Spotlighting Roger Knox, with Bill Anderson of the Meat Purveyors and Sally Timms of the Mekons
This week, we’ve been sharing a special collection of songs with you, one at a time, performed by some of the finest artists at work in Americana music these days. The tunes in question have been plucked fresh from a new album with Roger Knox which will be released on 2/12 by the fine folks at Bloodshot Records.
“Since Roger has such an inspiring life story and rich musical history, we wanted to have fellow musicians—the artistic contributors to his album—tell you about how Roger’s musical journey connected with each of them throughout the making of this album. Each day we will feature a different artist who contributed to Roger’s album, their testimonial, and an exclusive streaming track from the forthcoming album.”
Monday, we kicked off this series with a track from Kelly Hogan, Tuesday it was one with the great and talented Dave Alvin, yesterday we shared a song featuring Dallas Good (the Sadies) and Tawny Newsome (Skull Orchard). Today we’re sharing tracks from Bill Anderson of the Meat Purveyors and Sally Timms of the Mekons. Below you’ll find those artists’ thoughts on the tracks they recorded with and for Roger, as well as a free stream of each.
First up, BILL ANDERSON (The Meat Purveyors):
“That song Ticket to Nowhere haunts me, coming into my head at random times. Jon gave me a demo of it so I could play the song with him at shows. I wrote a little solo for it and the song stuck in my head, for all time apparently. Then later he asked me to record my part for the record – I didn’t quite understand at first that not only Roger Knox but also Charlie Louvin would be singing on it. Now THAT is something pretty awesome. I can’t wait to hear the whole album. Once again, I owe Langford big time…”
Bill Anderson is a member of the Meat Purveyors and Austin Music Hall of Fame inductee.
LISTEN: Roger Knox featuring Bill Anderson, “Ticket To Nowhere”
SALLY TIMMS (member of Mekons, vocals on “Home In the Valley”):
“An Australian friend first introduced me to Jimmy Little’s music (probably the best known Aboriginal singer) back in 2001 when we toured there with the Wacos. I knew very little about how extensive the Aboriginal Country scene was at that point. It makes a lot of sense that Jon would be drawn to these musicians, after all, we are all strangers to country music in a way, none of us American, it’s not part of our heritage, I didn’t know too much of Roger’s background until I started preparing his petition for his US work visa, and what i read just blew me away, I found it to be an inspiration. I didn’t realize how much of an activist he was until that point, how extensively he worked with his community: he’s just a very righteous man. This was all borne out when I met him as he is a very gentle, kind and powerful personality. We cried when we saw him off at O’Hare after his visit and suffered “Roger Withdrawal” for weeks.
“Home in the Valley” was sung by Auntie Maisie Kelly as part of a documentary field recording. Roger was friends with Maisie and I think he was quite moved that this song ended up on the record. I love how it maps out the land, as if you are taking a journey with the singer along the Macleay river in New South Wales. I suppose I felt a connection to that as I grew up in a small village in North Yorkshire and sometimes track my way through those old country paths by memory in the same way that Maisie does in this song.”
(Learn more about Sally Timms.)
LISTEN: “Home In the Valley”
*Sponsored by Bloodshot Records