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reggie miles BP Blues: Songs about the Gulf oil spill (12) RE: BP Blues: Songs about the Gulf oil spill 30 Jul 10


A video crew that's been collecting material for a documentary about street performers contacted me about offering some of my music for their project. I chose to offer them one of my latest. It's a song that I wrote about the Gulf spill.

I thought a long while about what I could offer in song about the Gulf spill. It's a sad story and that made it easy to develop as a blues song. I was inspired by a folk song that I used to hear from a favorite childhood TV entertainer of mine, a character from among those featured on Captain Kangaroo.

Hugh Brannum (Mr. Green Jeans) was a wonderful children's entertainer before he ever joined up with the Captain. He produced a series of children's story songs about a character called Little Orley and offered them to the world as, Uncle Lumpy. I've collected quite a few of Uncle Lumpy's Little Orley stories on 78 rpm records over the years. I've always wanted to offer them to entertain little ones. They are very sweet story songs.

It was one of Mr. Green Jean's songs, that he offered on the Captain Kangaroo show, "There's A Hole In the Bottom of the Sea", that inspired me to write my song, "There's A Hole In the Bottom of the Gulf". I altered the verses to reflect the Gulf story but kept the same structure of building one verse upon another, making each successive verse longer, as he did with his song. I altered his major key choice for his silly tongue twister folk song to a minor key and used my homemade resophonic "Nobro" to play it bottleneck slide style. It turned out to be a powerful bottleneck slide folk/blues with a strange kind of 6/8 latin beat.

Hey, don't ask me to explain how all of that just happened to have come together as it did. I don't argue with the muse. I just write and sing whatever the muse tells me to do.

The guys capturing the video told me that it'll be done in about a week. I told them that I've never heard a video crew utter those words before. Everything that's come my way seemed to take months to arrive.

However, I've seen their work and their production is top shelf. It's as good as anything that I've seen done anywhere. So, I'm very excited to see and hear the finished piece.

I understand that I'll be able to share the finished video of my song online as I see fit. I'm thrilled to have such a skilled crew offering their filming and editing talents in this project.

I wrote the verses out in one of the threads below talking about the spill but the words alone can't convey the song very well. So, I'll send a link to the video as soon as I receive it and post in online.


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