Modern Troubadours

While there’s a never-ending supply of modern singers, troubadours are harder to come by. What’s the difference? The troubadour is telling a story rather than just singing a song. Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer tells a story, but Bridge Over Troubled Waters doesn’t. Some artists just naturally gravitate to one or the other style, and most just sing songs. The three relatively modern artists I think best fit into the “troubadour” group are Harry Chapin, Don McLean, and Carly Simon. In almost every case, most of their works are telling a story. Others, like John Denver, sometimes fit in (Mathew’s Song) and sometimes not so much. I’ll put up an example each from Harry and Don. Who do you think qualifies as a troubadour?

Harry Chapin~ Better Place to Be

Don McLean~ The Grave

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We lost this troubadour earlier this year. He’s not unique, but his stories are songs, and vice versa. Today Oct. 10th, is his birthday. Miss you John.

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Another story teller and singer of songs that holds a special place in my heart (politics aside) is Neil Young. This video was taken at Mountain House, a restaurant and bar on Skyline Blvd in San Mateo County where I grew up and was lucky enough to see some of the greatest music acts of the 60s and 70s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2MtEsrcTTs&list=RDn2MtEsrcTTs&start_radio=1&t=7
Please be patient. I guess ole Neil won’t let me embed his art.

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Doesn’t get much better than this. I’m particularly fond of the Guy/Lyle/Nanci/Townes etc. group of troubadours. What I call ‘East Texas’ music is a combination of folk and country; to wit, good storytelling. The piney woods of East Texas where they have a half lane on a country two-lane where one can glide over and let the one in a bigger hurry pass. Couldn’t find the whole “Songs and Stories” album at youtube so here’s the introduction.

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I find the totally dumbed-down artwork of the millenis at youtube etc as far as the album art to be a complete joke. Listen to the music…while you can.
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Over the years, I thought I’d heard every Harry Chapin song. Somehow, I missed the sequel to Taxi. I wandered across it today. It was worth the wait. Harry left us too soon.

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