James Kahn

CORONA BLUES

MARCH 22, 2020 – DEAR BLOG READERS: I’M GOING TO TURN THIS CORONA BLUES BLOG POST INTO A SINGLE, LONG, COVID-19 SERIES OF POSTS – STARTING WITH MY FIRST ONE, ON MARCH 13, THAT MIXED MY EARLY CORONAVIRUS AWARENESS WITH HOW IT WAS IMPACTING MATAMOROS – AND MOVING CHRONOLOGICALLY AFTER THAT POST, TO SUBSEQUENT COVID …

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The Art of Tom Russell

MARCH 3, 2020 For a number of decades I’ve known and admired Tom Russell’s work as a gritty folksinger-songwriter, cowboy poet, Southwest musician – but somehow the notion of him as a painter passed me by. Never even occurred to me he was the artist of his CD covers. I first saw prints of some …

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Brownsville/Matamoros – Then and Now

FEBRUARY 20, 2020 On Valentine’s Day I went to Brownsville to do a book signing at the Brownsville Historical Association museum, which is where I’d done some research on the Matamoros novel. The plan was to talk a little about the history of the town, do a 10 minute reading from the book, sing two …

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Tom Russell and Ramblin Jack Elliott, too

FEBRUARY 11, 2020 So some nice reviews have been rolling in for Matamoros, both the book and the CD. And then I noticed this paragraph from Jim Hynes’s review of the CD in The Daily Ripple on 1/29/2020: “Dylan had a lengthy song called “Brownsville Girl” but the preeminent comparison is the similarly literate Tom …

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So Long, The River

FEBRUARY 10, 2020 The songs on the Matamoros CD tell the stories of the characters in the book. Sometimes backstories of those characters, sometimes tales of what happens to them after the book ends, sometimes pieces of the narrative arc of the novel, but from the character’s subjective point of view, influenced by his dreams …

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Art of Escaping

Bart’s Art

JANUARY 25, 2020 Bart Bus is the amazing illustrator who did these five paintings for Matamoros. You can see more of his work – ranging from sci-fi to pop culture to classical – at https://www.bartbusart.com/ The first image here is of a few Union troops atop the bell tower, above the tent city near the …

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Rip Ford and the Texas Rangers

JANUARY 12, 2020 John Salmon Ford was a doctor, a lawyer, a journalist, a Confederate Colonel, the Mayor of Brownsville, eventually a Texas Senator, and a renowned Texas Ranger. He got his nickname, “Rip” Ford, during the Mexican-American War in 1846, when he was assigned the duty of writing condolence letters to the families of …

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