The Mammals

Truth be told, I don’t know any more about The Mammals than what I read on their website. (It tells us that they’re a folk-rock quintet, a string band offering up traditional music sometimes, political rants at other times, and generally having fun traveling around in a van.) There are other downloads available on their website, too, but there’s something in their cover of Richard Thompson’s song about the Vincent that just works for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been listening to a lot of Woody Guthrie over the last few days, using “Pretty Boy Floyd” to teach about the Great Depression in my U.S. History class, and letting the disc run on with “Jesus Christ,” “Pastures of Plenty,” and “Blowin’ Down the Road.” This take on “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” (Google says Thompson’s version is the most-requested song on NPR) fits perfectly in this series — the overwhelming narrative strength, the focus on the human condition, the crooning and the picking… Maybe later on this week I’ll plug in again, but for now I’m adjusting my audio-carbon footprint and going straight acoustic.

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