Blind Uncle Harry Announces West Coat Tour

We are gonna Hillbilly Hippie Haiku the fuck out of the West Coast! First show is two weeks from tomorrow, July 14 at the Checkerboard in Spokane Washington. Diiiiiiiiiiiiiive Bar :)

Blind Uncle Harry Releases Official Video for Dopesmokers of the World Unite and Take Over

 Inspired by the Beach Boys' live jam session recording of Barbara Ann while allegedly on acid, Dopesmokers of the World Unite and Take Over sounds like a bunch of stoners having one hell of a good time. Even better, it's a sing along, and even better than that, it's clearly meant to be sung along to while stoned. Not that you have to be baked to enjoy it. As one reviewer put it, it sure does 'make you want to clap and sing along'. And I'm pretty sure she was sober :)  

Dopesmokers is also one of the songs that got Blind Uncle Harry banned by the Indiana University Union Board at a Live from Bloomington performance. That, and suggesting the audience could substitute singing 'Burn down the Kelley School of Business' instead of singing 'Burn Down the High School'. 

     Dopesmokers is a stoner's anthem, but with a message- if everyone smoked weed there would be no more wars, there would be no more Wall Street, and life would be one big giggle fest. Well, maybe, but singing along and bopping your head to it will definitely brighten whatever   kind of shitty day you happen to be having. 

"Cuz everything/ That's destroying the world
Is impossible to do/ When you're stoned
You can't operate/ Heavy machinery

When you're stoned"

 

                  DOPESMOKERS OF THE WORLD                    UNITE AND TAKE OVER
by Blind Uncle Harry

Dopesmokers of the world
Unite and take over 
This world is too violent 
Everybody needs to chill the fuck out (x2)
Dopesmokers of the world unite and take over 

If we were in charge, there would be no more wars (x2) 
Dopesmokers of the world unite and take over 

Well the stock market, it would crash 
Followed by, industrial collapse 
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah 

Cuz everything that's destroying the world 
Is impossible to do when you’re stoned 
You can’t operate heavy machinery when you’re stoned 
So dopesmokers of the world unite & take over (x 4)
 
Can you tell me why, it’s illegal?
I like to get high, it makes me giggle 
You look like you could use a giggle too 

So hey Barack, Barack Obama
Let’s smoke a joint, some marijuana 
Life won’t seem so complex 
You’ll forget all about who to put
On your secret drone kill list next (x2)

Cuz when you’re stoned
You just want to sing a silly song 
So everybody, won’t you sing along 

La la la, la la la, la de da 

La la la, la la la/ la la la/ la la la
La la la, la la la, la de da 

So dope smokers of the world unite & take over (x4)

Song Credits: Blind Uncle Harry: guitar and vocals; Joseph Dreamboat Klatt: banjo, djembe, group vocals; Nick Wildcard Harley: violin, bass, and group vocals; Austin Boom Boom Davis: 2nd guitar; Peter Eye Candy Doyle: mandolin and group vocals; Alex(andria) of Egypt Burgan: group vocals; Sven Sveninator Carlsgaard: group vocals; Shelby Jo the Blonde Diva Everett: group vocals

 

 

 

 

 

Blind Uncle Harry to Play Bernie Sanders Benefit

Hey, thanks to everyone who came out last night for the Bernie benefit at the Back Door! We really did bern down the house, as well as raise a lot of money for Bernie Sanders. We had a blast debuting our brand new tune, Courage to Love, as well as ripping through some old favorites like Burn Down the High School, I Just Want You to Know, Song for the Revolution, and Hillbilly Hippie Haiku Heaven. 

Blind Uncle Harry's Top Ten Weed Songs

 Hey, here’s my top ten songs about weed (pot/ ganja/ marijuana/ dope/ corncobbage/ 420/ etc). Criteria is the song has to be about being or getting high. While they are all great songs, they are not necessarily my top 10 songs to listen to while stoned :)

(Click on the song image or song title to hear the song.
Sorry for all the Youtube Crapitalist ads)

 

10.Reefer Man: Cab Calloway

A 1933 classic from the great Cab Calloway. I know it's a cliche, but in this case really truly they don't write them like this any more: 
     "If he trades you dimes for nickels/ 
       And calls watermelon's pickles/ 
       Then you know/ 
       You're talkin' to that reefer man"

 

 

 

9. Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35: Bob Dylan 

Never mind whether or not it’s directly about getting baked. “Everybody must get stoned. All Right!”. End of story.

