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Jean Lafitte

I’ve been trying to listen to as much fiddle music as I can because I think listening a lot will help me become stronger on the instrument. Recently I came across some videos featuring a fiddler from Seattle named Vivian Williams. I have really been enjoying her fiddling. In most of the videos, she performs with her husband Phil on guitar.

I don’t know anything about regional fiddle traditions out in Washington state. Her fiddling reminds me of midwest fiddling more than Appalachian old time. Here are Phil and Vivian Williams performing a tune called Jean Lafitte (or is it Jean Latiff?). There are numerous videos featuring her fantastic fiddling if you want to check them out further.

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The Whole Shindig

The new episode of The Agency is up! Listen here or find it in all the good podcast places.

Regina King’s directorial debut of ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI is a must see according to Candy. I revisit two David Fincher movies.  What do songwriting, memory, community and creative longevity have in common? We reach a milestone for our podcast. We read listener mail, disagree about a hot new documentary and I talk about a secret obsession I observed about  Candy: I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.

Please email us suggestions, complaints, your reading  or viewing recommendations. We love to hear from you!

Or send us a postcard, letter or package to:
The Agency
c/o Anthony Stagg
P.O. Box 8912801
1859 South Ashland Avenue
Chicago, Il. 60608

Thanks for listening!

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Free Books!

Free books are available at the 27th Street Book Box, located in front of our place Twenty Seventh, about half a block north of Lake Prom, here in Toronto’s Long Branch neighbourhood. There has been more than the usual amount of activity and turnover at this free library during the pandemic.

Right now, there are some great titles available, including a free copy of Volume 2 of the Squeeze Box Man graphic novel. For those who don’t know, that is my creation. I’ve written the stories, which have been beautifully illustrated by Jacob Yerex. So far, 5 volumes of Squeeze Box Man are available. There will be 6 in total to complete the story arc. For anyone interested, we still have copies of issues 1-5 and they are available by email – Each issue $12 CAN + $3 shipping to anywhere.

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Handsome Boy

Tuffy P asked me to dig through our massive photo archives to find a particular photo from a few years ago. While digging around in there I was stopped in my tracks by this photo of our handsome Newf George.

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Waiting for the Booger-boo

The Lazy Goat Stringband

I’ve been listening to various versions of a tune called Sandy Boys because I’m learning to play it on fiddle. I came across this odd, slow, haunting version on YouTube performed by the Lazy Goat Stringband. Often you hear Sandy Boys as an instrumental but it does have an interesting set of lyrics. What we play as Sandy Boys is usually attributed to West Virginia fiddler Edden Hammons. After some Googling though, I’ve learned there is a similar melody that goes back to minstrel shows. I don’t know the origin of the lyrics.

There are a lot of different lyrics kicking around. They’re all somewhat strange and I find them very compelling. Here is one set:

Somebody stole my old black dog
I wish they’d bring him back
He run the big hogs over the fence
And the little ones through the crack

We all had a picnic lunch
Dinner all over the ground
Possum meat was nine-foot deep
Green flies a-walkin’ around

Sixteen miles of mountain road
Chickens are crowin’ for day
We are lookin’ for the big boss man
Tryin’ to get our pay

Mama, she lies sick in bed
Papa’s gone to town
Charlie wears them high-top boots
I wish he’d come ’round

Do get along, Sandy Boys
Do get along, do
Do get along, Sandy Boys
Waiting for the boogger-boo

Most sets of lyrics I’ve come across mention the booger-boo or the bugger-boo or the boogie-boo or even the buggy-boo. I think it perhaps refers to what we might call today the boogie-man. Is it an evil spirit, or maybe the devil?

I really like this fiddle version of Sandy Boys from the Old Time Fiddle Session YouTube channel…

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Sex With Aliens

The new episode is up! Listen here or find it at all the good podcast places.

This week, we get into contemporary versions of classic B-movie, sci-fi, beer drinking monsters . Why is there a sudden interest in producing kitsch 1950s movies featuring low-tech analog machines and masking tape? And if there are aliens, why don’t they visit me? We are so grateful to our listeners…Thank you!