Anyday and Derek – More Classic Rock

The song Anyday was written by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock in 1970 and released in 1971 on the great Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs album by Derek and the Dominos. (Derek was the Eric’s pseudonym.) Duane Allman played slide guitar with Eric on this song (and several others, notably the amazing Layla). Duane Allman was the bandleader of the Allman Brothers Band (he was killed in 1971 in a tragic motorcycle accident). The drummer for the Allman Brothers Band was Butch Trucks.

In 1979 Butch Trucks nephew was born and named Derek. Derek Trucks started playing slide guitar at an early age and formed the Derek Trucks Band in 1994. He toured with and eventually joined the Allman Brothers. He toured with Eric Clapton in 2006.

Trucks is married to singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi, who sings in the Derek Trucks Band performance of Anyday below, which is from Clapton’s CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL 2007.

Anyday by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock
You were talking and I thought I heard you say
"Please leave me alone.
Nothing in this world can make me stay.
I’d rather go back, I’d rather go back home."

But if you believed in me like I believe in you,
We could have a love so true, we would go on endlessly.

And I know anyday, anyday, I will see you smile.
Any way, any way, only for a little while.

Well someday baby, I know you’re gonna need me
When this old world has got you down.
I’ll be right here, so woman call me
And I’ll never ever let you down.


[Chorus 2x]

To break the glass and twist the knife into yourself;
You’ve got to be a fool to understand.
To bring your woman back home after she’s left you for another,
You’ve got to be a, you’ve got to be a man.


[Chorus 2x]

Anyday, anyday, I will see you smile.
Any way, any way, just for a little, just for a little while.

The Future of Industrial Agriculture

Thinker and writer John Michael Greer describes why organic farming is the next step in the evolution in agriculture that is unfolding in the United States. Excerpts below.

Link: The Archdruid Report: Agriculture: Closing the Circle

It’s extremely common for people to assume that today’s industrial agriculture is by definition more advanced, and thus better, than any of the alternatives. It’s certainly true that the industrial approach to agriculture – using fossil fuel-powered machines to replace human and animal labor, and fossil fuel-derived chemicals to replace natural nutrient cycles that rely on organic matter – outcompeted its rivals in the market economies of the twentieth century, when fossil fuels were so cheap that it made economic sense to use them in place of everything else. That age is ending, however, and the new economics of energy bid fair to drive a revolution in agriculture as sweeping as any we face.

Industrial farming follows an extreme case of the extractive model; the nutrients needed by crops come from fertilizers manufactured from natural gas, rock phosphate, and other nonrenewable resources, and the crops themselves are shipped off to distant markets, taking the nutrients with them. This one-way process maximizes profits in the short term, but it damages the soil, pollutes local ecosystems, and poisons water resources. In a world of accelerating resource depletion, such extravagant use of irreplaceable fossil fuels is also a recipe for failure.

…organic farming moves decisively toward the recycling model by using organic matter and other renewable resources to replace chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and the like. In terms of the modern mythology of progress, this is a step backward, since it abandons chemicals and machines for compost, green manures, and biological pest controls; in terms of succession, it is a step forward, and the beginning of recovery from the great leap backward of industrial agriculture.

Coal is NOT the Solution

Steve Heckeroth at Mother Earth News describes why coal is not a good source of energy. Excerpts below.

Link: Solar is the Solution.

Coal is burned mainly to produce electricity, and coal-fired power plants produce more than half the electricity used in the United States. But burning coal has serious drawbacks. One is that it releases carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. It also releases heavy metals, such as mercury and sulfur. These toxins that were locked in the Earth’s crust over billions of years are suddenly spewed into the atmosphere and thus degrade our air, water and soil. The exhaust from burning coal contains more pollutants and global warming emissions per unit of energy produced than any other fossil fuel. In addition, the methods used to mine coal are destructive to the land and dangerous for the miners.

Now consider that coal is enormously inefficient from a total energy perspective. It took billions of years of solar energy to form the coal we have today. And while coal is the most abundant fossil resource, the total amount of energy produced by burning all the coal on the planet would only be equivalent to the solar energy that strikes the Earth every six days.

Beautiful Image: Contrast

On this last calendar day of autumn, here’s a great photo of aspens in Colorado.

San Juan Mountains of Colorado

Link: Earth Shots » Contrast by Tad Bowman.

