[Jandek] John Jacob Niles

S Smith uncleborloff at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 30 06:30:09 PST 2005

I wonder how Niles got into that style? After seeing him on the Dylan doc. I realize there's a definite lineage to what Jandek's taking on that goes further back than I had thought. No doubt. Here's a quote from Dylan's Chronicles Vol. 1 page 239 about the Niles influence. 
        "I listened a lot to John Jacob Niles record, too. Niles was nontraditional, but he sang traditional songs. A Mephistophelean character out of Carolina, he hammered away at some harplike instrument and sang in a bone chilling soprano voice. Niles was eerie and illogical, terrifically intense and gave you goosebumps. Definitely a switched-on character, almost like a sorcerer. Niles was otherworldly and his voice raged with strange incantations. I listened to "Maid Freed from the Gallows" and "Go Away from My Window" plenty of times."


Mathew Young <youngmb at umich.edu> wrote:

After being introduced to his music through discussion of John Jacob Niles on
this list a few months ago I was surprised to see video footage of him in part
one of the "Bob Dylan: No Direction Home" documentary on PBS last night (part 2
airs tonight, if you're interested (which you should be)). That guy was
something else. The looks on the faces of those watching him sing were
priceless. That voice...

In other news (which I very well might have missed already announced on the
list) I saw Richard Youngs on the cover of Wire magazine that is on newsstands
now. Heads up.

"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it." - Henry David Thoreau

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