He Never Ever Learned To Read Or Write So Well

I am working up a set of some fingerpicking stuff suitable for happy hours and the like and remembered this song. I was pretty obsessed with the guitar part when I discovered it about ten years ago. When I searched for how to play it on the internet, all I could find was a lot of arguing about the tuning and speculation that it was done on two tracks. Maybe someone had done the legwork now and I can find out how it’s done. For likers of Richard Thompson, especially recommended:

This chiming, percussive style is all over his works but Nic Jones got into a bad car accident a couple of years after recording this, effectively ending his career. No doubt the NHS helped Nic to get back on his feet and live his life out richly and with dignity. Your equivalent American musician would be shit outta luck.

So if we’re going to change that we’ve got to move some dems into the House. With that, here is the fund that’s split between all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.

Goal Thermometer

Bonus! “Cisco! Are you ready to watch the beautiful show basenjis  at Westminster?”

I know that I must do what’s right As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become

84 replies
  1. 1
    Sab says:

    That basenji needs his molars brushed.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    Toto? For your African dog? REALLY?

    I actually want a basenji for my apartment now.

  3. 3
    Jeffro says:

    Bibi’s indictments just dropped, whoa nellie!

  4. 4
    Jeffro says:

    (okay, just recommendations to indict…but STILL!)

    Defend him too, Trumpov: you’ve already excused child molestors, pardoned a concentration camp warden, and loved on a wife-beater. Why not jump to defend a bribe taker?

  5. 5
    trollhattan says:

    Because Richard Thompson is mentioned I will note my fondness for all things Richard Thompson. See him and marvel at where the second guitarist must be hidden. He’s also funny as hell for somebody who writes such sardonic lyrics.

    Nic Jones is new to me, so thanks!

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    JS, who are your favorite finger pickers?

    Lester Flatt?
    Richard Buckner?

  7. 7
    LAO says:

    @Jeffro: The current Israeli Attorney General is right wing — I do not expect that he will approve of any indictments. (I will rely on Mr. Silverman to fully analyze the situation).

  8. 8
    Jewish Steel says:

    @trollhattan: I’ll have a post about an RT album that you might not have in the near future. Keep watching the skies!

    John Hurt, Fred McDowell, Bukka White, Skip James, Davy Graham, Dave Van Ronk. For starters!

  9. 9
    WaterGirl says:

    Happy doggie!

    6 hours till the visiting pups arrive. Getting the house as prepared as I can. Lots of kitty snuggles as a pre-apology for 10 days of pups.

  10. 10
    russell says:

    “Your equivalent American musician would be shit outta luck.”

    nothing says “america” like musicians crowd-sourcing their hospital costs.

  11. 11
    BGinCHI says:

    @Jewish Steel: Great list.

    How about a record with great songs and finger picking?

    Hook me up.

  12. 12
    trollhattan says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    /M. Burns voice.

  13. 13
    cleek says:

    there are some spots in there where i think i hear two guitars – because it sometimes sounds like a chord is being held on one while a lead is playing on another and they’re in somewhat the same register. but then i think some more and realize this can be easily done with careful use of open strings and far more talent than i’ll even have.

    on the other hand:
    Doc Watson!

  14. 14
    realbtl says:

    @Jewish Steel: No love for Doc Watson and Merle Travis? They are the ones that got me started.

  15. 15
    Jewish Steel says:

    @BGinCHI: If you can track this bad boy down, it’s what made me realize that I had to play this stuff. https://www.discogs.com/Various-Blues-Roots/release/3843924

    @cleek: I’ve got a Doc Watson book lying around here somewhere. Definitely need to mine that for some material.

  16. 16
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: I left an initial gloss re: your question in the previous thread….

  17. 17
    Jewish Steel says:

    @realbtl: I like Doc Watson, but I really prefer the black people stuff. When I’m not listening to lily-white English folk like the above.

  18. 18
    cleek says:

    here’s a picture of me with Merle Watson, 74 or so.


  19. 19

    Oh dear, CNN alert says Israeli police have “sufficient evidence” to indict Bibi for corruption.

  20. 20
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Oh dear, CNN alert says Israeli police have “sufficient evidence” to indict Bibi for corruption.

    Israel will be much improved when he goes.

  21. 21
    Jewish Steel says:

    @cleek: Sweet! Your parents had good taste too, apparently. Nice hat.

  22. 22
    LAO says:

    @Immanentize: Thanks, I’m going to go check it out.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek: My God! You’re really Carter Page in real life!?!