Photographer Tad Bowman says:

This photograph was taken in the San Juans of Colorado. I was drawn to the lines of this scence (aspen boles and the rocks in the ridge) as well as the brilliant fall color of the aspens. I took about 70 shots of this scene over an hour and a half timespan to try to capture the light the way I wanted on the aspen strand and the light being muted on the ridge in the background.

Equipment: Canon EOS 1dsMII, 70-200 mm lens, tripod

The Future Value of Organic Farming and Farmers Markets

Writer and thinker John Michael Greer describes why organic farming is more than politically correct fad embraced by affluent suburban tree huggers who shop at Whole Foods.

If you believe that the current American lifestyle of energy use is sustainable, then stop reading. But if you are concerned about the future and prosperity of the next generation of Americans, read on.

Excerpts from Mr. Greer’s article are below. Click on the link to read the whole blog post (the comments are very interesting also).

Link: The Archdruid Report: Agriculture: The Price of Transition.

Unlike air and water, the vast majority of the food we eat comes from human activity rather than the free operation of natural cycles, and the human population has gone so far beyond the limits of what surviving natural ecosystems can support that attempting to fall back on wild foods at this point would be a recipe for dieoff and ecological catastrophe. At the same time, most of the world’s population today survives on food produced using fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources such as mineral phosphate and ice age aquifers. As the end of the fossil fuel age approaches, other arrangements have to be made.

This poses a challenge, because nearly every resource currently used in industrial agriculture, from the petroleum that powers tractors and provides raw materials for pesticides, through the natural gas and phosphate rock that go into fertilizer, to the topsoil that underlies the whole process, is being depleted at radically unsustainable rates. Some peak oil theorists, noting this, have worried publicly that the consequences of declining petroleum production will include the collapse of industrial agriculture and worldwide starvation.

…The organic farming revolution …may be the most promising and least often discussed of the factors shaping the future of industrial society. It’s not a small factor, either. In 2005, the most recent year for which I have been able to get data, some four million acres of land completed the transition from chemical to organic agriculture, about a million acres over the previous year’s figure.

Because it uses no chemical fertilizers and no pesticides, organic agriculture is significantly less dependent on fossil fuels than standard agriculture, and yet it produces roughly comparable yields. It has huge ecological benefits – properly done, organic agriculture reverses topsoil loss and steadily improves the fertility of the soil rather than depleting it – but it also translates into a simple economic equation: a farmer can get comparable yields for less cost by growing crops organically, and get higher prices for the results. As the prices of petroleum, natural gas, phosphate rock, and other feedstocks for the agrichemical industry continue to climb, that equation will become even harder to ignore – and in the meantime the infrastructure and knowledge base necessary to manage organic farming on a commercial scale is already solidly in place and continues to expand.

Transportation, at least in North America, is a thornier problem. The railroad system that once connected North American farmland to the rest of the planet, and enabled it to become the world’s breadbasket, was effectively abandoned decades ago, and it’s an open question whether enough of it can be rebuilt in the teeth of catabolic collapse to make any kind of difference. In the meantime, though, another set of adaptive responses is taking shape. All over the US, though it’s especially common on the west coast, local farmers markets have sprung up over the last decade, and much of the produce sold in them comes from small local farms.

In cities where the farmers market movement has set down strong roots – I’m thinking particularly of Seattle, where five weekly farmers markets and the seven-days-a-week Pike Place Market supply local shoppers with produce of every kind – the economics of modern farming have been turned on their heads, and truck farms from 10 to 100 acres located close to the city have become profitable for the first time in many decades. Once again, the infrastructure and knowledge base needed for further expansion is taking shape.

All these transformations and the others that will come after them, though, have their price tag. The central reason why modern industrial agriculture elbowed its competitors out of the way was that, during the heyday of fossil fuel consumption, a farmer could produce more food for less money than ever before in history. The results combined with the transportation revolution of the 20th century to redefine the human food chain from top to bottom. For the first time in history, it became economical to centralize agriculture so drastically that only a very small fraction of food was grown within a thousand miles of the place where it was eaten, and to turn most foodstuffs into processed and packaged commercial products in place of the bulk commodities and garden truck of an earlier era. All of this required immense energy inputs, but at the time nobody worried about those.

As we move further into the twenty-first century, though, the industrial food chain of the late twentieth has become a costly anachronism full of feedback loops that amplify increases in energy costs manyfold. As a result, food prices have soared – up more than 20% on average in the United States over the last year – and will very likely continue to climb in the years to come. As industrial agriculture prices itself out of the market, other ways of farming are moving up to take its place, but each of these exacts its price. Replace diesel oil with biodiesel, and part of your cropland has to go into oilseeds; replace tractors altogether with horses, and part of your cropland has to go into feed; convert more farmland into small farms serving local communities, and economies of scale go away, leading to rising costs. The recent push to pour our food supply into our gas tanks by way of expanded ethanol production doesn’t help either, of course.

