Listen Up! Ronnie Fauss Covers Slobberbone’s “Lumberlung”

Portrait of musician Ronnie Fauss, photographed in Brooklyn, NY
Portrait of musician Ronnie Fauss, photographed in Brooklyn, NY

There are few songs that move me quite as much as Slobberbone’s “Lumberlung.” I’d put it up there with Ryan Adams’ ‘Oh My Sweet Carolina’ and Drive-By Truckers’ ‘Goddamn Lonely Love’ on my ‘melancholy tales of faded love’ list

Nortex troubadour Ronnie Fauss wisely agrees. He pays honorable tribute on this fine rendition picking up the pace and little giving it an a slightly jauntier spin without losing any of the emotion-wrenching punch.

Of his relationship with the band and recording the song Fauss says “I first heard Slobberbone over the speakers at a now defunct record store on lower Greenville in Dallas. It stopped me in my tracks – I went to the counter and said “what in the hell is this?!?” The album was “Everything you thought was right was wrong today” and the song was “Lumberlung”.

I bought the CD on the spot, and listened all the way home. When I got home I went straight to the guitar that was under my bed (and had not been played in years) and started working on a song of my own. It was just my natural response to hearing Slobberbone for the first time – I had to make something of my own.

I became a superfan. I went to see them many times around Deep Ellum and other parts of Dallas…I introduced my buddies to them and they became superfans as well, we bonded like brothers at their shows. Also, I kept on writing my own songs. A few years later, I had a batch of material that I felt good enough about to record. I had read that (Slobberbone lead singer) Brent Best was recording local artists in his spare time in his home studio, so I went to see him at a solo gig he was playing at the Barley House…after a few shots of whiskey I mustered up the courage to approach him, introduce myself, and ask if he would be open to helping me make a record. He gave me a once-over and said “sure”, and that was that.

We recorded my first EP in his house in the Spring of 2008. It was very surreal to be recording with the songwriter who had encouraged me to start writing songs in the first place! It’s an intimate, stripped down recording…tracked over his linoleum kitchen floor. He would stand up between takes, go to the stove and stir something in a pot, and then return to the control board. He said he was cooking a goat. I’m proud of the record we made together, it’s called “New Songs For The Old Frontier Volume 1”.

When I was invited to pick a Slobberbone song to record for this project, I was elated. What an honor! But then a sort of creative atrophy took over. As I listened through their entire catalog in search of a song to cover, I came to realization – I could not improve on anything they had ever done. I only want to offer my own version of someone else’s song if I think I can bring something unique and meaningful to the table…but how could I improve on perfection???

And then it hit me – don’t try to do it better, just do it different. So I went back to “Lumberlung”…the first song I heard by Slobberbone in that record store more than a decade earlier, and an idea hit me. Speed it up a bit, change the tempo, bring in a banjo and a mandolin and a fiddle and turn it into a back porch picking number. Their original verison is perfect and beautiful and haunting, mine is something different.

I’m proud of how it turned out. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. I mean come on, I had about the best source material to work with that a man could ask for.’

Fauss joins Luther Dickinson and others that have recorded Slobberbone songs to celebrate the release of Bees and Seas: The Best Of Slobberbone

Ronnie Fauss Official Site | Slobberbone Official Site

Suburban Home Records Mix Tape Vol. 5, Someone’s Gonna Die

Denver, Colorado’s Suburban Home Records has released a fine compilation (Or for this roots music blogger, a convenient sonic crib sheet)  of new and classic roots rock and Americana music entitled Suburban Home Records Mix Tape Vol. 5, Someone’s Gonna Die. The title is inspired by I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In the House’s new album, “The Sounds of Dying (featured here as the first two cuts as well as ICLASOBITH lead singer Micahel Dean Damron ballsy solo version of Townes Van Zandt’s Waiting Around to Die.) This mix was bound for greatness. How can you not trust this kind of music to a label owned by a guy named Virgil?

Go grab this release (via You Send It)  for some fine music for your next Summer cookout or that next riveting game of whiskey-fueled Russian roulette.

1. I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House – Swear to God
2. I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House – Postcards and Apologies (Two Cow Garage cover)
3. Two Cow Garage – Postcards and Apologies
4. Micahel Dean Damron – Waiting Around to Die (Townes Van Zandt cover)
5. Townes Van Zandt – Waiting Around to Die
6. Austin Lucas – Sleep Well (Demo)
7. Trampled By Turtles – Wait So Long
8. Oblio’s Arrow – End of the Burning Moon
9. Tim Barry – Exit Wounds.mp3
10. Slobberbone – Placemat Blues.mp3
11. John Moreland and the Black Gold Band – Bastards of the Highway
12. Jeff Rowe – Kate
13. The Replacements – Unsatisfied
14. Jon Snodgrass – Fast in Last
15. Arliss Nancy – Stella Lovely
16. Jr. Juggernaut – Another Two Weeks
17. Alexander Hudjohn – Down So Low
18. Calling Morocco – Break Your Heart
19. Tin Horn Prayer – Louis Collins
20. Jared Grabb – Devil Between
21. Lucky Old Sun – Back in Style
22. Armchair Martian – …Not Fine (Demo)
23. The Takers – Drift
24. Look Mexico – Take it Upstairs, Einstein
25. Geraldine Fibbers – Lilybelle
26. Pariah Beat – Elvis in Jerusulum
27. Drag the River – Beautiful and Damned
28. BEERS – I Love You (But I Don’t Trust You)
29. The Evening Rig – Half Asleep
30. Hank Williams, Jr. – If You Don’t Like Hank Williams.mp3