Raleigh Rambles

John Dancy-Jones at large!

David Larson’s Dead Blues Guys & Gals

This page presents bio portraits drawn from photos by David Early Larson. Many derive from stickers given by DEL to Mark Herder and Alan Bowling. Alan published the series on the DEL Facebook page and provided comments on many of the musicians. His description of the process is below.

David researched each figure, finding a photo to xerox, then did a tracing of the face on a clear plastic sheet. He’d xerox that with white backing and drew on the copy. He’d change details and backgrounds before he’d finish the design. Then he’d make multiple copies in the business card size format he wanted, glue them together on a 8×11 sheet and have the stickers printed from the master. Many of those masters are in files he kept.  Alan Bowling


from Sasser St. John Lee Hooker (ink & wash)


from Mark H

One of the most important interpreters and writers of folk blues who was pardoned from prison for his expertise. The Library of Congress hired him to record many old songs for their archives accompanied by his 12 string guitar. “The Gallis (Gallows) Pole”, “In The Pines(Where Did You Sleep Last Night?)”, “Goodnight Irene”,  and “Black Betty” are among them.


McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983) known professionally as Muddy Waters. Migrated from Mississippi to Illinois to become one of the leaders in Chicago electric blues.


Born Eleanora Fagan in 1915 in Philadelphia from an unwed couple, Billie Holiday grew up in Baltimore with her mother. A troubled early life led to cleaning a brothel where she heard records by Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong. She started singing, adapting her musician father’s name Halliday and copying the way the instruments phrases sounded with her voice. She was singing in clubs when she was heard by John Hammond who said she was the first female singer “who actually sounded like an improvising jazz genius”. He got her with pianist and Benny Goodman collaborator Teddy Wilson to record for Brunswick. “What A Little Moonlight Can Do” and “I’ll Cry For You” were instant hits.
Another accompanist was Lester Young who played tenor sax for Count Basie. “Prez” was thought to be her love interest for many years and gave her the nickname Lady Day. Billie met Ella Fitzgerald who was the singer in Chick Webb’s band and they had a contest, Basie’s band backing Billie at the Savoy in January 1938. Metronome magazine claimed Ella won, but Downbeat said the opposite.
By March, she was singing for Artie Shaw, but had to deal with being the only black member of the band, entering kitchen doors and service elevators to the stage. This became too much for her, so she moved on.
“Strange Fruit” was so controversial, she had to go to a small label, Commodore, to record it. Her original performance of it in a club had the waiters silence the crowd while the house lights were darkened with a spotlight on her head. She disappeared directly afterwards.


Ma Rainey was the Mother of the Blues and was a tough bandleader in the 1920s whose life has been depicted in film. 


 One of David’s favorite bluesmen, Lightnin’ Hopkins. Known to work for cash in the recording studio, he could knock out an album in an afternoon, improvising and making a song up on the fly using bits from old songs. He made sides for different labels over the years, never worried about the rights to any of them.”Mojo Hand” and “Mr. Charlie” were ones he was known for, but his solo work was his best.  Big Boy Henry told me once that he thought Hopkins was the best blues singer/ guitarist in the business. David had a videotape we’d watch of Hopkins hanging out at a ranch in Texas, talking and doing songs.


Only three photographs exist of the most famous Delta blues artist who had two recording sessions in hotel rooms in Texas in ’36 & ’37 producing 29 classic songs. “Love In Vain” and “Stop Breaking Down” were covered by the Stones and “Crossroads” by Cream. “Sweet Home Chicago”, “Red Hot”, and “Hellhound On My Trail” are among others that have been covered.

 Keith Richards first met Mick Jagger carrying a copy of an album of Johnson’s singles and couldn’t believe there was only one person playing guitar on those songs. Story goes Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads of highways 49 and 61 in Clarksdale, Mississippi to be able to play so well.

Sadly Johnson was murdered by a jealous bartender that slipped poison into his whiskey bottle.


Cotten (whose name was misspelled) played left handed in her Carolina Piedmont cotton picking way.


