“SONG FOR EWE”
with TAV FALCO of TAV FALCO & PANTHER BURNS
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today’s guest is garage raconteur and arch provocateur – not so much a street-walking cheetah with a hide full of napalm as a swamp-dwelling snake with coils full of octane – it’s TAV FALCO, the charismatic leader of the band PANTHER BURNS
Originally from Arkansas, via Memphis and Europe Tav Falco has swamp water for blood, and a head full of books. He paints vivid pictures with his words, and tells a thousand stories with his Dax greased kiss curls.
He is the charismatic band leader of psychedelic garage blues band The Panther Burns which he formed in 1979 and named after a plantation in Mississippi.
The band originally featured Alex Chilton of Big Star and went onto feature Jim Sclavnuos of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, while Falco helped bring attention to his old blues heroes including Charlie Feathers and RL Burnside plus local Memphis artists with shows, collabos and releases on his Frenzi label.
His music eases and boa squeezes between styles, ranging from tropicalia to heated blues, go-go beats to stompalong anthems, and now, 5 years since the last one there’s a new Panther Burns album called “Command Performance” out on Twenty Stone Blatt Records. Not only that he’s in the UK right now on an ahem, command performance in what should be speakeasy’s but are swinging club joints.
I was turned onto Tav by my Birmingham buddies and band collective ColdRice, and my MTV partner in crime Toby Amies, and I’ve been feeling the burn ever since. This is the most primal and visceral music to ooze out of rock’s pores since “Crawfish” fell from Elvis Presley’s sweat-beaded lips.
Along with Kid Congo Powers he’s an absolute unsung hero of garage-land with charisma to spare, and I was very glad he took up the gauntlet to give us his evocative “song for ewe”
Over to Tav for his inimitable choice:
“”Revelation on the Banks of the Pawtuxent” by John Fahey : As a youth, I swam in the Ouachita River – a mystical river of which Fahey intones. John Fahey is the pre-eminent master, conceptualist, and innovator of guitar modes and styles in American music.
Further, he was a visionary soaked in the lore of the cult of Orpheus; hence a poet of the guitar unparalleled. I know. I saw and spoke with the maestro at Folk City in Greenwich Village.
Following that transcendent concert, I went on to learn rudimentary riffs from his duet partner Bill Barth after he had decamped to Amsterdam with his hash pipe.”
THANKS TO TAV FALCO
CATCH TAV ON TOUR IN THE UK THIS WEEK, DETAILS ON THE EXCELLENT PUNK ROCK BLUES SITE BELOW…including tomorrow night’s first gig in Stroud at the Goods Shed, Stroud Valley Arts Space
AND GRAB HIS NEW RECKID HERE…