Saturday, April 2, 2016

Album Notes for "Texas Socialist Infiltration Dance Songs"

I titled this album with tongue slightly in cheek. Most of the songs are fun and non-political. But, I do not believe that “In the beginning God created heaven and the earth” so that T. Boone Pickens could own and control the water. I do not believe that “And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good” so that Monsanto could co-opt the sacred process and become the god of seeds.
I do believe in the Public Library, Public Health Departments, and Community Fire Departments. You see, much of what Socialism does is to provide a democratic control of things that, by logic and By God belong to the People and for the People. The early basis for laws governing broadcast radio and later TV, was that the “airwaves” belong to the People. I see no difference now that we have cable and the internet. The electromagnetic spectrum was always in the “airwaves.”
Many grandparents and great-grandparents of today’s Texans were farmers and they knew exactly who their enemies were: national banks, corporate and private monopolies topped the list. Lampasas and Parker Counties were hotbeds of activity for populist causes like cooperatives and water rights. And, Texas was the only southern state whose Farmer’s Alliance was open to black farmers!
Remember, before George W. and Rick Perry the Governor of Texas was Ann Richards. Jim Hightower was the Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture. Mr. Hightower (who, by the way, has great taste in hats as well as quips) managed the presidential campaign of the great Oklahoma Senator Fred Roy Harris. In one of Senator Harris’ novels an Okie grandmother expresses Biblically based disgust at the practice of making money from loans instead of work.
So just put it out of your heads that Texas is nothing but a bunch of gun-nut, racist yahoos. It’s half progressive and overdue for a progressive comeback. So keep on coming to Austin in the springtime. Keep on being the freak you are and don’t let the current national insanity overwhelm you. Don’t blame Texas.
If you take out the tragedy of the Viet Nam War from the legacy of LBJ he was one fine president. I am no more a party-line Socialist than I am a party-line Democrat. As to the title, I'll quote an old Seattle friend named Robert Smith, "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke!"
Before I had my albums replicated by CD Baby I burned them on my computer. Naturally, after the first year I recorded with Big John Mills and Sterling Finlay I put all the songs I liked from that year on the CD. I had Contrary replicated first because it was all such a fresh creation and I was so proud of it. My wife did not like Contrary's guns and threats and murder AT ALL, but I put it out first. When I was preparing Texas Dance Songs I followed Big John's advice. He said why put in a controversial song or two on an album that otherwise is dance music? So I saved all my political stuff. "Demand and Supply" was recorded the first or second day of the first year. Big John counted us in at a tempo way faster than I had ever played it and man, it improved the song 100%. You can just hear how much fun we had. And, by the way, the song is about private property rights - sorta strange for a socialist album, eh? 
Neither Big John nor Sterling said a word about "I Wasn't Born in the Homeland," and trust me, if Big John was offended he would have let me know one way or another. I'm not saying they agreed with every word, just that they played it quite sweetly. By the time we did "My Magical Horse" Big John was so into his big lyrical sound that I stopped the first take and said, "Hey man, it's just a simple folk song. It doesn't need to sound majestic." 
In 2011 engineer Russell Tanner fed and mixed some recordings that my son, Forest Arturo Dunn, and I had recorded on an early Roland digital workstation. Forest added so many tracks that he had to do a lot of bouncing and Russell worked hard with some fancy plug-ins to bring out some aspects, such as Forest's piano playing. Big John used his Tele to overdub parts on "The Real Thing" and "Bar Talk."
Forest spent his last years in Tucson and he had a great drummer friend named Rick Moe. Forest told me that the first tracks he did for Bar Talk was Rick's drums. I wasn't there and Forest did not play along. Imagine that! He somehow communicated every nuance of that song to Rick and Rick wailed out every beat and every change. Then Forest added all his parts and finally I came to town and did rhythm guitar and sang as the very last things! That's the kind of talent we lost when we lost Forest. And Rick, I sure hope you are in a great band in New York City or wherever you are now. Nobody sounds like Rick Moe except Rick.
Kundalini Baby and Don Felp's '65 Ford were the only songs on this album from the 2013 session. I heard Don in Austin and fell in love with his songs. Don is a real deal cowboy tall drink of water writer and I thank him for working out publishing so that I could record his song without it just being a handshake deal. It's published by Don and registered with BMI. 
All my albums can be heard on Spotify and some other online stations. All my albums can be downloaded from iTunes, amazon, CD Baby and others. 

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