Bootleg of the Week

Each week - a particularly tasty piece of audio or video. Some previously released, some not. Some rare performances - maybe a wacky cover.

Cover of the Week

MP3 Real Audio
Uncle Festers - November 9th, 2001
Bloomington, Indiana

I had a few more ambitious things planned for this week, but zoom - where does the time go? So I went and snagged a cover tune instead.

The guys played at Mellenfest in Bloomington a few weeks before this show. The show organizers asked that each band learn at least one John (Cougar) Mellencamp song.
Sometimes a sloppy cover is the most fun to hear but they obviously practiced this one to please the Mellenheads. So when I showed up a few weeks later in Bloomington, I requested this and they (reluctantly?) played it. I say reluctantly cause Scott gave a "oh, we don't want to play that" kinda face but with all the crazy-ass requests I throw at them, if they don't want to play something, they wont!
So it was more like a - oh, we'll pretend we don't want to play it, nail the sumbitch perfectly, and then say "I guess that was cool" kinda thing.
I have a LOW tolerance for John Cougar, but this song is a jam.

Scotty stories of the week

Real Video 10,350k
Video of Scott's "Grandpa's Story" during Salty Dog Blues. I call this the "Cherry" version.
This is from the Duck Inn in Evansville, Indiana on May 25th, 2002. One of my first times playing with the camera so it gets a little shaky at times.
Perceptive geeks will notice that the audio is from the board and not from the camera. Better sounding but less crowd atmosphere - always a tradeoff.

Salty Dog Blues
MP3 12,510k
Real Audio 2071k
And here is the entire song - as I like to call it - Grandpa's Salty Dog Raspberry Sedated Blues. This one has my favorite version of Grandpa's Story.
This is from January 25th, 2002 at Ellis Place in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

"Hair band but admit it, you sing along" cover of the Week - Wanted Dead Or Alive (4:36)

MP3 Real Audio
Duck Inn - June 28th, 2002
Evansville, Indiana

Deep in the second set, the guys are about to finish it off with Sugar On The Pill. Nick is noodling with an intro when Scott hears some notes that remind him of something.
He yells out "Bon Jovi!" and off they go.

The regulars at the Duck will also get a kick out of Scott's comments at the start - the biggest lie he ever told!

Blues Jam of the Week - Midnight Blues (5:47)

MP3 Real Audio
Duck Inn - August 17th, 2002
Evansville, Indiana

Ok, I've slacked off for two weeks. I need to get something online before the boot of the week is the one up my ass.

I wanted to put their "Deathgrass" song online but I promised them I wouldn't.
But I didn't promise that I wouldn't mention it and tell people to request it!
Make em play it. You'll be glad you did.

Anyway, back to this week's boot. Just recently at the Duck Inn, it was the Road Show of the Month, where tired and weary travelers get a prize. Well, I traveled the furthest - and I already have all their shirts and CDs. So I asked for requests. One after another, Scott turned his nose up at all of them. I just wanted something Blue - Blue, Blue, Blue (ok, they did play that - Thanks, guys!), Shrouded In Blue (no chance), Madman Blues (ditto), Big Dream Blues (Scott just laughed).
So then I thought A-HA - enough of this Rocky Top nonsense, lets have some Chi-town down and dirty Blues. Scott liked that idea and this improv jam is what we got. Very blues, very cool.

Cancer Sux - 52 weeks a year

Sweet Bye and Bye (3:55)
MP3 Real Audio
Hannah Flanagans - October 30th, 1999
Asheville, North Carolina

A wise man once said, quite simply, Cancer Sux. So he decided to do something about it. The second annual Cancer Sux show takes place this Saturday, September 14th in Kittaning, Pennsylvania. Get your butts on out there for a great show for a great cause.
I have it on good authority that you will get to hear this song live.