From New Orleans, Morton has the recognition of being the first arranger of jazz, proving that a music built on improvisation could still “retain it’s essential characteristics when notated” (Wiki). His recordings with the Red Hot Peppers sound as fresh as they did in the 1920s. He claimed to have invented jazz in 1902 and had his first composition, “Jelly Roll Blues” published in 1915. Pianist, band leader and composer, he exaggerated his worth to many and lost credibility in his later years, when his accomplishments spoke for themselves.


preparatory from photo

The Queen of the blues needs no introduction, but I favor her recordings with Louis Armstrong. (Alan B)


                preparatory image

Mathis James Reed was described by critic Cub Koda as “perhaps the most popular influential bluesman of all” because of his easy going electric style. Many covered his songs including Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones, and Van Morrison’s band, Them. Born in Mississippi, he was trained on guitar and harmonica and played with Eddie Taylor for a spell before relocating to Chicago in 1943. Reed was drafted in the Navy and served in WW II. When discharged he returned to MS to be married, then took his wife to Gary Indiana to work in a meat packing plant.  He relocated again to Chicago and tried to get a contract with Chess, but was turned down. He landed one with Vee Jay and with Eddie Taylor again, his hits started rolling. With wife Mary singing back-up, “You Don’t Have To Go”, “Bright Lights, Big City”, “Baby, What You Want Me To Do”, and “Big Boss Man” are among his biggest songs.
Reed’s rampant alcoholism became so bad Mary would have to remind him of his lyrics when performing. Misdiagnosed epilepsy set in during 1957. Vee Jay closed and he moved to ABC- Bluesway, but never had a hit. In 1968 he toured Europe with the American Folk Blues Festival with other big names. Reed died in 1976 in CA, eight days before his 51st birthday. He’s been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and R&R Hall of Fame


Larger than life with a voice to match, Mable Louise Smith could belt out some jump blues. She recorded “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” produced by Quincy Jones two years before Jerry Lee Lewis did his version. He was so influenced by her take that he upped his act to follow her lead to be more raunchy and raucous.  Her 1956 hit “Candy” won a Hall of Fame Grammy in 1999, but it’s pretty tame compared to most of her output. Big Maybelle is seen performing “All Night Long/ Ain’t Mad At You” in the film of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival: Jazz On A Summer’s Day . Her last hit single was a 1967 cover of ? And The Mysterians’ “96 Tears”.


Pink Anderson was born in Laurens, SC and lived and played in nearby Spartanburg, SC most of his life. Another Piedmont style artist, his late 1920s and ’30s recordings were few until the mid 1950s when in bad health, attention was brought to him and he recorded one album in the early ’60s and appeared in a documentary film.


Valerie Wellington started in the 1980s as an opera singer and played Ma Rainey in a stage production while in her 20s. She caught the blues bug and went on to use her bellowing voice in blues standards for Alligator records.


Frankie Lee Sims was a cousin of Lightning Hopkins who released nine singles and worked as a guitarist for T-Bone Walker and King Curtis among others.


Alberta Hunter had been working as a nurse for 20 years before John Hammond got her back in the studio after a few engagements she did in NYC. “Amtrak Blues” was her comeback album in 1980.


Melvin “Lil’ Son” Jackson was a contemporary of Lightning Hopkins who was a mechanic before pursuing his music career. His “Freedom Train Blues” was a national hit along with “Rock Me Baby”. After injuring his arm he went back to his first profession.


Wallace wrote over 40 songs with her brothers to record for Okeh  records early on with big names of the day backing her including Louis Armstrong. She resumed her career in the 1960s and was awarded a Grammy in 1982.


 Richard Trice was a Piedmont blues singer/ guitarist who never left his native central NC. He and Brother Willie befriended Blind Boy Fuller who helped them get into recording, backing him and doing their own songs backing each other.

 As Rich Trice, he recorded “Come On Baby” and “Trembling Bed Spring Blues”. As Little Boy Fuller he recorded a number of songs for Savoy, but only “Shake Your Stuff” and “Lazy Bug Blues” were released. He later gave up the blues to join a gospel group.

 These brothers played with Blind Boy Fuller. “Willie” is the correct spelling. Both played in the Piedmont Blues style.


Fuller was from Wadesboro, NC and played around Chapel Hill and Durham. He was the most popular Piedmont blues artist of the day. On a later album of sides he listed Pink Anderson as someone he’d played with along with Floyd Council. Sid Barrett had that album and picked the first names of those two bluesmen for his band’s name.


