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July 12, 2011 / John Sieger

Bluebell

Click: Bluebell

Tonight Emmy Lou Harris is playing at The Pabst Theater. I have seen her many times, the first and in someways most memorable, was at Semi-Twang’s first gig in—was it 1985? 1986? (It’s one of those—my personal historian is on unpaid leave.) We were opening a show for her at the Madison Civic center and after our set (which went well) we took our gear out to the drummer’s van and and went back in to watch a fabulous show. While we were enjoying that, someone broke into the van and took four guitars and a keyboard. It was EVERY GUITAR I OWNED AND EVERY GUITAR MIKE JUDY OWNED! Oh, did the caps lock stick there? The bold too? I lost a 1962 Fender Stratocaster that would be worth some serious money today. It had a sunburst finish on the body and the neck. I never saw one like it before or since. It was devastating, but fortunately it worked out. The next day a good friend lent me her credit card (Thanks, Pat!) and I purchased a 1966 Telecaster that I kept for the next twenty years and enjoyed thoroughly. To pay her back, a benefit was organized and Talking Head Jerry Harrison showed up and liked the band so much, he sent our songs to some very important record people. Withing six months, major labels were flying A&R people to town to talk to us. We wound up going with Warner Brothers and the rest, as they say, could have been history. Wait… there’s more story! I was living in Nashville ten years later and wrote a song with Greg Trooper called Bluebell. He picked it for a CD, Popular Demons, he was recording with Buddy Miller producing. Buddy then called his good pal Emmy Lou and she graciously provided the high harmony for the song. To say it’s a thrill to hear Emmy Lou sing a song you have worked on is a world class understatement. I’m going to see Emmy Lou tonight. Her drummer and two of her guitar players are guys I knew down there. It will be a thrill to give them a Semi-Twang CD and tell them this story.

© 2011 John Sieger/Greg Trooper

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  1. Richard Fitzgerald / Jul 12 2011 4:26 pm

    Great tune, and of course the harmony…there’s a feather in your cap. I’m doing one of those once in a decade cleanings of my studio and house in general (don’t ask). Came across a file folder of lyrics from the 70’s, many of them Yours and Mike and you (Siegfeld follies@) Anyway, some are of those you have posted in the recent past, and others ??? When I get far enough along, I can alphabetize and make a list. Might be something in there you haven’t thought about for a while.

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