Lots o' Links,
This is the place I'm supposed
to be tootin' some other folks' horns and introducin' you to my compadres
in literary excess.
So, here, at long last, are
the infamous Rootin' Tootin' Links, listed here in the hope that
they will lead you to greener pastures. Just watch out for cowpies...
and Other Dynamic Detours
Kansas: Time, Place and Memory on the Prairie Plains -- My foray
into community history, with lots of photos and interviews documenting
the history of a very small, proud place smack-dab in the middle of
the Sunflower State.
Trip USA -- Author Jamie Jensen's "cross-country compendium of old
highways and less-traveled routes, avoiding the soulless Interstates
and steering you toward roadside attractions, historic places and oddball
Americana." Your online guide to 11 grand old pre-interstate roads,
including US 66, the Pacific Coast Highway and the Great River Road.
You can pick up the beautifully illustrated book, Road Trip USA,
Rootin' Bookstore link. Also check out Jamie's most recent tome, The DK Eyewitness Guide to the USA.
and Roadtrips -- Itching to hit the road in search of timeworn minor
league baseball stadiums in timeless locales? This site's "Ballparks
Across America" feature makes a great online companion to the old standby,
America's Directory. Also check out the non-affiliated, but equally
Baseball Road Trip site for a sneak peak at some of the Midwest
League's oldest stadiums in places like Cedar Rapids, Burlington, Clinton
and Quad Cities.
-- This innovative private company, based in gorge-ous Ithaca, N.Y.,
provides a huge range of data (including scads of cool old postcards!)
on over 25,000 American communities. You'll find info on towns as small
as Brainerd and as big as Boston herein.
-- Minneapolis writer James Lileks has assembled a wonderful, highly visual collection of Americana on his personal site. Highly recommended for fans of '50s and '60s postcard representations of the vanishing American motel, roadside diners and "good eats" establishments. And if you're a dog lover, you'll want to meet his photogenic pooch, Jasper, as well.
West -- A quarterly "on-the-road" newspaper founded in 1987 by roving
editor/reporter Chuck Woodbury, who spends much of each year roaming
the old highways of the American West searching for stories about whatever
he finds interesting.
Great Plains Chautauqua Society -- The online home of the Great
Plains Chautauqua Society, which stages an annual re-creation of this
Gilded Age community event in places like: Lindsborg, Ks.; Enid, Okla;
Tama, Ia.; and Hazen, N.D.
Star's Millenium History Project -- All great road trips start in
Kansas City, where the both the Oregon/Calfornia Trails and Santa Fe
Trail made Cowtown a prominent crossroads before the Civil War. Join
the Kansas City Star's Shirl Kasper and Rick Montgomery as they navigate
the history of KC and the West, with engaging prose, period photos,
historical links and even RealAudio
period song samples. Not to be missed!
-- Get there fast or the scenic way. Online directions from Anywhere,
USA to Anyplace You Wanna Be.
66 -- Swa Frantzen's ultimate online guide to the Mother Road.
Shave Signs -- A compilation of the best of Burma Shave's roadside
ad copy from the days when advertising still had a sense of humor and
people actually took the time to read. While driving, of course.
Roads -- The Two Lane Roads quarterly newspaper features offbeat
attractions, museums, funny signs, and other roadside delights, on America's
backroads. Editor Loren Eyrich enjoys the RV lifestyle in a tiny motorhome,
avoiding turnpikes & freeways.
Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the Civil War -- My favorite
history professor, Ed Ayers (University of Virginia), is breaking new
ground with this huge Web-based forum for comparing two mountain communities
(one in the South, one in the North) and how they dealt with the Civil
War. Shelby Foote never had it so good.
Interactive Santa Fe Trail Homepage -- Everything you need to know
about getting from Missouri to New Mexico without ever setting foot
in an airport. You'll be ruttin' around in no time.
to Vegetarian Restaurants Around the World -- An essential guide
for those of us who do a lot of traveling with vegetarians. State-by-state,
province-by-province and country-by-country guides to great healthy
finds that you'd never uncover on your own.
Brusca's Route 40/National Road Site -- All about the young nation's
first federally funded road, originally stretching from Cumberland,
Md., to Vandalia., Ill.
Historic Lincoln Highway -- An online reminder of US 30's grand
old roots, focusing on its passage through Iowa.
U.S. Trail Information Center -- State-by-state listings of over
700 hiking and biking trails along abandoned railbeds, courtesy of the
Again! -- The National Trust for Historic Preservation's farm building
preservation program, with information on who to contact in your vicinity
to get that sagging old family barn up-to-snuff.
New Jersey -- Offbeat travel guide to the Garden State's local legends
and best-kept secrets (aside from the Clara Barton rest area).
& Clark -- The official PBS guide to the Ken Burns documentary
about the first Great American Off-Road Trip. Hear river rat/historian
Stephen Ambrose get all hot and bothered about Rush's thunderbolts and
download an incredible set of lesson plans that bring the expedition
to life for the younguns in yer life.
Dallas Mopar Web Server -- If you're a muscle or classic car fanatic,
Brian Harshaw's huge collection of car photos, tips and links is a must-visit.
Music Worth Rootin' Fer
- New West Records -- This upstart Austin label boasts a genre-spanning line-up, including the hard-rocking
Slobberbone, Grammy-winning r&b singer Delbert McClinton, Billy Joe Shaver and The Flatlanders.