Broonzy was born in 1903 in either Mississippi or Arkansas as one of 17 children from the same parents. The year has been disputed.  At 10, he made a fiddle he could play with his uncle doing spirituals at gatherings. His army recruitment has also been scrutinized, but we know he relocated to Chicago in 1920. After giving up the violin, he picked up guitar, learning from minstrel show performer Papa Charlie Jackon. He played in clubs into the 1930s, changing from country to blues and wrote his first instrumental, “Saturday Night Rub”.
When Robert Johnson died, his place in “From Spirituals To Swing” show at Carnegie Hall in 1938 was filled by Broonzy.  (For Johnson’s part a victrola was put on stage and the records “Preachin’ Blues” and “Walkin’ Blues”were played to the audience)
Recordings followed on Paramount and Bluebird.  By 1940 a song was recorded by Charlie Segar that when Broonzy recorded his version in 1941, it became the standard arrangement. “Key To The Highway” was a hit and was later covered many times.  Broonzy became part of the Folk scene that traveled to Europe in the 1950s and eventually went worldwide. He was a huge influence to the later skiffle movement musicians in Britain including John Lennon.  Back home after an outdoor gig with Pete Seeger that was broadcast, he became a teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music in 1956. He died in 1958 from throat cancer.


Most know Memphis Minnie’s song “When The Levee Breaks”, a true story her husband Kansas Joe McCoy and she recorded in 1929 about the great Mississippi flood of 1927. Minnie was a 12-string guitarist who recorded many sides on her own.


A cousin of John Lee Hooker, and protege of Robert  Nighthawk, Jr., Earl was considered the “blues guitarist’s guitarist”, known for his slide work, sometimes on a double neck. His best known original instrumental is “Blue Guitar”. He played with many including Junior Wells on ” Messin’ With The Kid” and Muddy Waters on “You Need Love” and “You Shook Me” (first one used by Led Zeppelin for “Whole Lotta Love”, second covered by them and Jeff Beck)  He took to the road with his Roadmasters band, sometimes without a booking, hoping to land a gig wherever he landed.  B.B.King listed him as one his top 10 favorite guitarists.


Born in Grenada County, Mississippi in 1936,  Samuel Gene Maghett relocated to Chicago in 1956 and was given his moniker by his friend and bass player. He recorded for Cobra records from 1957-’59 where bassist/songwriter and producer Willie Dixon moonlighted from Chess. Dixon praised him for his unique guitar style and high voice that was unmistakable. “All Your Love” and “Easy Baby” were his most known tunes. After spending six months in prison for desertion from the draft, his “Feeling Good (Gonna Boogie)” became a hit. He signed with Delmark records in 1967 and toured internationally with harpist Charlie Musselwhite. His big breakthrough was at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1969, but he didn’t make it to the end of the year, dying from a heart attack in December.


From a musical family, Luther Tucker was a protege of, as he called him, “Mr. Robert Lockwood, Jr.” who taught him minor and diminished chords to play rhythm guitar behind him. Lockwood became his guardian while he was 16, so he could go on the road.  He learned to read music and even played bass strings on a tuned down guitar before the Fender bass was invented. They backed Sonny Boy Williamson II, Little Walter, and did classic sides by Muddy Waters, Howling’ Wolf and others.Tucker moved to the west coast in the late ’60s  to play with the James Cotton band. Then he did a residence in Austin, TX with John Lee Hooker’s band and started The Luther Tucker Band, singing and playing blues and soul. He moved to San Francisco and played clubs there through the ’70s. He only recorded two albums, one incomplete, before dying at 57. His body was shipped to Chicago and buried in an unmarked grave until  a benefit concert was held for a headstone.


John Hurt, from Mississippi, made recordings in the late 1920s that never got the recognition they deserved until he was resurrected in the early 1960s with the folk movement. He recorded songs he’d done in the past and others in his home with great clarity that brought him new fame in his later years.



Both of these slide guitarists were known for their approach. Hudson Whittaker aka Tampa Red had a single string slide style. Theodore Roosevelt “Hound Dog” Taylor played a cheap Japanese Tiesco del Ray guitar, wearing a metal slide on the fifth finger on his six fingered hand. (See comments for a picture of his left hand, both had six fingers)

While Red was more precise, Taylor was loud and crowd pleasing with his danceable band The Houserockers. He loved being around people as his nickname suggests.


