The Architecture of Life: Jimmie Dale's Reading List

The Architecture of Life - Christopher K. Travis

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Jimmie Dale's Reading List

Here we have living proof that one of the finest singer-songwriters in America was a fan of the Round Top Register back in its early days. This online interview is from the early days of chat, back when my youngest son - whose now the technology genius behind my Internet start-up - was building "bots" on IRC.

Braver Newer World - one of Jimmie Dale Gilmore's many fine albums - which was produced by the great T. Bone Burnett, was close to its release date. So this was actually a pretty historic interview; historic in terms of Jimmie Dale's music and the early days of the Internet in Texas.

And of course historic in terms of outing Jimmie Dale's impeccable taste in literature.

By a freak accident, my oldest son, who now runs the home building company I used to own, was the roommate of Jimmie Dale's son in their freshman year at what was then Southwest Texas University a few years later. (Now it's Texas State University)

Again, you never know what will happen. Also notice that Jimmie Dale was into physics, harmonics and other "non-musical" ideas. Just goes to show the diversity of his gifts.

I wonder what he would think about Truehome?


Transcript of a Live Web Chat from August 8, 1996

Moderator: Recording artist Jimmie Dale Gilmore is here with us tonight.

Moderator: Hey everyone. We've got Jimmie Dale here. Feel free to send questions and we'll start answering them shortly! Thanks for joining us!

JimmieDale: Hi everyone! We already have questions coming and I'm still learning how it works. This looks like fun!

jstawav: Greetings from the wet 'n' windy west coast of Ireland, Jimmy Dale!

sk11244: hi, from the gulf coast

JimmieDale: I'll bet it's cooler in Ireland than it is here right now.

jstawav: It's 3am and kinda sultry

j: hi from the most eastern point in Canada

Gian: hi from soon to be stormy Long Island!

hipbone: Hello there from Los Angeles, too hot to be cool...

JimmieDale: I see a bunch of questions happening at once, so give me a little while to sort out the order. We are sitting in sweltering Austin at the Monsterbit Media studios. Janet and I had a picnic on the floor a little while ago. Lot's of garlic! (Good that's not online.)

Gian: You've got your own web site, as I saw from clicking on the banner -- do you think these will become the liner notes of the future?

JimmieDale: I think they will be even more so than they are already.

nottwtr: how did the mudhoney collaboration come about ?

Moderator: jimmie's typing a bit slow ;)

JimmieDale: We actually had mutual friends from very different corners of the world. Faith Henschel (from Seattle) and Peter Blackstock (from Austin) were I think, the original instigators of that interesting trip.

Vashon: What do you do when you want to write a song and it's not flowing...the inspiration's not there?

Moderator: now introducing JANET...jimmie's wife..she types quickly!

JimmieDale: Sometimes inspiration is automatic and sometimes it is nowhere to be found

jstawav: Hi: Has Jimmie any plans to return to Ireland in the near future?

JimmieDale: I have a great desire to return to Ireland at any time, but I don't think there are any firm bookings there right now. We have a lot to do in the US right now.

JimmieDale: Back to the inspiration question -- Isn't that the question almost everybody is almost always trying to find the answer to ?

nottwtr: I remember seeing a tv program with you, Butch Hancock and Kinky Friedman sitting on a porch exchanging stories and songs ? What was this and is it available ?

Moderator:'ve got it right

JimmieDale: This was done by the BBC and I actually never saw the finished product -- it aired over here on Bravo or something and was recorded on Mike Crowley (my manager's) back porch.

Vashon: Jimmie, Joy here on Vashon. Last time you were here you sang a really beautiful song about someone named RosaMaria. What was the name of it and who wrote it? I really loved it.

JimmieDale: That's a song by Steve Young called Silver Lake.

Meff: if you could play with anyone in a live setting, who would you most likely be?

JimmieDale: Living or dead?

Meff: doesn't matter!

JimmieDale: Hank Williams, Elvis Presley and John Lennon would be great!

Moderator: Now there is a show. Jimmie, I have a question.

Meff: all at the same time?

JimmieDale: Of course!

Moderator: Who are these bands opening the Braver Newer World tour?

JimmieDale: Scud Mountain Boys, Dale Watson and the Old '97's will be opening various dates.

Moderator: I know you are leaving tomorrow for the first dates of your tour. where are you headed?

JimmieDale: We'll be at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA on Monday, July 15th opening or Willie Nelson.

RonT: Will you play NYC? Fisch: From Casey, "When is the next river trip!".

JimmieDale: Yes, on August 21st -- see the web site for details. I'll also be doing a songwriting workshop at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, NY July 22 - 26.

Moderator: Tell us about the river trips!

JimmieDale: Hi Casey! I think we need a lot more rain before we have anymore river trips.

Moderator: I know a lot of the imagery from your last record was west Texas imagery. that seems to be a theme, eh? who are the photogs?

JimmieDale: The river trips we're talking about are in the canyons of the Rio Grande in the Big Bend of West Texas. The river is slow right now because of the drought.

RonT: Oh, my God, I was in Rhinebeck Sunday, visiting a friend who lives a mile away from the Omega institute (I passed it). Is this a public show?

JimmieDale: The current album, Braver Newer World has highway photos by Weyman Meinzer and Spinning Around the Sun had photos by Keith Carter.

JimmieDale: No. The Omega Institute is sold out.

Vashon: Jimmie, we all like to know what music you listen to when you're not singin' your own songs. Who's on your stereo at the moment?