- ezFolk.com -- Richard Hefner's instructional site for banjo, folk guitar, and ukulele. The
site contains hundreds of pages of tablature and tutorials as well as the
ezFolk Link Directory, with links to over 1,600 music sites. Worth a visit if only to finally learn how to play "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" on your ukelele.
Only Records -- Founded in 1990, Diesel Only Records is Brooklyn's
home of "Rig Rock." Dedicated to truckin' music and the preservation
of the vinyl single, the label has released dozens of diesel-fueled
45s and three critically-acclaimed "Rig Rock" compilations, featuring
the best of NYC's early '90s country-rock all-stars, including The World
Famous Blue Jays, Blue Chieftains, Mumbo Gumbo, 5 Chinese Brothers and
Courtney & Western.
Depression Magazine -- Where alt-country fanatics get their fix.
- Catfish Records -- The on-line home of one of the world's foremost roots music record
labels, featuring label information, competitions, the entire Catfish
catalogue, and constantly updated news on roots music from around the world.
American Folklife Center -- Loads of links to this Library of Congress
treasure trove's countless online collections, publications and recordings.
A must-visit if you're ever in the Washington, D.C., area, if only to
spend an afternoon listening to old field recordings in the Archive
of Folk Culture's listening room.
History of Country Music -- If you don't have time to read a Peter
Guralnick, Nick Tosches or Greil Marcus book on the subject, start here.
You won't be sorry, but your significant other may be.
Jazz History -- A great jumping-off point to explore the roots and
current practioners of the unique, swinging Kansas City sound, with
links to a number of other jazz-related sites.
Washingon, D.C., City Paper -- Meet Eddie
Dean, the man who introduced me to the Stanley Brothers and continues
to chronicle America's seamy underbelly of unrepentant moonshiners,
hot-sheet moteliers and genre-challenged music-makers.
-- Meet ex-Enormous Richard bandmates, Chris
King, Elijah Shaw and Joe
Esser, and join in their efforts to record every wild-eyed artistic
genius from sea to shining sea as part of their Hoobellatoo field recording
project. And also check out Mr. King's Skuntry.com
while yer at it.
COWPIE Song Corral -- This searchable database of country and folk
song lyrics and tablature is one of the many wonderful nuggets to be
mined on Greg Vaughn's Roughstock/COWPIE guitar-pickin' portal. Ever
wondered just what the hell George Jones was gurgling about in "The
Race Is On?" Go here to find out!
-- New Orleans expatriate Chuck Taggart's compilation of all things
Cajun and roots-related, including info on his roots music radio show
at Santa Monica's KCRW.
Underground -- Steve French's Atlanta-based alt-country portal,
replete with lots of old Rootin' Around columns, tour dates, reviews
and even its own Live365.com station, Redneck
Magazine -- Sound Views compadre Gary
"Pig" Gold's monthly musical expose.
Internet Folk Radio List -- City-by-city listings of folk- and roots-friendly
for Music -- Non-profit D.C.-based charity organization dedicated
to musician mentoring, creativity workshops and concert programs for
inner-city children. Check out label's great baseball CDs, The Diamond
Cuts Series. The label also puts out an annual Christmas CD, A
Holiday Feast, featuring a sleigh-full of holiday rockabilly, blues
and R&B originals from a bunch of local D.C. acts, including Evan Johns,
The Grandsons and Honky Tonk Confidential.
& Rhythm -- Tony Burke's UK-based blues & r&b mag.
Friends of Jerry Lee Lewis -- This Francophone tribute to the Killer
proves that you don't need a telethon or a friendship with Dean Martin
to make it big in Paris, after all.
-- Cliff Furnald's online roots music zine, featuring reviews of the
latest world music, folk and other roots-related stuff (like some really
old Rootin' Around columns!).
World Magazine -- Check out Joel Slotnikoff's in-depth stash of
blues, r&b and soul history, profiles and reviews, including my
old pal Eddie Dean's, "Desperate
Man Blues," a craggy portrait of wacked-out-but-wonderful 78 collector,
Roots Magazine -- The Web variant of Ian Anderson's swell UK-based
roots, world music and folk magazine.
Canadian Music Encyclopedia -- This exhaustively researched online-only
resource is the work of Toronto music critics Jaimie and Sharon Vernon.
Every entry includes an extensive artist and/or band biography as well
as a comprehensive discography. After you find the lost Canadian bands
of your dreams on this site, click on over to Maple
Music to download a sample track and then purchase the CD in an
artist-run, artist-friendly fashion. They ship anywhere in the world,
including the US of A.
Cantrell's Radio Thriftshop -- The Internet home for Brooklyn singer/songwriter
Laura Cantrell's eclectic, twang-happy weekly radio show, broadcasting
real-time for the past decade or so on WFMU,
New Jersey's last great freeform radio station. .
Other Stuff I Think Is Real Swell
A random sampling of the trivial
matters that fill my drive-time daydreams (and my off-hours mental meanderings):
For some strange reason, there
are some other guys out there proud to be associated with some components
of my name. Venture here at your own risk!
More than you ever wanted to
know about good old American roadfood and its after-effects :-)
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© 2001, Kevrave