  24. 24
  25. 25

    @TenguPhule: I wonder if he’ll spin it as fake news from the deep state.

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    Sarah Sanders is spinning as fast as she can, but her body language suggests that she is tired of this shit.

  27. 27
    cleek says:

    @Corner Stone:
    no, i still have my hair

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    @cleek: Huh. Neither of you looks 74! Seriously, though, are you the adorable child?

    Adorable child is adorable.

  29. 29
    bemused says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    And here we are with a WH and political party rife with corruption….

  30. 30
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I wonder if he’ll spin it as fake news from the deep state.

    I could have sworn he already did that last year when the investigation was ongoing.

  31. 31
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: And when they don’t indict Bibi, the orange pig in the whitehouse is going to say that means that leaders of countries can’;t be indicted.

  32. 32

    @JPL: She should quit. Because she can’t possibly be more tired of facing the public than I am of seeing her.

  33. 33
    otmar says:

    Btw fingerpicking guitar: have a look at https://youtu.be/Mf-2MlBGDVs

    I’m proud to be able to say that Thomas is the brother of a good friend of mine so I met him and saw him play a few times.

  34. 34
    cleek says:

    yup. that was me. in the long long ago.

  35. 35
    WaterGirl says:

    @cleek: I think I officially have a crush on young cleek. Don’t take it personally! :-)

  36. 36
    raven says:

    I have tickets for Jorma!!!!!

  37. 37

    It takes a Nic Jones posting to get me out of lurker status. There is tons of material on his guitar playing style when you dig in. Here is the best https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAOny7J33Lk Sam Carter is a great musician within the English ballad tradition.

  38. 38
    cleek says:

    it’s the Mighty Mouse shirt. chicks just can’t resist the mouse.

  39. 39
    WaterGirl says:

    @cleek: And the hat, don’t forget the hat.

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    Christopher Wray testifies that FBI probe of Rob Porter was completed way back in July.


    It is F-E-B-R-U-A-R-Y

    they knew in

  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:

    @JPL: She’s worn out, it’s obvious. And angry that people won’t just let it drop like they have for questions about all the other scandals. Does not seem to stop her weird facial expressions from being weird as she repeatedly lies.

  42. 42
    sxjames says:

    When talking about fingerpicking you really have to include Bert Jansch. He was one of the early pioneers, taking his cue from Davey Graham.


    And of course his own version of Black Waterside:

    (At least Jimmy Page stole from the best :) )

  43. 43
    Boatboy_srq says:

    Any US artist would be SOL on three counts.

    1) The performing arts in general, and music in particular, seriously sucks at supporting anyone below superstar-level self-sufficiency.

    2) outside AEA/SAG/AFTRA union world, healthe insutance is fugly to obtain and maintain.

    3) The GOTea has always hated the arts. Arts and artists are expensive, frequently critical of the status quo, and a drain on spending and education. any musician in the US will get short shrift from the GOTea no matter how successful unless they go full metal wingnut.

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    I see where Ivana Jr ignored/refused/ducked out on questions she was asked about Rob Porter. If she’s at a public event, promoting official WH admin initiatives (small business loans), then she’s on our time and our dime. She should not get to just float off.

  45. 45
    Mary G says:

    Woo Hoo!

    BOOM: @AGSchneiderman just won a preliminary injunction in federal court, blocking Trump’s discriminatory attempt to end DACA. pic.twitter.com/MR10DIX8DX— Eric Soufer (@EricSoufer) February 13, 2018

    Blue state AG FTW!

    ETA:OK, I know a preliminary injunction is not much of a win, but whatever anyone can do, can bring fruit.

  46. 46
    Mike J says:

    @Boatboy_srq: Alex Chilton died after he had chest pains mowing the lawn. Didn’t have health insurance, so he couldn’t go to the emergency room for something that might turn out to be nothing.

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I feel like something changed with this scandal, like political media are finally treating them like a normal administration.

    It’s so weird what sets them off. There can be 15 worse scandals and for some reason one just becomes the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s irrational.

  48. 48
    John Revolta says:

    As the Rev. Gary Davis used to say about Blind Blake: that boy’s got a “sportin’ right hand”!

  49. 49
    Mary G says:

    @Kay: It is strange, isn’t it?

    We're at the point in the Porter news cycle where the WH could actually use a Mueller indictment or two to change the subject.— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) February 13, 2018

  50. 50
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @BGinCHI: Mike Oldfield, hands down.

