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I put this acoustic-instrumental piece together in about an hour. I named it “Little Acoustic Mess" because of the haste that I created it in.

I may go back and work on it, tighten it up and add lyrics for either the band or myself, but as of right now, it is as it stands.

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Here’s a lil’ banjo-stomp tune to kick Tuesday off right. It’s called “Black Rock” by The Muckrakes. It was taped live in Hampton, VA.

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Sugar Darlin’ by The Muckrakes. “Love is a rollercoaster, let’s take it for a ride”. The band will be playing in Newport News, VA tonight at 9PM.


We managed to procure the mixing and mastering talent of Brent Lambert at Kitchen Mastering, right outside of Raleigh, NC for our upcoming CD, Grandiphonia.

The Kitchen is regarded as one the premier audio mastering facilities in the southeast. It’s reputation has been built through years of experience working with the musicians, producers and engineers who have trusted the studio to bring their recording projects to the next level. The Kitchen has been nominated several times for the Grammy as well.

Some of the groups and recordings that it has worked with and mastered are: Alejandro Escovedo, Ani DeFranco, Athenaeum, Avett Brothers, Camper Van Beethoven, Carbon Leaf, Chatham County Line, The Connells, Cowboy Mouth, Cracker, Hackensaw Boys, Le Tigre, Leftover Salmon, The Meat Puppets, Mitch Easter, Roman Candle and Superchunk…now they can add The Muckrakes to its list of clientele.

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I wrote this song long before I started playing with The Muckrakes. It’s going to appear on our upcoming CD, Grandiphonia.

Pigeonholing South-East VA, fitting The Muckrakes into any one genre is a difficult task because they meld so many vibrant instruments into a heady mash uniquely all their own.

Their music can shift to sometimes quiet and reflective, sometimes foot stomping and rambunctious, sometimes pure and innocent, and sometimes dark and moody. This is a rock band with bluegrass guts, ragtime legs, folk sensibilities and a dash of the blues for good measure.

Together, the group has found the right combination of sweet and sinister, of power and weakness, of new and old and is here to help make the celebration of life a little more rowdy.

Please leave a comment or reblog.

Whatcha think?

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"Brand New Key" is a pop song written by folk singer Melanie (Melanie Safka), which became a novelty hit in 1971-72. Taken from Melanie’s album Gather Me, it was also known as “The Rollerskate Song”. It was her biggest hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in December 1971 and January 1972. It reached #1 in Canada and Australia, and #4 in the UK charts.

The song has been covered by numerous artist including Janis Joplin.

Melanie’s version of “Brand New Key” was featured in the 1997 film Boogie Nights.

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MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW by THE SOGGY BOTTOM BOYS (Oh Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack)

Man of Constant Sorrow is a traditional American folk song first recorded by Dick Burnett, a partially blind fiddler from Kentucky. The song was originally recorded by Burnett as “Farewell Song” printed in a Richard Burnett songbook, c. 1913. An early version was recorded by Emry Arthur in 1928. The song was made popular by Dr. Ralph Stanley in the 1930’s.

It has been covered countless times by many musicians but the best known version of the song was covered by recorded by Dan Tyminski, Harley Allen, and Pat Enright. It was a hit in the movie for The Soggy Bottom Boys and later became a hit single in real life. It received a CMA for “Single of the Year” and a Grammy for “Best Country Collaboration with Vocals” and it peaked at #35 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Dan Tyminski performes this song at the Crossroads Guitar Festival with Ron Block and live with Alison Krauss. The version used in the film is closest in lyrics and singing style to Ralph Stanley’s.

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The Violent Femmes was founded by bassist Brian Ritchie and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo following the demise of the initial wave of American punk rock, and became a full-fledged band upon the arrival of lead vocalist and guitarist Gordon Gano. In its early days, the band frequently played coffee houses and street corners. They were discovered by James Honeyman-Scott (of The Pretenders) on August 23, 1981, when the band was busking on a street corner in front of the Oriental Theatre, the Milwaukee venue that The Pretenders would be playing later that night. Chrissie Hynde invited them to play a brief acoustic set after the opening act.

The band signed to the then-independent Los Angeles punk label Slash Records. They released their debut, Violent Femmes, which they had recorded in July 1982. The music was an innovative combination of American folk music and punk rock, which would much later come to be known as “folk punk”. The lyrics were the common themes of yearning for love, sex and affection. The group quickly gained a following that never veered into mainstream commercialism. A few songs that gained recognition include “Add It Up”, “Blister in the Sun”, “Gone Daddy Gone”, “Kiss Off”, and “Please Do Not Go”. The debut album went platinum 10 years after its release.

Mustaches Fighting Cancer »

Gravy, (aka Dave) the drummer for THE MUCKRAKES is taking part in Movember by growing a mustache to fight against cancer.

Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men’s health.

Please help support the 1 in 2 men that will be diagnosed w/ cancer. Even a SMALL donation of a few is better than nothing and one step closer to fighting the disease.

Please donate to Gravy and you’ll be helping him fight cancer.

Review of our newest CD, "Grandiphonia" »

I play in The Muckrakes and the latest review for our newest CD hit the internet so make sure ya check out the review…or better yet, buy our CD, “Grandiphonia”.

C’mon, it ain’t gonna hurt ya and ya ain’t got nothin’ better to do.

Hardcopy release is in 2 weeks.

Interested in a copy for review? Hit me up.

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The Avett Brothers is a folk rock band from Concord, North Carolina. The band is made up of two brothers, Scott Avett and Seth Avett, who play the banjo and guitar respectively, and Bob Crawford who plays the stand-up bass.

They are often joined on tour by cellist Joe Kwon. Following on from Seth and Scott’s former rock band Nemo, the Avett Brothers combine bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, honky tonk, and ragtime to produce a sound described as having the “heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of the Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones.”

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The Carolina Chocolate Drops are an old-time string band from Durham, North Carolina, Formed in November 2005 following the members’ attendance at the Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, North Carolina, the group is one of the few remaining African American string bands. There are three members: Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons, and Justin Robinson, who were all in their twenties when the group formed.

All of the musicians sing and trade instruments including banjo, fiddle, guitar, harmonica, snare drum, bones, jug, and kazoo. The group learned much of their repertoire, which is based on the traditional music of the Piedmont region of North and South Carolina, from the eminent African American old-time fiddler Joe Thompson, although they also perform old-time versions of some modern songs such as Blu Cantrell’s R&B hit “Hit ‘em Up Style.”

Like most of the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ work, the album, a mixture of traditional folk songs and recent pieces, is part of the Chocolate Drops’ effort to celebrate the string band music of the Piedmont region of North and South Carolina, and the influence of African-Americans on this music

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Charles Rich (Charlie) (December 14, 1932 – July 25, 1995) was an American country music singer and musician. A Grammy Award winner, his eclectic-style of music was often hard to classify in a single genre, playing in the rockabilly, jazz, blues, country, and gospel genres.

In the latter part of his life, Rich acquired the nickname The Silver Fox. He is perhaps best remembered for a pair of 1973 hits, “Behind Closed Doors” and “The Most Beautiful Girl”. “The Most Beautiful Girl” topped the U.S. country singles charts, as well as the pop singles charts.

He died in his sleep on July 25, 1995, in a Hammond, Louisiana motel. He was 62 years old. The cause of death was a blood clot in his lung. He was buried in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.

Some of my friend’s (Greg Willis) Cigar Box Guitars (CBG).

I gotta get back to constructing mine again. After looking at Greg’s, he’s inspired me to finish my project…it seems that there’s not enough hours in the day and I run outta time whenever I start working on it.