There are songs you hear every show - Old Song, Savanna Flowers, etc.
There are songs you never hear (at least not in the current 3-man setup) - Knees, Shrouded In Blue, etc - mainly because Scott says you just can't get the groove without a drummer.
Then there is this rarity. I've only heard it once. It just dawned on me (three years later) that maybe it was a request by someone in Tramp's family - his grandparents and one or two other relatives were present that night.
Special thanks to Ron Pritt for getting this recording to me. This was only my second road trip to see the band and I hadn't figured out recording yet. Ron came through and saved the day by recording portions of the show.
Little trivia - Nick used his stomp shoe for the bass note - just a quick setting change on the ol' stomp shoe/drum machine hookup. I've never seen them use the stomp shoe for anything besides the stomp except this one time for this song.

Crazy Stuff of the Week - Boiler Room Highlights (13:56)

MP3 Real Audio
Boiler Room - August 15th, 2002
Owensboro, Kentucky

Let's file this under "It seemed like a good idea at the time."
Here's the story. Boiler Room - it's always a crazy show. If you're in the area, come on out for a show. They usually play there on a Thursday and play all kinds of crazy shit's a slow Thursday night and they do what they want!
So August 15th - the guys have just finished a 10-day vacation and they are WOUND UP and ready everyone (they're/their) nuts. These are the kinds of shows where Scott comes up to me after the show and demands "Don't EVER release that show!". But this one was so goofy, I decided to make a highlight reel. The show was hilarious and I wanted to share it with the world.
But when I was done, I listened to it and most of it seemed like "you had to be there" kind of humor. I'll let you decide. Besides all the funny banter, I threw in some clips of some songs:
Viva Las Vegas
Old Song
Cold Gin (Kiss cover)
Traveler's Companion (whoops! How did that get on there!)
La Bamba
And finally - we answer the question - What happens to Twenty More People when Tramp starts to play before Scott and Nick are ready?

Soundcheck of the Week - Jubilee (5:59)

MP3 Real Audio
Ellis Place - January 25th, 2002
Bowling Green, Kentucky

Tsk tsk. Shame on me. Recording the guys when they are just warming up during soundcheck.
People have been asking me to put a version of Jubilee online, so of course, I had to find a slightly different version.
For those who haven't seen them this year, Nick has a little sampler that he puts to use during this song. It provides some percussion that they took from the studio demo they made of this song and the guys play along. As much as I love them trying new things, most people (including myself) who have heard this non-sampler soundcheck version of the song like it a little more. I think this has a little more freeform groove than when they are locked into the sample track. Plus the long instrumental intro is nice too.
Like I said, its during soundcheck so it stops and starts a few times while the guys are getting their stuff together.

5 Piece Goodness of the Week

Old Song MP3
High Cold India MP3
1996 - exact date and location unknown

Scott changes his mind from show to show. Sometimes he tells me "anything you record live is ok to put online" - other times he says "oh god, that was horrible, don't put that online". Well, what about live stuff that I found but didn't record myself....

One night, when Ron and I were copying that nights show from the band's DAT player to my laptop, I hear something strange at the end of the tape.
Thats not tonights show? Thats drums! Thats.....High Cold India!!!
Yes, it's the 1996 5-piece lineup - Scott, Tramp, Bryan Ward on guitar, Jason Dunaway on bass, and Mickey Grimm on drums.
I have heard two different studio versions of High Cold India, and this live performance is much cooler than either of them.
I only have that ending bit of Old Song, the rest was already cutoff. It's pretty distorted, but hey, I'll take what I can get from 96.

8/12/2002 - Crazy Train MP3 Real Audio
Duck Inn - February 2nd, 2001
Evansville, Indiana

Ok, my story for this one lasts longer than the song. When you see the band now, Nick has that whole homemade rack full of guitars. A bunch of acoustics, two electrics and a dobro. Or something like that - I lose count! He shows off his electric skills on songs like Banks Of Divine, Twenty More People and others.

But when Nick first started in early 1999, he rarely (never?) played an electric guitar on stage with Bonepony. I started seeing the band in Fall 1999. By April of 2000, I had seen a dozen of more performances. I also saw that Nick would carry an electric with him on the road. I asked him about it and he said he would use it in the van so he could practice with headphones without bothering his vanmates. The electric would be onstage in its case but he never played it.