  51. 51
    Immanentize says:

    @Mike J: Alex Chilton by the Replacements

    Children by the million
    sing for Alex Chilton when he comes ’round
    They sing “I’m in love.
    What’s that song?
    I’m in love with that song.”

  52. 52
    Kay says:

    @Mary G:

    I wonder if it’s the trust they placed in Kelly. And I do mean “placed”. For no apparent reason.

  53. 53
    Kay says:

    @Mary G:

    Maybe it’s unrequited love for Kelly coupled with a slowly dawning realization that Republicans have been lying about their budgetary prowess for 30 years.

    Just betrayed all over the place, they were.

  54. 54
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: Look at the polling, though–it doesn’t really seem to be hurting Trump at all.

  55. 55
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Good. If only we could do the same to our Bibi.

  56. 56
    Gravenstone says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: On YouTube, I found a 1973 BBC special of Oldfield and about 20 of his closest friends doing Tubular Bells live. Kind of gobsmacking how young he was for all that.

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay: And that is no an exaggeration. There are 15 actual scandals, not psuedo-scandals, that could be hounded on for a couple weeks straight. Each of them. That’s not to downplay domestic violence, that’s just the magnitude of corruption in this WH.
    What is it about this one that is sticking? People in the WH having their knives out for Kelly and they are stoking the fuss to try and weaken him? Because the media, as a whole, simply can not care this much about a WH aide being a scumbag. I mean, Trump is still pitching real estate deals to foreign leaders! That seems like it may deserve a follow up.

  58. 58
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Kay: I guess seeing a photo of a woman with a blackened eye is enough to force the Agency to realize that the Trump White House is staffed by monsters and is rotten from the head to the tail when it comes to light that they tried to protect the domestic abuser.

  59. 59
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Are there any vintage car experts out here in BJ land ? Reason I am asking is that we have a 1980 Mercedes with about 7K miles on the clock in showroom condition that has been stuck in our locked garage since my Dad died (1996). It was started regularly for a while but not for a while since then. DH and I are going to take the battery out and see if we can charge it and get it to run. It is a beautiful car, British Racing Green. Anyone any idea what it might be worth? Just asking because I know we have all sorts of experts here on BJ.

  60. 60
    Mary G says:

    @Kay: I think that’s a big part of it. Too much of the MSM still seem to believe in that fairy “pivot” that will come any day now, and Kelly was their cover as the adult in the room. Now half the White House is leaking like a sieve that he’s a lying liar, and the former Marine Colonel that he was a character witness for was a monster, so he’s tarnished twice.

    Also, Porter’s explanations were ludicrous, and the two ex-wives had receipts and seem to have undergone a lot of therapy to get to where they can be articulate in the way that someone’s just coming out of an abusive relationship can’t.

  61. 61
    Kay says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I actually learned something from this one. I knew some of the sleazier Trumpsters didn’t have security clearances. What I did NOT know was that that slow-walking the final determination of that was deference to the sleazier Trumpsters.

    In other words, if they formally DENY the clearances that means Trump has to do something- so they have been left deliberately fuzzy and undetermined. That’s amazingly bad as far as capture of process.

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mary G: Hey, now. Who among us has not face planted into a vase or two in our time, amirite?

    That was meant to be snark but I stopped for a second and realized if Cole posted something on FP about getting hit in the face with a vase or other pottery I actually would believe him.

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:


    In other words, if they formally DENY the clearances that means Trump has to do something- so they have been left deliberately fuzzy and undetermined. That’s amazingly bad as far as capture of process.

    Simply another failed institution. This isn’t even a broken “norm”. It’s kind of important.

  64. 64
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I don’t really believe in snapshot polling. I don’t think that’s how people think. I think people get a whole picture of a President over a longer period of time and what is described as something that “hurt” the President is just as likely to be a composite impression over time.

    Polling is over-determined to me. It appears more rational and precise than it is. I like that kind of “is he TRUSTWORTHY?” type of question because I believe that’s how people approach judgments. They add things up. It’s a cumulative measure rather than a series of events. For this one I would ask something like “how do you think Donald Trump views women?”

  65. 65
    rikyrah says:


    I feel like something changed with this scandal, like political media are finally treating them like a normal administration.

    It’s so weird what sets them off. There can be 15 worse scandals and for some reason one just becomes the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s irrational.

