LISTEN: Death Ain’t No Big Deal by Rev. Brown

Every now & again, between cigarette breaks, after the show, the recording machine will be left unattended and running. Sometimes, we end up with what, more often than not, becomes some sort of cherished artifact for the GF archive.

Remembering one such time when the Shoal Creek Stranglers would pick & lick their way through Sinful Sunday Singings, a free show & supper combo hosted at various churches in the Georgia & South Carolina area.

It was an occasion when associates would track their own performance, at times unbeknownst to them.

We’re proud to present one such artifact, a tune that is all too relevant.

Performed on the spot by Reverend Douglas Brown, Death Ain’t No Big Deal.

Early 90’s promotional photo of the Drovers Old Time Medicine Show

In related GF news, we received report on the passing of Uncle Carl, banjo player for The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show since 1991.

Uncle Carl was known throughout the upstate and beyond, not only for his musical abilities, but also for his soft spoken voice & loving nature.

May Uncle Carl’s memory forever permeate through the songs & jokes he would tell, within the hearts of those who remember him well, as he eternally travels that low down damp & dusty trail.

Debut: The Drovers release WCCP radio show collection

Three decades after initially airing on Clemson’s WCCP radio, The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show are set to release over 30 songs from their original program.

Spanning throughout a period of almost five years, this collection is perhaps the most comprehensive selection of early-era Drover recordings ever made available.

Several bluegrass standards from Monroe, Carter & Tanner are all present as well as several outstanding originals by Drover’s front-man, Ed Campbell (AKA: Dr. Trundell, AKA: Grandpa) and these include “Autumn Time (In Caroline)”, “That Low Down Damp & Dusty Trail” & charming closer “The Mailbox Song”.

Following their last studio album (2004’s Dreamland) the group tragically lost the master tapes for another album and began to slowly fade back into the dimly lit corners of juke joints, creek beds, and cow pastures.

Then in 2017, a box containing nearly every episode of their long-cancelled radio show was unearthed.

These cherished recordings, captured by original bassist Rob Keller, document The Drovers in their youth and during an extremely creative time for the punk rock-turned-bluegrass band, hailing from Prater’s Creek, SC.

The Drovers took their name a few years prior to the Irish-rock band by the same name, the latter even opting to send Dr. Trundell and the gang a “cease & desist” letter thus prompting the original (and first) Drovers to address the situation by writing it into a 2-part skit feature episode of their show:

As time ticks on, for the better part of almost 40 years, the band continues to live up to their name, herding cattle and droving their way through trials, tribulations, Alzheimer’s and death.

The Drovers’ WCCP-AM collection is avaliable now on Gypsy Farm Records via youtube & bandcamp.

“The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show blows everything else away” – Creative Loafing

“They are to bluegrass what Neil Armstrong is to the moon” – Flagpole

“Speed bluegrass and church waltzes lovingly and brilliantly played” – MOJO

The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show with their “Hillbilly Doppler” (patent pending)

Listen: “Requiem For A Linthead” by Pine Tar Rage

According to the South Carolina Encyclopedia, the nickname Linthead “likely came into common usage early in the twentieth century, when the growing number of cotton mills and mill workers began to alter the landscape of South Carolina life.” – Tom Terrill

While upstate singer songwriter, Ed Campbell (Pine Tar Rage, The Drovers) is no stranger to the late-night lint life, he has also spent the better part of 40 years documenting the Palmetto area through song, and proudly exclaims:

“I’ve stayed past my prime, I’ve stayed past my time – should have quit – yes I know – but I’m paying debts to the bets made a long time ago”

This release marks the first new material from the group since last year’s track “Perfect Day”, a softer-song structure when compared to the rest of PTR’s discography, it should come as no sudden surprise to long time fans of The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show, also fronted by Campbell.

Stream and share “Requiem For A Linthead” by Pine Tar Rage, and enjoy this excerpt of an interview Campbell gave back in 2019 on the hallucinate forming of The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show.

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