Inquiries into the early years of SJI

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Contemporary performances

With this blog I have always (with one exception) been careful to limit my postings to matters referring to the early days of SJI. That was largely due to my respect for Rob Walker's very fine No Notes blog  which, for over six years, has been tracking the evolution of the song and (among other things) referring us to its most recent variations. Sadly, Rob recently decided to put his blog on hiatus, and until further notice will not be writing further articles.

And so, every now and again, until Rob returns, I shall be posting links to more recent interpretations on the "St. James Infirmary" song, as well as to other songs intimately related to SJI. In fact a number of postings are already waiting in the wings, including some wonderful MP3s from Max Morath, an artist I have already referred to several times.

Today we are introducing (at least as far as this blog is concerned) a version of SJI that was posted on YouTube. This is by a duo (I think now a trio) called The Groanbox Boys. One of the Boys recently purchased a copy of I Went Down to St. James Infirmary and informed me of this video. And, you know, it is really good! At about 1:45 into the song they pick up the pace and with accordion, banjo, and vocals launch into the stratosphere.

I have already ordered a copy of a Groanbox CD. You might want to look into this group too. Here they are with "St. James Infirmary."

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