So there was this show at the Duck in April, 2000. Its deep in the second set and Scott wants to have fun. He starts singing lines of different cover songs - seeing which one Nick and Tramp want to play along with. He gets to Crossroads and Nick starts to play. Then Scott says, "Hey, get out the electric." and I witness for the first time Nick showing his chops on the electric.
Not knowing much about his playing past at that point, I was amazed. "Wow! Nick can play the electric guitar? I thought he just played acoustic!" Ok, maybe I was just stupid. But it was still cool.

Bit by bit, the electric crept into the set. But I still didn't know about his flying-V guitar god roots. Until he displayed them one night at the Duck. I was hanging back, talking to Ron, not paying attention to the discussion going on onstage. Then, I hear this highly amplified, slightly distorted crunch. What was that? Whats happening onstage? I look but there is already a very large crowd surrounding Nick. Then this amazing amplified SHRIEK comes out of the speakers. And Nick begins to go metal-crazy and wail away at Crazy Train. It almost amounts to a solo since Tramp's mandolin is so drowned out I can't even hear it.

But there's MORE to the story! As it says at the top, this was played 2/02/01 at the Duck. That show is already available on Stomp Club - but you won't see this song in the listing. A few minutes into the song, Nick is totally into the groove, swings his guitar a bit and hits the top of it on something. (At the Duck - probably the pole in front of him.) So in the middle of the song, his guitar goes wildly out of tune. It only takes him less than a minute to retune, but it's quite a nasty noise. So, after the show, he comes up to me and says "Do NOT release that on the website." AAAAAAA!!!! Dagger through my heart! The most amazing electric performance by Nick I had heard at that point and I can't release it! But hey, I can't tape if they can't trust me. So into my vaults it went - but not for long.
I whip out my trusty audio editor and snip out the offending out-of-tuneness. The next time I see Nick, I play the 'edited' version for him and ask for his approval. He grants it. Great! Well, since the show was already online, I figure I'll save it for 'Covers and Crazy Stuff, Vol 2' which I was planning on doing 'any day now.'
Well, that was a year and a half ago - no Vol 2 yet. Might as well finally get this sumbitch out there!

Thats not silence in the intro. Listen carefully and you can hear Nick going through the chords of the song with Scott and Tramp.

8/07/2002 - Mountainside MP3 Real Audio
Uncle Festers - August 23rd, 2001
Bloomington, Indiana

Now, if you put together a 'best-of' live CD for the guys, this version of the song wouldn't even make the first cut. It's Uncle Festers in Bloomington, Indiana. A kick ass place. Go there, tell Aaron I said "Hi" and then make sure he buys you a drink!
Anyway - this song was near the end of the night on a nearly four hour set. Scott's vocals are a bit weak - but the 'Mountainside' part isn't why I put this online. It's the intro that goes on forever. Scott was feeling funky and started some 'feel good' rap - Nick joined in with some waa-waa guitar, and then Scott started into some blues. Eventually, they remembered what song they started and sang Mountainside, but enjoy the funky freestylin'.

7/29/2002 - Twenty More People MP3 Real Audio
Ellis Place - January 25th, 2002
Bowling Green, Kentucky

This is quite possibly my most favorite Bonepony song ever. Most of their songs are fairly universal. They sing of good times, or using music to get through the hard times, but they're singing about everyone or someone else - Georgie or Angie May or whoever. But to me, this song seems to come from deep down in their very soul to describe themselves perfectly. We all love the band and their music and want them to make millions and never have to worry about money again, but some days you play Devil's advocate and say - just how long can you keep playing at little bars and clubs. To me, this song perfectly answers that question. Hell - or maybe they just made it all up!
The studio version on Rare Cuts has that nice echo effect on the mandolin but with the equipment they bring out on the road, it's hard to get the echo timing down just right so they seem to have stopped using it. They used it for this performance and I think it came out quite nice.