Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Centralia

Centralia

(Wall)

Wherein the Osmium consortium tackles social issues and country music in one fell swoop. This one's an oldie about the semi-famous town in Pennsylvania that has a coal fire that won't go out burning under the town. Some people still live there and refuse to move even though the underground heat is killing off the aboveground life...kinda nutty. There's another (better) version John worked on without me singing, but since this is my site this one goes up.

Al: Vox, keys
John: Gee-tar
Dave: Drums, bass, more gee-tar

6 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

There's actually several different versions of this including demos, male vocals, and even female vocals. I still think it coulda been a hit, but John Cougar writes all his own stuff, so, what you gonna do?

9:08 AM  
Blogger Allan said...

Yeah, John really

11:02 AM  
Blogger Allan said...

Yeah, John (Wall) really was working this one. The other version I remember (he played it for me once but I don't have a copy) is from when he hired an honest-to-goodness pro to sing and play pedal steel; guy kinda sounded like a local Chris Isaak. Blew all the other versions outta the water. You're right, it deserved to go somewhere...

11:06 AM  
Blogger JohnnyLeed said...

This is one song that I kept re-working, but in the end, I am not a country songwriter. I did record a version with Kevin Johnson, a professional frontman for a country band. It sounds good, like Randy Travis. I am sending that one into Pump Audio, maybe they need another country song?

5:18 PM  
Blogger JohnnyLeed said...

Oh yeah, this one is also called "the death track." Sandi Currie, the female vocalist who tried it, passed away at the age of 27 about a year afterwards. And Leo LeBlanc, the famous pedal steel session player who played on the demo, also died about a yeat or 2 afterwards. I better watch my health...

5:20 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I never thought of it as a country song, I thought of as a country-influenced rock song, and yes, there is a significant difference there. Which is why I made the John Mellencamp reference, though probably somebody like Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash (R.I.P.) could have pulled it off (hell, those two could sing the phone book and get a hit out of it).

But I think there's also a latent Bruce Springsteen (think Nebraska) thing happening there (must be osmosis from growing up in New Jersey) and Bob Seger also springs to mind. Too bad Gram Parsons is dead. Give it to Pump, but tell them it's a "roots rock" song.

11:36 PM  

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