All this will make life more challenging. Changes in the agricultural system will ripple upwards through the rest of society, forcing unexpected adjustments in economic sectors and cultural patterns that have nothing obvious to do with agriculture at all.

…Today’s industrial agriculture and the food chain depending on it, after all, were simply the temporary result of an equally temporary abundance of fossil fuel energy, and as that goes away, so will they. The same is true of any number of other familiar and comfortable things; still, the more willing we are to pay the price of transition, the better able we will be to move forward into the possibilities of a new and unfamiliar world.

Classic Rock: Blind Faith reborn

I love this music.

After he left Cream in 1969 and before he formed Derek and the Dominos in 1970, Eric Clapton was in Blind Faith with Steve Winwood. Here’s a segment from the CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL 2007 FROM CHICAGO where they recapture the old magic. It’s great that these guys are still around.

Three years ago, Eric Clapton assembled a who’s who of guitar masters for the first Crossroads Guitar Festival, raising funds for the Crossroads Centre, Antigua, a chemical dependency treatment and education facility Clapton founded.

In the summer of 2007, Clapton invited old friends and new for the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago. Rhino Entertainment captured the event in a two-DVD set chronicling that scorching summer day in Chicago with CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL 2007 FROM CHICAGO. The two-disc DVD costs $30 and is available from this link CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL 2007.

Here’s a segment highlighting the Eric Claption and Steve Winwood playing the Blind Faith song Had to Cry Today. (The guitar interplay at the end reminds me of Eric and Duane Allman on Layla.)

These guys are music legends because they compose and play great music, not because they dance well and look like movie stars.

If you love Classic Rock music…

Here’s a rock classic performed by an guy who can sing, play, and write great music, from the CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL 2007 FROM CHICAGO. It’s wonderful that he’s still got the spark.

Three years ago, Eric Clapton assembled a who’s who of guitar masters for the first Crossroads Guitar Festival, raising funds for the Crossroads Centre, Antigua, a chemical dependency treatment and education facility Clapton founded.

In the summer of 2007, Clapton invited old friends and new for the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago. Rhino Entertainment captured the event in a two-DVD set chronicling that scorching summer day in Chicago with CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL 2007 FROM CHICAGO. The two-disc DVD costs $30 and is available from this link CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL 2007.

Here’s a segment highlighting the amazing Steve Winwood playing Dear Mr. Fantasy. Please note that he usually plays keyboards, but he can play guitar.

Steve Winwood was just shy of 19 when he formed the group Traffic in the spring of 1967.

By the time Traffic’s debut album (titled Mr. Fantasy) was released in December 1967, the group had scored three hit singles in the UK with Winwood and Capaldi’s “Paper Sun,” Mason’s “Hole In My Shoe” and the group-penned “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush” (from the film of the same name), none of which appeared on the original British mono pressing of the LP. The first American version of the album (which was in stereo) was called Heaven Is In Your Mind, after another song on the album, but it was quickly changed to Mr. Fantasy, and it included the three UK singles. The song “Dear Mr. Fantasy” was never a hit single, but it quickly became an underground radio favorite in the U.S., and has long been considered one of the group’s true classics, along with such tunes as “Glad,” “Freedom Rider,” “John Barleycorn (Must Die)” and “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.”
Source: Mix

"Dear Mr. Fantasy" is a rock song by Traffic off their 1967 album, Mr. Fantasy. It was written by Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood, and Chris Wood, although Winwood took on most of the musical construction of the song and sang it on the album.

The song was covered by Canadian rock band Big Sugar in 1995, and by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

In addition the song was famously performed on multiple occasions throughout the 80’s by the Grateful Dead with keyboardist Brent Mydland on vocals. Gov’t Mule and Widespread Panic are known to occassionaly cover the song. It also appeared on The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper in 1969, where its chord progression morphed into "Hey Jude". The riff was lifted off by Led Zeppelin.

The song was used in the promotion of the NFL Network and the movie, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

The song was also covered in the 1973 made for T.V. movie Go Ask Alice starring Jamie Smith Jackson and Jennifer Edwards.

The song was recently covered by the American rock band Tesla on the album Real to Reel (2007).
Source: Wikipedia