Sunday, July 1, 2012

Whiskey Beer and Wine

I think this is Knees' most commercial song. It sounds like something you might have heard on the radio in 1981. But for some reason he never played it with either the Calhoon Brothers or Night Flight. 

In 1982 he played piano for a year in a small cocktail lounge with a husband and wife team. It was quiet, intimate music and Knees really had to learn how to sing subtly, which he had never done before. He did this song as well as many unusual (for him) songs like "Just the Two of Us" and "Just the Way You Are". You know, lounge songs.

Unfortunately I have no recordings. After a year at the lounge he got back together with the new Calhoon Brothers and went back to his honky-tonk ways. Even moreso, because the new Brothers had a fiddle player. But they tended to play at private parties more than at the bars. By 1983 the decline of live bar music in Las Cruces had begun.

Written: Gallagher Street, Las Cruces NM, 1981

There used to be a wonderfully rustic bar on the New Mexico/Texas border called the Anthony Gap. Knees played there quite a bit with Night Flight and got to know the owner well enough to ask for an old neon Budweiser sign that the bar wasn’t using. He thought it would look great in his living room window at home, but it didn’t. It did, however, inspire this song about booze.

There’s a neon sign in a smoky little bar
It flashes on and off red and white
And the neon sign it’s the story of my life
It tells my tale a thousand times a night.

Whiskey beer and wine
Reads the flashing neon sign
Whiskey beer and wine every night
Whiskey beer and wine
Do you wanna know my sign?
It’s whiskey beer and wine.

Once there was a girl, aw but that was long ago
Before I learned to drink my blues away
And once there was a dream,
Oh I wonder where it’s gone
Let’s drink to it comin back someday.

The Last Trump