Pop Wagner | Spark of Life

Go To Artist Page

Album Links
Pop Wagner

More Artists From
United States - Minnesota

Other Genres You Will Love
Folk: Traditional Folk Folk: Folk Blues Moods: Featuring Guitar
There are no items in your wishlist.

Spark of Life

by Pop Wagner

On "Spark of Life" Pop Wagner performs Oldtime Stringband music, Country Blues, Cowboy Ballads and original material assisted by Bob Douglas, Adam Granger and Dakota Dave Hull.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
just a few left.
order now!
Buy 2 or more of this title and get 10% off
Share to Google +1

Tracks

To listen to tracks you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.

Sorry, there has been a problem playing the clip.

  song title
artist name
share
time
download
1. Dance All Night With A Bottle In My Hand
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
2. Jealous Hearted Me
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
3. Goodbye Miss Liza
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
4. Frankie and Albert
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
5. Goodbye To My Stepstone
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
6. Otto Wood The Bandit
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
7. Jeraldine
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
8. The Lone Pilgrim
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
9. The Trail To Mexico
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
10. I Took My Gal a-Walkin'
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
11. You've Been A Friend To Me
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
12. The Golden Vanity
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
13. Peach Pickin' Time In Georgia
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
14. The Danville Blues
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
15. Stop That Thing (One Time For Your Daddy Now)
Share this song!
X
0:00 album only
preview all songs

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Pop Wagner's "Spark of Life," readily and joyfully displays the artistic and philosophical maturity to which an old friend and long-time picker, fiddler, and singer has grown. There are songs I have heard him sing through the years. Some date back to the 1970s and his days with Mad Jack and the Black Label Boys: "Goodbye, Miss Liza," "I Took My Gal A-Walkin'," "Dance All Night With a Bottle in My Hand." And there are songs I had no idea he even knew--like "Otto Wood the Bandit," "The Lone Pilgrim," and "Stop That Thing."

The album title is a paraphrase of the opening line of "You've Been a Friend to Me." Instead of "My bark of life..." as Mother Maybelle sang on the old Victor 78, Pop took a cue from fellow Ohioan Bill Lowe, who sang, "My spark of life..." "I like to think of the music itself as my spark of life," Pop explains. His plain, unadorned but soulful voice tells you a lot about the stories behind the lyrics. A singer as honest and unpretentious as Pop makes us aware of the relevance of older words to newer woes.

Pop's fingerpicking deserves special mention. Nobody I've heard recently comes anywhere close to Pop's ability to conjure and coax the sounds of the late Mississippi John Hurt from a guitar. Two John Hurt pieces are prominently featured: "Frankie and Albert," a predecessor of the better-known "Frankie and Johnny," and "Danville Blues," Pop's blending of the "Danville Girl" theme with Hurt's "Got the Blues, Can't Be Satisfied." Pop is not content merely to faithfully interpret these classics. Even the most casual listener will marvel at the depth of Hurt's influence on Pop's playing, and Pop's utter mastery of Hurt's principles of style. On two tracks ("Otto Wood" and "Stop That Thing") Pop accompanies his singing with a nine-string guitar which has octave pairs for the A, D and G strings.

There's a deft balance between Pop's solo performance on guitar and his equally engaging ensemble work. His solid old-time fiddling is accompanied by old pro Bob Douglas on mandolin, with rhythm guitar chores falling to the more-than-capable hands of Adam Granger and producer-recordist Dakota Dave Hull. The high energy and flavor of pre-bluegrass Southern mountain string bands come through in spades--the influence of Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers, Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers, and Fiddlin' Arthur Smith with Sam & Kirk McGee from Sunny Tennessee being most prominent. The Carter Family songbag is also well represented by "Jealous Hearted Me" and "You've Been a Friend to Me." You can hear that everybody had a great time recording these tracks, and that each player has huge long-time respect for the others.

"The Golden Vanity," in a very non-standard setting, and "Geraldine," an original ballad of forsaken love (whose title was suggested by a local tavern's neon sign), round out the CD. It's a project that represents the culmination of a thirty-year career dedicated to the preservation and furtherance of old time music in several genres. In sum, I think you'll agree that with offering, Pop has once more outdistanced himself in the pursuit of recorded perfection.

-Bill Hinkley

for bookings or more info contact:
Pop Wagner
1661 Englewood Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104

(612) 817-5898 (office)
(651) 644-3153 (home)
popwagner@aol.com
www.popwagner.com


Reviews


to write a review