 

 

 

 

 

8.Roll Another Number: Neil Young

For those of us fortunate to have experienced watching the sunrise climb up over our hood ornament, this one’s for us. From Neil Young's 1975 album “Tonight’s the Night”: “It's too dark to put the keys in my ignition. 
And the mornin' sun is yet to climb my hood ornament… Think I'll roll another number for the road”

 

 

7.Smoke Two Joints: Sublime

Originally by the Toyes, Sublime’s version has an added Reefer Madness-esque intro and a bubbling bong. 
     "I smoke two joints in times of peace,
      And two in times of war
      I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints, 
      And then I smoke two more"

 

 

   
   

6.Addicted: Amy Winehouse 

Next time somebody bogarts your weed, sit their ass down and make them listen to this song, and the lyrics. Starting with these:
      "Tell your boyfriend next time he around, 
       To buy his own weed and don't wear my shit down
       I wouldn't care if he would give me some more, 
       I'd rather him leave you than leave him my dro"

 

5.Burpanomics: Tracey Trance 

If you’ve never been just burpin’ it with Tracey Trance, now’s your chance. This breaks my rule that the song has to be about smoking weed and not necessarily be a great song to listen to while baked. It's possible to listen to this without being corncobbed, but frankly I don't see the point. Ditto for what is one of my all time favorite videos that accompanies the song. I've had this riff stuck in my head now for weeks and i can't help but spontaneously grin like an idiot whenever it pops up in my head. May all of you one day experience the wonders of Transylvania! 

 

4.Getting High for JesusHolly Golightly & the Brokeoffs

Also one of my top 10 Jesus songs. This is great, but it's not my favorite version of this song. My favorite is the cover our very own Joseph Dreamboat Klatt does, which alas I don’t have a copy of because the skinny jeans wearing motherfucker hasn't bothered to record one yet. 
      "I'm getting high for Jesus/Cause he got so low for me...
       Gonna do it all for Jesus/'Till I ain't got no more dope"

 

3.Champagne and Reefer: Muddy Waters 

The late great Muddy Waters. You think you’ve got guts? Think about Muddy Waters singing this song in the 60’s and 70’s. Or just listen to the song, which is elevated from great to ultra classic by Little Walter’s wailing harmonica that solos throughout. 
      “You know, shouldn’t be no law/
      if people wanna smoke a little dope
      You know it’s good for your health, 
      and relaxes your body don’t you know"

 

 2. I Like Marijuana: David Peel

From 1968, recorded live on the counter culture streets in the heart of New York's Lower East Side. David Peel’s sing along style reminds some of Blind Uncle Harry and the Ferals. But hey I may not be able to sing like the diva but I can sing better than David Peel! Title pretty much conveys the song’s lyrics.

 

 

  

     

1.Dopesmokers of the World Unite and Take Over: Blind Uncle Harry

Along with Rat Turd, probably our best loved and most requested song. Lots of stories, including the mass bonfire sing along we just had at the 2015 Rainbow Gathering aka Hippy Fest 2015. But my favorite is the time I opened with it at a very quiet coffee shop and upon hearing the opening lines a woman laughed so hard that she snorted a double shot latte out her nose.
Best stoner lyrics: “la la la, la la la, la de dah”/ la la la, la la la/ oh la la la, la la la, la la la, la la la, la de dah”.

 

Blind Uncle Harry Featured in Nuvo (Indy's alternative weekly)

Blind Uncle Harry is featured in a video with some other great bands on Nuvo’s website (Indy's alternative paper) highlighting Bloomington's DIY music scene. Thanks to Kaylie Starkey and Tessa Donolli for putting this together.

Click on the image on the left to watch. 

Blind Uncle Harry Interview Live on WIUX

WIUX Studio with Bryce Robinson

Hey here's the WIUX (Indiana University's awesome college radio station) interview session we did last week with Colin Thomas that ran live on Feb 2. You may have trouble recognizing Bryce without enormous blonde hair and his cape. 

Click on the image to hear the show

Check It Out! Haywire Blog Review of Industrial Collapse

         To quote another Blind Uncle Harry song (Hillbilly Hippy Haiku Heaven), if you are a 'gay lesbian bisexual transgender pot smokin' acid trippin' tree huggin' illegal immigrant, Christmas Day in Australia by Blind Uncle Harrylazy black welfare mother job avoiding anarchist anti capitalist lazy hippie hillbilly', you will probably love this album. But, to paraphrase Todd Snider, if you are a conservative christian right wing republican, well, probably not so much. 

