders In The Sky
- Frankie And Johnny Alive
- Looking For A New Mama
- Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight
- I’m Lonesome Too
- Lay, Lady, Lay
- Another Lonesome Cowboy
- Come On In My Kitchen Baby (Rainin’ Outdoors)
- Gamblin’ Bar Room Blues
- Little Bit Of Lovin’
- My Blue Eyed Jane
- Dreamin’ With Tears In My Eyes
- When I Hold You In My Arms