    I think it’s a combination of things.
    1. it wasn’t just one woman, it was two
    2. they had the same story
    3. the women followed the procedures that we would tell victims
    4. the people holding all the receipts is the same agency that this WH has been attacking
    5. #Metoo
    6. No condemnation of the guy, and NO SYMPATHY FOR THE VICTIMS.
    7. they weren’t even smart enough..


    to step back and say, ‘ maybe, we ought to get rid of this muthaphucka.’

  66. 66
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: 1) Which model? 2) If it has not been started in 5-10 years you will likely need professional help.

  67. 67
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Gravenstone: My favourite concert of his was his debut of Tubular Bells II (I think) at Edinburgh Castle. He played all the other stuff then played the beginning of “Tattoo” he was lazily playing his guitar and had sort of a sly smile on his face cause he knew what was coming then it happened, and the entire audience went absolutely wild. I would have killed to have seen that live.

  68. 68
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Isn’t it just crazy? Some of the Trumpsters would fail so the decision was made to just not issue grades. Problem solved!

    I was thinking of that yellow light in the skating competitions. The Trumpsters are just gonna keep that yellow light up there forever, because if they finish “review” it goes red.

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    The 22 agencies and programs Trump’s budget would eliminate

    1. The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education, which donates agricultural commodities and financial assistance to carry out school feeding programs in foreign countries.

    2. The Rural Business and Cooperative Service, which provides loans, grants and payments intended to increase opportunities in rural communities.

    3. The Economic Development Administration, which provides federal grants to communities in support of locally-developed economic plans.

    4. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which subsidizes advisory and consulting services for small and medium-size manufacturers.

    5. 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which helps communities establish or expand centers to provide before- and after-school programs and summer school programs.

    6. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, an Education Department program that provides grants to support college preparation for low-income students.

    7. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which researches ways to enhance the effectiveness of health services.

    8. The Advanced Research Projects Agency, which provides support for Energy Department projects.

    9. The National Wildlife Refuge Fund, which compensates communities for lost tax revenue when the federal government acquires their land.

    10. The Global Climate Change Initiative, a proposal that reflects Trump’s decision last year to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

    11. The NASA Office of Education, which provides grants to colleges and universities, museums and science centers. The funding would be redirected within NASA.

    12. The Chemical Safety Board, which is tasked with investigating accidents at chemical facilities.

    13. The Corporation for National and Community Service, which funds service opportunities, promotes volunteering and helps nonprofit organizations find volunteers.

    14. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds public television and radio stations including Public Broadcasting Service and NPR.

    15. The Institute of Museum and Library Services, which funds museums and libraries nationwide with grants.

    16. The Legal Services Corporation, a nonprofit that provides civil legal assistance for low-income individuals.

    17. The National Endowment for the Arts, which funds American artists and projects with grants.

    18. The National Endowment for the Humanities, which provides grants to American humanities scholars.

    19. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, which funds community development projects nationwide.

    20. The Denali Commission, the Delta Regional Authority and the Northern Border Regional Commission, which fund infrastructure and economic projects in specified areas.

    21. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency, which provides U.S. goods and services for foreign projects.

    22. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a think tank focused on international affairs and foreign policy.


  70. 70
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I don’t think it is that long. (although I am not sure). Would be be doing any damage if we took the battery out and charged it and tried to start it? That seems to me to be the best first step. My Mum keeps putting off selling it but I think it would be much better in the hands of someone who would appreciate it than sitting cold and alone in a dark garage just doing nothing. Not to mention the interest my Mum could make on the money in her bank account (she doesn’t need the money) I just think that someone would really love the old beast and take care of her, I don’t want her to end up in an estate sale and going for nothing. (not that I would let that happen of course but I want to give her to someone who will love her)

  71. 71
    StringOnAStick says:

    @BGinCHI: Jon Jorgenson, Bireli Lagrene, Angeo Debarre, Frank Vignola, Greg Ruby, Jimmy Rosenberg. All worth looking into! Not finger pickers (except Jorgenson, with a huge range of styles in his catalog) but amazing musicians who display their love of guitar with every note.

  72. 72
    WaterGirl says:

    @Corner Stone:

    People in the WH having their knives out for Kelly and they are stoking the fuss to try and weaken him?

    Yes. The media may have changed their tune, but I don’t think it’s permanent and I don’t think it’s coming from them. They are reporting leaks.

  73. 73
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: I could barely bring myself to read that list. They are filled with HATE. Just like it’s amazing/wonderful that two incredible people like Barack and Michelle found each other, these people who are filled with hate and loathing have all found one another. Where’s a drone strike when you need one?

