Friday, March 20, 2009

Trap Door by T-Bone Burnett

When I first moved to South Texas in the fall of 1982, I was listening to this EP by T-Bone Burnett. I'm not sure where I came across it. Perhaps there was a review in Rolling Stone, or maybe it was his connection to Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue. Whatever the reason, Trap Door got a lot of play that fall and winter. As I remember, I even recorded it on a cassette tape, so I could play it in the truck as well.

After the playing in the Rolling Thunder Revue, T-Bone formed the Alpha Band which recorded two albums. I have to confess that I am not familiar with either album.

 In 1982, he went into the studio with former Dylan sidemen David Mansfield (guitar), Steven Soles (vocals) and David Kempner (drums). The result was this 6 song EP that contains an intriguing meld of folk and pop music. The lyrics are clever, the rhythms are compelling and each song contains a hook that stays in your mind. Here is the track list:
  1. Hold on Tight
  2. Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend
  3. I Wish You Could Have Seen Her Dance
  4. A Ridiculous Man
  5. Poetry
  6. Trap Door

Born in 1948, T-Bone was raised in Fort Worth, where he made records starting in the mid-60's. In the 1970's, he relocated to Los Angeles and hooked up with Bob Dylan for the Rolling Thunder Revue. Since then, T-Bone has released 8 solo albums, plus a greatest hits collection called Twenty Twenty The Essential T Bone Burnett which came out in 2006. He is a very talented and prolific singer and songwriter.

 Besides his own records, he has been a producer for other artists like Elvis Costello, Counting Crows, K.D. Lang, The Wallflowers, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. He also produced the brilliant How Will The Wolf Survive for Los Lobos (see post from December 7). In 2002, he won four grammy awards for the music from the movie O Brother Where Art Thou?  More recently, he was the executive music producer for the Johnny Cash film Walk The Line.

Unfortunately, Trap Door never made the transition from vinyl to CD. Unless you still have that turntable handy, this could be a problem. You can find some of the Trap Door songs on Twenty Twenty. It is available on iTunes and from Amazon.


  1. kate burke, kathy orthwein and mary scott were the go go girls in the cages at the beach club in the 60's - i remember them getting dressed!

    george was one of the funniest and most generous men and our lives are that much richer for having had him in it. we wont ever forget him.

  2. Do you, or have you ever tried to play music?? You are a country-club dilettante who thinks he can buy his way into the music scene. I see from Amazon you are an afficiando of crap literature as well. An empty life that not even wealth can fullfill. Go kill another bird, if that will help you. Maybe a new set of clubs?

  3. Hey Annoymous are you feeling a little cranky today? Not sure where all this venom comes from. If there is something wrong with supporting the artists I like by buying their CDs and trying to get others to do the same, I guess I'm guilty as charged.

    Before you criticize my taste in literature, maybe you should work on your spelling. Obviously, you are no English major.

    If you don't like my blog, don't read it. There has to be a better place for you on the world wide web. Maybe you are the one with the empty life, if you have so much time to dog me.

    Have a nice day!

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