    Most of Visualize Industrial Collapse was recorded live at Bloomington's Tecumseh House, and you can feel and hear the vibe resonating from the 127 year old heart pine floorboards. It was mixed and mastered at Echo Park, Bloomington's fabled studio where The Fray, John Mellencamp, Ben Folds, Stephen Stills, Over the Rhine, and lots of others have recorded. So, it sounds really good. 

     1.Christmas Day in Australia is the first single. My favorite story about this song is hearing it on WIUX, the Indiana University college radio station, during an IU basketball broadcast. So thousands of IU fans were treated to hearing the lines 'And the rich fucks look down from their balconies/ From their ugly high rises where the poor once lived/ You'd think they'd have something to contribute/ But they've got nothing to give'.

Nick Wildcard Harley and his amazing didjeridoo     The first thing that grabs you right off the bat is the didjeridoo opening. I mean, how many songs let alone albums open with a didjeridoo solo? It's part of the whole 'Visualize Industrial Collapse' message that goes throughout the album. The dobro then kicks on over the acoustic guitars makes it part country while still being within the genre of a pop song. Shelby Jo the Blonde Diva Everett's back up vocal melds perfectly with Chris D's (aka Blind Uncle Harry) lead vocal, and you can practically smell Alex(andria) of Egypt Burganthe beach while relating to the heartbreak deep in your gut. And then at the end, Alex Burgan's sultry duet for the last few lines is one of my favorite moments on the album. Hubba bubba- you really want to be sweating on the beach with her.

    2.And anyone who ever seen them play live knows Dopesmokers of the World Unite and Take Over. As another review put it, really does make you want to clap and sing along. Especially if you're stoned. A stoner's anthem, but with a subtle political message- if everyone smoked weed, there would be no more wars, no more Wall Street, and life would be one big giggle fest. Well, maybe, but listening to the song is a giggle fest. Recorded live with banjo, dobro, two guitars, djembe and the first appearance of Sweetness- the almost two hundred year old violin that belonged to Chris D's great Uncle Harry, who was blind, hence the name.

    3.American Way hooks you right away with Nick Wildcard Harley's 2nd guitar, which almost but not quite overshadows the lyrics. I say almost, because with lines like 'Well, they tell ya, yeah they tell ya, that you gotta work hard/ They tell ya, yeah they tell ya, to believe in their god/ They tell ya, yeah they tell ya, not to have no regard/ Rip it up, exploit it, and you’ll get a reward.' there's no way the lyrics are gonna take a backseat to any instrumentation. Two guitars, bass, and vocals. Simple but it still rocks.

     4.With I Just Want You to Know, Sweetness takes center place. Dietrich VanSweetness- belonged to Chris D's blind Uncle Harry and is nearly 200 years old Wassaner's playing is sublime, like an old time fiddle transformed into a modern pop song. But it's the 2nd vocal of Shelby Jo the Blonde Diva that gives me chills every time I hear it- whether this album version, or the number of times I've heard her live. Coming out of the lines 'There are millions and millions thinking this is so great/ That we all live in a military state/ Mindless consumption and endless competition/ You pay a high price for being born American', Austin Boom Boom Davis's guitar solo jolts you out of whatever folk complacency you might have been drifting along with. Chris D has often said if there's only one song that gets played at his funeral, this is it.

     5.And now it's time to rock out. Like Dopesmokers, it's hard to separate Burn Down the High School from seeing them perform this live. If you enjoyed high school, then you might find it hard to relate to the sheer glee conveyed here of seeing it burned down to the ground. But it's still fun- the doo wops! take the edge off the arson, and Boom Boom's electric guitar gives it that hard edge without taking away its sing along-ness. And Alex Burgan's demented scat solo on top of the oo la la's is classic. And just in case you didn't get it yet, this is a political album- 'There will be no government class today/ No more lessons 'bout how great is the U-S-of-A/ There will be no brains washed away/ There will be no jocks out in the hallway/ Cuz they burned it down...”

Shelby Jo Everett: The Blonde Diva     6.Oh god. I dare you to find a better performance than Shelby Jo's vocal on Fly Away. It makes me cry just to think about it, it's so beautiful. The quaver in her voice 'Darlin' stay with me/ I can't face the day/ Please hold me/ And fly, fly, fly away'. If not for her vocal, Dietrich's exquisite playing of Sweetness would be the most memorable aspect of the song; together they make it sing.

     7.Song for Kori. Just Chris D/ Blind Uncle Harry on acoustic guitar. If Fly Away is what you play at 3 o'clock in the morning alone after drinking half a bottle of tequila, Song for Kori is what you play when you want to engage with how incredibly fucked up this country is for so many of its citizens. Fly Away is existential, Song for Kori is personal. I don't want to ruin the punch line, so to speak, although punch line probably isn't the best word since there's no humor in this song at all. I've seen people cry when Chris plays it solo; it often seems its hard for him to get through it without crying.