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:


    The Trumpsters are just gonna keep that yellow light up there forever, because if they finish “review” it goes red.

    Yes. If this had not leaked Rob Porter would have still been there until 2020. They like having unethical and morally challenged people all around them. Because they know they can bought, bribed or blackmailed if things get tough. And if they can Porter what are they going to say about Jared if anyone bothers to ask?

  75. 75
    Thistle313 says:

    For guitar picking, I am also partial to David Bromberg

  76. 76
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: There is the risk that the oil has so completely drained out of the block that trying to crank it over will score the cylinder walls or even crack the rings, something you definitely don’t want to do. The other possible issues involve rodents eating electrical cables, nesting in inconvenient places, etc. Cars are a lot like houses; not using or living in them for extended periods opens the door for bad things to happen. Call around for a garage that may have some experience in such a situation, then tow it to them.

    I agree that it would be best to find some person who will love it and care for it is the best thing for the car; much better than it just dissolving away in a locked garage. Perhaps the spirit of it’s prior owner will enjoy getting out for some air on a nice country drive this spring? Seriously though, I find things left behind by someone’s passing and now “enshrined” to be wistful and sad, and it seems much happier when they are back in service to someone. Going through my husband’s mom’s jewelry with his dad a few years ago was like that. She had died in the 1970’s and he’d kept certain things of hers carefully boxed up for decades, and that’s how he’d kept his feelings too. It was like a box of metallic sadness.

  77. 77
    J R in WV says:


    What model is it? Some are more common and some are more in demand. They go from anywhere from $5,000 to sky’s the limit, depending on the interior and mechanical condition. My dad had a ’79 450SL that I couldn’t talk him out of trading in on a ’99 300E sedan. Oh well.

    Here’s a link for 1980 Mercedes for sale on a classic car site.

  78. 78
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Mike J: This is what a responsible manager would work to prevent. Unfortunately, too many are too busy getting the next gig, the next talk show appearance or the next advertising spot to bother with mundane details like how their artists invest their earnings of what health insurance they should have.

    In a civilised nation with universal healthcare this wouldn’t be an issue.

  79. 79
    J R in WV says:


    And no one has mentioned Django Reinhardt, a late great jazz guitarist from the ’30s and ’40s. With Stephan Grapelli they brought jazz to Paris a very long time ago. Reinhardt was IIRC born in Belgium to Roma parents and so had no formal education, and lost some of the use of his fret hand when beaten by racists, and so had an odd style.

  80. 80
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Mustang Bobby will know best if he hasn’t weighed in. DEFINITELY have it towed somewhere by flatbed for professional maintenance, though, and I do NOT mean to the local Benz dealer: the less it rolls on its own the better, and it will need someone familiar with its model and generation which nearly everyone in Benz employ will not be.

  81. 81
    J R in WV says:


    I don’t know about that… if you’re saying that the Benz dealer isn’t familiar with older models, I see vehicles of that vintage often at the local Benz dealership. Maybe different in Britian, I dunno, but here in WV the dealer works on older Benzes often.

    I will confess that when I restarted my Dad’s Chrysler roadster up, I didn’t take it to the Chrysler dealer, but to a local and reliable shop that got the car on the road for $700 total. New fuel tank, hoses, belts, fluids. A real good deal.

  82. 82
    Miss Bianca says:

    Oh, Nic Jones! I love Nic Jones.

    He eventually recovered enough to be able to play some – I got to see him a number of years ago, tho’ I can’t remember where it was. But you’re right, we might not have had him at all if not for the NHS.

    Same with Dave Swarbrick – demon fiddler who played with Richard Thompson, among others – who smoked like an absolute factory stack for years and years, and finally needed a double lung transplant. Good luck with that over here in the good old USA! He also lived to play on for quite a few years before dying a year or two agao.

  83. 83
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @rikyrah: Idiocracy is less than a generation away.

  84. 84
    boatboy_srq says:

    @J R in WV: What I was trying to say is that, really, no dealership service department retains mechanics who know how to service cars beyond their service life – which is usually 10 years +/-. Benz is something of an oddity, since they are famously durable, but there’s still a good chance that an ’80s car will be a mystery to most.

    My worst experience was with Porsche shops. Even a 10 year old was so out of date that a dealership couldn’t maintain it; one shop fixed the broken odometer – and broke the turn signals in the process.

    Independent shops, though, which specialize in the older models, are the best bet for a car that age. They’ll know how to fix what they know goes wrong with those cars, where the dealer’s crew will probably have to look all that up first.

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