Blind Lemon Jefferson (Lemon Henry Jefferson) was born blind in Loutchman, Texas in 1893 and became regarded as one of the most popular blues and gospel singers of the 1920s. He was called the Father of the Texas Blues. He had a unique style with a high voice that had younger blues artists refrain from copying because it was hard to imitate.
  As a street musician, he played in East Texas towns on street corners til 4am. He met Leadbelly in the early 1910s in Dallas developing in the Deep Ellum section there. He then met T-Bone Walker in 1917 and taught him some basics on the guitar in exchange for services as a guide.He was taken to Chicago to enter the recording world in December 1925. His first sides were gospel, but his second session produced the hits, “Booster Blues” and “Dry Southern Blues”. Overall he recorded about 100 songs, mostly on Paramount, and most in poor quality. In 1926 he re-recorded those two songs with better equipment. When he moved to Okeh the next year and put out “Matchbook Blues” and “Black Snake Moan” on the flip side, it became a hit, but he had to return to Paramount under contract. Soon “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” became a hit.
Jefferson’s death has different stories. One was a jealous lover poisoned his coffee, another said he had a heart attack while being attacked by a dog, still another had him killed and robbed of his royalty check by his guide at the train station in Chicago. Most likely he had a heart attack during a snow storm that left him disoriented in December 1929. His body was shipped back to Texas and put in an unmarked grave until 1967 when a historical marker was erected. Since  2007, the area has been renamed after him and has been kept tidy.

Gatemouth Brown played fiddle and a leather pick guarded Fender Esquire electric guitar with his long fingers. A bit of western swing thrown into his style. I saw him at JJ’s in Greenville in the early 1980s. My girlfriend presented him with a freshly picked bouquet of flowers. Brown proceeded to remove the rings from his hand before humbly accepting the gift. (Alan B)


The Singing Brakeman or Blue Yodeler, also known as The Father Of Country Music. David misspelled his last name, leaving out the “d” in Rodgers. A popular recording artist, he developed tuberculosis at the age of 27, but kept going until it got difficult to perform. Shows were cancelled and he had to sit and then lay down to record his last sides. He collapsed on a street and passed at the age of 35 in 1933.


Otis Rush played guitar left-handed, but strung his strings as a right handed player would and curled his little finger of his picking hand under the low E string that was at the bottom instead of the top. He got a certain sound that way, reminiscent of Magic Sam and Buddy Guy, called West Side Chicago Blues.
Born in Mississippi in 1934, he relocated to Chicago where his first big hits were on Cobra records, penned by Willie Dixon. 
“I Can’t Quit You, Baby”(covered by Led Zeppelin)  became his signature song in 1956. “All My Love” and “Double Trouble” followed. After Cobra closed in 1959, he tried other labels with sides here and there like Chess, Duke, and Vanguard.
In 1969 he released “Mourning In The Morning” on Cotillion with help from Mike Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites, using the FAME studio in Muscle Shoals, AL doing a mixture of blues, rock, and soul.
In 1971 he recorded an album in San Francisco for Capitol, but it wasn’t released until he bought the masters and put it out on a small Japanese label in 1976. Bullfrog Records picked it up in the US and it’s considered one of his best: “Right Place, Wrong Time”. After a stint at Delmark in the ’70s, he retired for awhile.
His comeback in 1985 was a live album from the San Francisco Blues Festival, “Tops”. His first studio albums in 16 years, “Ain’t Enough Coming”, and “Any Place I’m Going” landed him a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues in 1999. He stopped recording except being included on a few tribute albums and a few festivals. He was honored at the 2016 Chicago Blues Festival, but he was too ill to perform.

One of the original Delta blues artists who taught a young Howlin’ Wolf some guitar chords.