     8.Aw, the glory of Rat Turd. Whatever low you've gone down to after Fly Away and Song for Kori, Rat Turd lifts you back up. As good as this version is- it was Blind Uncle Harry and the Feralsrecorded live at Bloomington's Back Door- there is nothing like seeing them play this live. It's kinda hard to explain the appeal of Rat Turd to the uninitiated. At Bloomington house shows, people start calling out for it throughout the set. Which is cool, except that when it's really cookin' it goes for 20 or 25 minutes, and they don't have time for other songs.

     9.I Don't Cry at Funerals: I love the little guitar riff in Dminor that ends each line, followed by Sven (Sveninator) Carlsgaard's trumpet and baritone licks. And of course the acoustic guitar solo midway through which is completely unexpected. But the most interesting thing is that it's written and sung from a female perspective- 'It's what I know how to do/ I'm some kind of wonder woman/ And I always make it through'. 

     10.Elegy in B Minor: A hidden gem. I don't know why he put this so close the end, but it's worth the wait. The combination of Pete Eye Candy Doyle's 1980's style big hair electric guitar solos, Boom Boom's djembe, and the mandolin on top of a simple arpeggio riff in B Minor rocks the shit out of this.

     11.If I Should Have to Go: A lovely duet between Chris D and Shelby Jo, but it's Shelby Jo's vocal that you will remember. The message is that hey, the world might be fucked, but that doesn't mean we have to be mean to each other. We have a choice to love. Life is hard, but living it honestly is harder, but it's worth it- 'If I'm gone, you can still be with me/ As long as you stay wild and free'. And the album ends with the lines 'If I should have to go/ baby you need to know/ oh darlin' I love you so', with Shelby Jo's vocal soaring up to the heavens on that last note.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blind Uncle Harry Banned by IU Union Board

Nick Wildcard Harley, Joe Savarino, Shelby Jo the Blonde Diva perform at Live from Bloomington. Then got banned from ever performing again.

 

     Blind Uncle Harry is, to the best of our knowledge, the first group to ever have been banned by the Indiana University Union Board from ever performing again. The Union Board is a student organization that facilitates concerts movies etc on campus. We performed a show at Starbuck's in the Union building on January 28 as part of the Union Board's 'Live from Bloomington' series. It's a tough gig; audience is primarily disinterested students chatting or studying, and it's a little hard to get their attention. Plus it's Starfuck's for fuck's sake. So I opened by saying, 'you know what they say, friends don't let friends drink at Starbuck's. Or, as most people refer to it, Starfuck's.' I also encouraged people to get their caffeine fix at the decidedly anti-corporate SOMA cafe down the street. This apparently was my first mistake.

     My second, according to the official letter from the Union Board below, was to suggest that if people were
Starfucks Indiana University Union Buildinguncomfortable singing along to 'Burn Down the High School', they could substitute 'Burn down the Kelley School of Business' instead. Come to think of it, the Union Board crew didn't exactly seem thrilled by Halvzies, sung by Shelby Jo, which is hard to understand cuz what could be more appropriate for college students studying at Starfucks than a song about scoring weed? And to just to make sure we were on message we also did
Dopesmokers of the World Unite and Take Over. They also didn't seem to warm to our feral friend Joe Savarino joining us on stage in all his glorious hippyness, which included a powerful  aroma that probably carried a fair ways.  

     Here's the letter from the Union Board banning us for expressing our distate for Starfuck's and the Kelley School of Business, and my reply banning them from having any future association with Blind Uncle Harry:

     Dear Blind Uncle Harry,

    I am writing you due to some concerns about your Live From Bloomington Presents performance on Wednesday January 28, 2015.  Some of the content that was said during your performance did not align with UnionBoard’s values and was offensive.  While we respect your artistic freedom of expression, we will be unable to host you again in the
future as we represent the University and many of the items which you expressed a great distaste for, such as Starbucks and the IU Kelley School of Business.  Thank you for your understanding and we wish you all the best.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss the matter further.