JimmieDale: Son Volt has had the most recent play at our house.

j: What about a current "living" artist , who would you want to play with.

JimmieDale: I've been wanting to work with Phillip Glass.

Foil: Are you still working with Butch Hancock?

JimmieDale: Not as much as I'd like to. We seem to running in different circles.

jstawav: Who would you cite as your main influences

JimmieDale: Probably Hank Williams, Elvis Presley and John Lennon.

Vashon: Who's Son Volt??

JimmieDale: Their debut album "Traces" is available at the record store -- go get it! I particularly like the song "Tear-stained Eyes"

jstawav: Can Butch Hancock really dance like the dickens to the West Texas Waltz?

JimmieDale: Yes, I have seen him!

Meff: When you write a song, do compose the music first, or the lyrics or both at the same time?

JimmieDale: They usually come together.

Gian: Which performer would you most like to have open for you?

JimmieDale: Wow that's a hard one to answer.

Moderator: (pausing....we really stumped him :)

Fisch: I heard Son Volt got their name from the two (old) record companies (actually, Sun). They figured this was a sure fire contract! True? (at least, its a good story!)

Moderator: yeah, that's what i heard. they really are quite good.

JimmieDale: I don't know if that's true, though.

Vashon: From Richard - Any chance of a Flatlanders tour (without the saw)?

JimmieDale: A chance, but the same small chance it's always been.

JimmieDale: We all want to do it but the organization and scheduling is virtually impossible.

jstawav: If you had to choose one song that best defines your ethos, what would it be?

JimmieDale: Every Grain of Sand (by Bob Dylan).

Fisch: How is touring Europe different from US? When I was there, a lot of good names were doing small clubs. Oh, and we LOVE the saw :)

JimmieDale: The trains are much better in Europe.

JimmieDale: Also, almost everyone speaks good English.

Moderator: ahhh. but the biscuits!

davemc: How was it working with T-Bone Burnett?

JimmieDale: T-Bone is fun to work with. His mind operates in a totally different manner from mine.

Moderator: i know it has been quite a while since your last record. what have you been doing?

JimmieDale: Lots of touring, then lots of recording.

Moderator: do you prefer the live setting or the studio?

JimmieDale: At different times, they both can be wonderful or frustrating.

Moderator: now, being the creator of your web site....i know you LOVE to take digital pictures. let's talk about how technology has influenced your music!

JimmieDale: An earlier form of technology called the guitar has defined my music. But the digital camera is allowing me into a new world.

davemc: Who is in your band?

JimmieDale: Mary Cutrufello, Rob Hooper, Rob Gjersoe, Brad Fordham.

Meff: What led you to kind of "revamp" the players in the band?

JimmieDale: The old band evaporated and the new one coalesced.

Moderator: what's it like playing with a bunch of generation X'ers?

JimmieDale: I think musicians have always been weird -- in every generation.

Moderator: what was your earliest memory!

JimmieDale: I remember the song "Harbor Lights", which still has a strange power over me.

Moderator: um, who did that?

JimmieDale: I think the first version I heard was, no not the Platters, an even earlier group.

Fisch: The new band is an interesting mix of Generation X and Jimmie's Generation WHY!

JimmieDale: How can I answer that -- the earlier answer still goes.

Moderator: hey Jimmie....i think i just got a message from a long lost friend!.

hipbone: My wife tells me it's unfair of me to hide behind "hipbone". Charles Cameron here, Jimmie. Glad you're on the planet.

JimmieDale: Hi Charles! The feeling is mutual. Send me your address.

Moderator: planets.....what do you think about astrology? western? eastern?

JimmieDale: The study of harmonics will one day influence all of psychology and physics, to boot!

Moderator: physics and psychology? elaborate

JimmieDale: You can't have one without the other.

Gian: Are you a big believer in synchronicity?

Moderator: physics...that's pretty heavy. do you study it much?

JimmieDale: I notice it happening all the time. I like to read about modern physics, but I don't like to study it.

Moderator: What do you think about the fact that western culture often denies synchronicity?

Joy: What's Harmonics, Jimmie? Enlighten us, please

JimmieDale: It's a more mathematical approach to determining the commingling influences of the heavens.

Moderator: > FROM hipbone: Archbishop Temple said, "when I pray, coincidences happen, when I don't, they don't."

JimmieDale: Isn't it strange how people will say "There's no such thing as coincidence"?

davemc: Who is Al Strehli Jr.

JimmieDale: Al is a friend of mine from Lubbock, TX who writes some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. I've recorded several of his songs. By the way, the real dog days start on July 23rd.

Moderator: speaking of dog days....why did you name these chats dog days?

JimmieDale: It seemed like good timing.

Moderator: it's hotter than a pancake on a griddle too!

Moderator: Does he perform in Texas?

JimmieDale: Are you talking about Al? He doesn't perform at all that I know of.

jstawav: Did you ever get any reaction from Townes Van Zandt to the Mudhoney "Buckskin Stallion"?

JimmieDale: Yes, he told me he liked it.

Moderator: ok...just a few more questions y'all.

davemc: What are some of your favorite websites?

JimmieDale: I like the Round Top Register. And Robert Anton Wilson's home page, and the related Principia Discordia.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Despite the various connections, I never got to meet Jimmie Dale. For our anniversary, my wife bought me a ticket for one of his musical river trips - but for lack of water - the trip was canceled.

The Queen and I paddled Boquillas Canyon a couple of years later. It was awesome, but not the same as it would have been if I could have jammed with Jimmie Dale.

I would have pitched him one of my songs.