David Larson Art

October 23, 2022 Posted by | art, David Larson, music | , | Leave a comment

Larson Band Posters

David Larson was the favored artist for band posters in the Raleigh punk and experimental scene around 1980. Here is a collection – if you have one you don’t see – post it at the David Early Larson Art page on FB, or send it to JDJ!

from Wayne T











from Alan B



from Kurt F

from Kurt F

Kurt Fortmeyer

Sara Bell



Chris Q’s Screaming Soul Men









This wonderful show encapsulated Raleigh’s alternative arts

David Larson Art webpage

January 13, 2022 Posted by | art, David Larson, music, Raleigh history | , , | Leave a comment

Jeffery Beam’s Gospel celebrates Earth

Jeffery Beam’s rich and varied literary contributions have been recognized here before, but his recent reading at the UNC Botanical garden was a found treasure.  He was surrounded by friends and presented not only botanical poems from his latest book, Gospel Earth , but sang, remininsced, and read favorite passages from the poets who have influenced him. Jeffery’s wonderful voice, his energy, and his exuberant love for natural beauty made his reading a meditation and a spiritual sharing.

Gospel Earth is described on the Regulator Bookstore site as a “a collection of monostitches, micropoems, American sentences, small stones, small poem sequences, & minimalist poetry.”   It begins with a plentitude of short quotes, almost all gemstones of thought from many different sources.  Just as he shared his influences in the reading, his book says up front: here I stand, the earth my image, love my fuel, all the beauty I have been given is part of me.  Those are my words and show Jeffery’s effect on one: spiritual and mindful.

Gospel Earth moves from the quotes to extremely short responses to images, many one line or even two or three words.  The literary devices are almost invisible behind the strong zen and monastic distillations of pure meaning.  The natural images shine for themselves in Jeffery’s deft and delicate frames.  The Botanical Garden says Gospel Earth is

 “a big book of little poems, [it] has already received acclaim for its transcendent, lush beauty; its minimal sacrament; and its simplicity and physicality. Described by the poet as a work intended to “invigorate the startling propulsion of haiku’s accessible simplicity and minimalism, while creating a more active canvas.”

The book does contain larger pieces, including a prose meditation on birding dedicated to Jonathan Williams (more about him below). One of my favorite pieces is a poem with notes that constitute an essay called “The Green Man’s Man.”  The poem finds Jeffery immersed in Nature but always open to the philosophical notes in her song: ” I open Nature’s book/finding:/The more I know/The less I know.”  The notes were written specifically for a different Botanical Garden event, and delve into the mythological image of the Green man.   Jeffery tells us

The Green Man is not separate from us, he is our source, emphasizing & celebrating the positive creative laws of Nature, the native intelligence that shepherds and protects this world, and the ecological rightness that guides us.

Jeffery entertains the Botanical Garden crowd as Stanley smiles

Jeffery continues to enact and support the spirit of Black Mountain College in many ways and I hope to learn more of his scholarship regarding Jonathan Williams.  He has presented numerous times about him, and is working on a bibliography.  He has also shared manuscripts and links that make it clear he is a leading authority on the man’s life and significance.

Jeffery Beam’s Jonathan Williams interview 2003

A SNOWFLAKE ORCHARD and What I Found There :  essay on The Jargon Society Press by Jeffery Beam

J. Williams obit at NCWN by J. Beam

 Another BMC link: J. B.’s Indy review of Rumaker’s Black Mountain Days

Jeffery’s website

Oyster Boy Review

Jeffery’s UNC Bio

Jeffery’s UNC Library archive

Jeffery’s feature on My Laureate’s Lasso

another feature at Jeff Davis’s Natures

Indy Review of Gospel Earth 

WUNC interview re Gospel Earth

 Gospel Earth. Jeffery Beam. Skysill Press, 3 Gervase Gardens, Clifton Village, Nottingham, NG11 8LZ, United Kingdom. http://www.skysillpress.blogspot.com/ Sam.Ward@nottingham.ac.uk

Parts of this book also existed in online and pamphlet versions:

Gospel Earth. Three color fold out booklet wrapped in Tibetan handmade paper with wrap-around band. Longhouse Press. 2006

December 26, 2010 Posted by | Black Mountain, literary, music | , | 2 Comments

MUSA exhibit opens, taintradio features, Raleigh’s post-industrial art scene cooks


MUSA is a “post-industrial art exhibit” whose content will relate more or less directly to the venue: a dormant furniture factory across from Humble Pie in downtown Raleigh.  An art show in this space really resonates for me, because I have such fond memories of the crucial employment and quirky stories that arose from my artist friends’ work there in the 1980s.  The owners made annual trips to Asia for antiques and prints, but the majority of the stock was furniture that was “aged” – whipped with chains and other abuse, or modified otherwise – before wholesaling to Neiman Marcus.  Bill and Otho were enlightened and tolerant employers to several good friends, and I’ve always appreciated it.