Respectfully,

Astrid Mejia
Director of Local Music
“Live From Bloomington”



Astrid, 
     That's funny, we don't recall agreeing to perform to any set of Union Board values. It's a sad pathetic day when making fun of Starbucks and the Kelley School means getting banned from playing. Wow- way to stand up for artistic freedom of expression. Thank god poor defenseless Starbuck's and the Kelley School have you and the Union Board to protect them. Frankly I find it chilling how cavalier you are in practicing censorship. I don't know which is more disturbing- the censorship itself, or your expressed feeling that we should be understanding and accepting of it. 
     So you and the Union Board are now officially banned from any association with Blind Uncle Harry. We find your support for Starbuck's and the Kelley School to be offensive. We also find it poisonous to the open debate and artistic expression which is the heart of a public university. And we will never associate with an organization that practices such blatant censorship, except to mock and highlight your support for corporate America and the 1%. 

Thank you for your understanding, 

Blind Uncle Harry


PS: In case you didn't catch the lyrics during our performance, these are for you:

There are millions and millions thinking this is so great
That we all live in a military state
Mindless consumption and endless competition
You pay a high price for being born American
--'I Just Want You to Know', Blind Uncle Harry

 

  

 

 

 

New Single: Christmas Day in Australia

     Hey, we just released 'Christmas Day in Australia' as a single for the 2014 holidays! It has Christmas Classic written all over it! Bing Crosby is no doubt rolling over in his grave, pissed off that he didn't live long enough to record this sure to be beloved holiday standard instead of that White Christmas crap. It's the first single off Blind Uncle Harry's critically acclaimed debut album Visualize Industrial Collapse. Already being heralded as a surefire future Christmas Classic, the didjeridoo and dobro opening chords will soon make you forget all about Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman.

     From the liner notes: Christmas Day in Australia is the first single. My favorite story about this song is hearing it on WIUX, the Indiana University college radio station, during an Indiana University basketball broadcast. So thousands of IU fans were treated to the lines 'And the rich fucks look down from their balconies/ From their ugly high rises where the poor once lived/ You'd think they'd have something to contribute/ But they've got nothing to give'.

    The didjeridoo opening immediately grabs you. I mean, how many songs let alone albums open with a didjeridoo? It's part of the whole 'Visualize Industrial Collapse' message that goes throughout the album. The dobro makes it part country while still being within the genre of a pop song. Shelby Jo the Blonde Diva's back up vocal melds perfectly with Chris D's (aka Blind Uncle Harry) lead vocal, and you can practically smell the beach while relating to the heartbreak deep in your gut. And then at the end, Alex Burgan's sultry duet for the last few lines is one of my favorite moments on the album. Hubba hubba- you really want to be sweating on the beach with her.

 

CHRISTMAS DAY IN AUSTRALIA 
by Blind Uncle Harry 

The sun is sinking below the waves 
As the fireworks explode over the headland 
The Southern Cross, it is low in the sky 
As the surf pounds down on the sand 

It's Christmas Day in Australia 
And I'm sweating here on the beach 
Everything seems so very achievable 
Yet so far and so out of reach 

She left me on the Queen's birthday 
It's been over three months hence 
That's when I started drinking 
And I haven't been sober since 

The kids are still playing cricket on the pitch 
As the surfers line up for that last break 
There's couples kissing on the beach 
And my heart is breaking in a brand new way 

And the rich fucks look down from their balconies 
From their ugly high rises where the poor once lived 
You'd think they'd have something to contribute 
But they've got nothing to give 
And everyone is having a good time pretending 
That everything is gonna be all right 

Cuz it's Christmas Day in Australia 
And I'm sweating here on the beach 
Everything seems so very achievable 
Yet so far and so out of reach

released 24 November 2014 

Credits: Blind Uncle Harry: acoustic guitar and lead vocals; Shelby Jo the Blonde Diva Everett: vocals; Alexandria of Egypt Burgan: vocals; Austin Boom Boom Davis: djembe; Nick Wildcard Harley: didjeridoo, 2nd guitar, dobro, and bass.

Blind Uncle Harry Featured on WFHB's Local Live

Hey just posted the link for our WFHB Local Live show from Nov 12. Link doesn't include me saying SHIT on live radio which is, according to the FCC, umm, bad. Thanks to Jar Turner for the panoramic shots and for hosting. From left: Sven Sveninator Carlsgaard, Buddha Joe Savarino, Joseph Dreamboat Klatt, Alexandria of Egypt Burgan, Austin Boom Boom Davis, Blind Uncle Harry, and Nick Wildcard Harley.

 

Fight of the Folks- We Got Runner Up!

     Hey, thanks everyone who came out to Fight of the Folks on Friday at Rachael's. We came in runner up! To Ghost Mice. Ghost Mice were awesome! We also played at the Rocktober Festival on Saturday at Hippie Hill Tennessee. 

 

 

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