Viper’s Blue Yodel No. 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd

elastically: almost every measure can be as long or as short as you want it to be
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If you’ve got the room, here’s a mole of the blues. I’ve been doing versions of this song since as early as 1997 or 1998. But in its finished form, I first performed it at the Home Grown Coffee House in Accokeek, MD in February of 2007. At that point, my talk of leaving Maryland for Wisconsin and the dangers of adjustable rate mortgages was purely speculative. But before all things must pass, all things must also come to pass. And that was the case by December 2008, after we had sold our Hyattsville, MD house, post-crash, and were getting ready to move to Milwaukee. I did a solo set at that same coffeehouse that December, and this song served as an actual meta-Pynchonian goodbye to my time living south of Mason & Dixon’s line.

The reference track is a recording I made for myself while getting ready for that last Maryland performance — you can hear what I mean in the note about “elasticity” on the lead sheet: all measures can be shrunk or extended at will.

The Viper, “The Viper’s Blue Yodel No. 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd,” scratch track recorded in the backyard Mother-in-Law house of Mike Paul, Riverdale, MD, December 2008

And then a video of the first time the song was performed non-solo: with the Viper and His Second String in Milwaukee. Watch John Peacock’s amazing stagecraft. He brings the moon right inside the 19th Street Coffee House.

The Viper & His Second String, “The Viper’s Blue Yodel No. 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd,” 19th Street Coffee House, Milwaukee, WI, May 7, 2010. Riley Broach, washtub bass; John Peacock, suitcase and tamborine; The Viper, harmonica, jug, baritone ukulele.

And finally, a word from the Viper’s mother:

the kind of music your great-great-great-grandparents warned your great-great-grandparents about