Now Otho is offering the space, which ceased business in 2002, to Carter Hubbard and Sarah Botwick, two art entrepreneurs who hope

 to produce an interpretive, visual perspective that will allow patrons to reflect on what it means to be “made” in the USA; a question even more poignant in these current economic times.

mentioned this show in July and bemoaned the Flash software used to present the website, which actually looks quite nice, but presents minor navigation issues and major Google search issues, because all of the info appears to be insulated from the web-crawlers.  Now the site has a large amount of info and lots of artwork examples, most of which present some kind of connection to industrial themes.  The work is also integrated into the factory space, including one series that explores the history of the paint in the room in which it is situated.  The dying pastime of pigeon-keeping, the dying art of hat-making, Latino work portraits, and the use of trees all form a part of a broad set of responses to technological change and its implications for work.

Location: 320 South Harrington Street, Raleigh, NC
Web Address: www.musanc.com

Opening Reception: “First Friday”, October 2, 2009 6-9pm
Reg. Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11-5, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 1-7pm
“Invisible Sounds” – site-specific live music prior to the screening of “With These Hands”  Q&A to follow, Oct. 10, 6pm
Exhibition Dates: October 2-18, 2009



taintradio, poised to survive the “post music industry age,” sends word it will present another feature at Marsh Woodwinds.  The internet radio venture has added several new shows to its weekly cycle, including Philadelphia-based Jeff Duperon’s Congo Square.   Feature info below.

taintradio.org & Marsh Woodwinds presents guitarist/composer Eugene Chadbourne concert & live webcast on October 3rd.
Avant-garde multi-instrumentalist and composer Eugene Chadbourne brings his unique anarchic blend of jazz, punk, country, improv and noise to Marsh Woodwinds, 707 N. Person Street in Raleigh, NC on Saturday, October 3rd at 8pm. The concert is a presentation of the taintradio/Marsh Woodwinds concert series, and will be broadcast live on the Web to listeners worldwide at www.taintradio.org. Tickets are $10 at the door, and free refreshments will be served.
It’s been nearly 5 years since the Greensboro-based Chadbourne has performed in Raleigh, and we are delighted to add this date to his fall touring schedule, which includes Berlin, Vienna and Istanbul.
Chadbourne has been a major presence in improv, punk and jazz circles for over 30 years, including work with John Zorn, Charlie Haden, The Violent Femmes, Billy Bragg, Tony Trischka, The Red Clay Ramblers, Marc Ribot, Jimmy Carl Black and many others. Relentlessly eclectic and experimental, Chadbourne writes and plays a wide range of music, from free jazz interpretations of classic honky-tonk country to transcriptions of Bach for banjo and his infamous invention, the electric rake. Chadbourne’s dozens of solo and collaborative albums add up to one of the most consistently challenging and rewarding bodies of work you’ll find in experimental music.
  This is a rare chance to hear this musical legend in an intimate venue on Saturday, October 3rd.



SparkCon expanded and upgraded its arts event this year, taking over Fayetteville Street with 13 different “…sparks” at 24 venues, intensely focused on the 1st two blocks of Fayetteville.  From Raleigh’s emerging status as the East Coast’s gaming industry hub to the latest creation from uliveandyouburn, this street festival helps to brand Raleigh as a city of designers and 21st century entrepreneurs.


And as a final note, we head toward the “post newspaper industry age” in the company of Raleigh Public Record, whose detailed candidate profiles and “Sunshine” public record posts are demonstrating the validity and value of Charles Pardo’s vision of 21st century journalism.

My nature column at RPR will return as soon as some of my excess pies get cooked!

September 20, 2009 Posted by | art, music, Raleigh downtown | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bain Music and Media


The Bain Project has garnered its fair share of attention and brought together an amazing array of artistic and journalistic support.  It also crossed and melded artistic media in an extraordinary fashion.  The installation itself captured sights, sounds, smells and memories in a unique way, and a fitting emblem of this is the Bain Music Project cd, which will certainly stand the test of time as a valuable record of the Bain Project experience and a fascinating album of boundary-pushing music in its own right.

The cd offers short interview  excerpts with a former Bain employee, mixed with cuts of local bands recording inside the Bain space.  The remaining pieces constitute primary Bain Project work by Lee Moore, whose maternal condition precluded extensive on-site participation.  Lee and her husband (and longtime musical partner) David Crawford put together some amazing sets of sounds as Le Machine, and also did me the great honor of building cut # 12 with an old water-based poem of mine.  I recorded it with Jen Coon, and then Lee put it over ocean sounds and her newborn baby’s heartbeat!  I could never have dreamed that a piece of my writing would have such a stunning setting.  Thank you Lee.

I enjoy every track of the cd, especially Crowmeat Bob’s highly Bain-ful sounds and Xopher Thurston’s string interpretation of Dana Raymond’s pipe symphonies, but am totally un-equipped to remark on the local popular music.  I just know my 20 year old daughter was thrilled to see me on the same album as the Rosebuds!  I also know that the cd cover is masterful and fits so well with the project, thanks to Ladye Jane of New Raleigh fame.  New Raleigh published the cd, and was a tremendous support to the Bain Project overall, including provision of the Bain website.

Bain Project page

Starting from the website, let’s trace the main branchings of media and online response to the project.


May 09  “State of Things” interview with Dana Raymond, Marty Baird Sarah Powers and JenCoon

SpokenWord.org archived radio link

New Raleigh

Volunteer call  hosted by New Raleigh

January 09  Missing Plaque Mystery

February 09  Music Fundraiser

March 09  David Millsaps essay

May 09 Ladye Jane’s Q & A

May 09  State of Things alert with links to Sarah and Dana

May 09   Toxic Lead Alert with Bain concerns

Independent Weekly

March 09  Music Fundraiser guide 

April 09  Indie Blog article

May 09   Calendar listing

May 09  Site and project description by Hobert Thompson

May 09  Indie blog Q & A with organizer Daniel Kelly and others


 May 09    Art to suit city’s fluid identity

 NC Museum of Art

May 09  blog interview with Museum staffers Jen Coon & Stacey Kirby


DESIGNlife news with listing of the numerous alumni  involved

Bain credits

Bain credits

Blog  Reactions
30 Threads feature
Raleighwood,NC  John & Clydes visit with informative links
Queen of the Pavement – huge and lovely pics
 Digital Photo Project  with another,  and one more – nice photos and text by Kevin Greene

almost two weeks – wonderful blend of Bain and life

 a weed is just a flower out of place – just one nice photo but who can resists that title?

Bain poster critique – proof post-Boomers do not read 🙂 actually a nice post

  not to mention

youtube   Triangle Rock excerpt

353 Flickr results

Mike Legeros’ Firefighting blog listing

The following  excerpt from an email sent out by SWCAC Chair Mary Bell Pate for the Caraleigh neighborhood.

The Bain Project, located in the SW CAC area, is all about the E. B. Bain Waterworks/Water Plant that once was the source of water for Raleigh and now is on the Historic Register. What was a beautiful Art Deco building had been ignored since it was “de-commissioned” as our water plant and now needs massive amounts of money for restoration. Empire Properties came to the rescue by buying the Bain and saving it from total destruction. Within the next few years a street will connect South Wilmington and South Saunders Streets (needed for years as an efficient cross-access between the two streets) and will go right by the Bain.
With lots of help from many people the Bain Project will become another outstanding asset for Raleigh and especially for our southwest part of Raleigh. Right now it needs your interest and participation in events designed to create awareness of this beautiful, old building opposite the Eliza Pool Park. From time to time I will be giving updates on Bain Project activities and encouraging your participation.

and last but not least

National Park Service  Bain site page

Artists survey pre-installation site

Artists survey pre-installation site

 If you’ve made it this far I’ll remind you that here at Raleigh Rambles ALL my work to document and preserve the Bain Project is organized and referenced on my Bain Page.  The list above grew out of a reference post on the Bain Project website, which has obviously been a rock for me in this project.  We can all thank  Daniel Kelly for conceiving of and effecting this project, and I personally appreciated his encouragement as I participated in and documented the project.

circular lense shot of lab box_1_1

May 24, 2009 Posted by | architecture, art, music, Raleigh downtown, Raleigh history, reflection | , , , , , | 4 Comments