Archive for March, 2015

March 27, 2015

Your Friday Jam: Spanish Mary

Most folks consider Bob Dylan to be one of the greatest songwriters America, if not the world, has ever produced.  The man was prolific in his work, and wrote a number of songs that he never actually recorded – masterpieces that were destined to never be heard.  Thankfully, in stepped The New Basement Tapes, a group of musicians who decided to band together and let the world hear these previously unrecorded Dylan tracks.  In 2014 Jim James, Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith, and Rhiannon Giddens all banded together to perform twenty Dylan songs, and the result is truly spectacular.  Every song on their album, Lost on the River, is worth more than one listen, but the track below might be my favorite.  Enjoy this week’s Friday Jam.

March 6, 2015

Your Friday Jam: Remember the Alamo

On this day in 1836, the heroic band of Texas independence fighters at the Alamo finally fell to the army of General Antonio López de Santa Anna after a thirteen day siege.  Legend holds that when it had become clear that reinforcements would not arrive, Colonel William Travis drew a line on the ground and asked any man willing to stay and fight to step over — all except one did.  The men who stayed to fight at the old mission, including Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, all sacrificed their lives that early spring morning for the cause of Texas independence.  By holding off the Mexican army for almost two weeks they allowed General Sam Houston to muster his army and prepare them to win independence from Mexico a mere six weeks later at the Battle of San Jacinto, where the Texan battle cry consisted of “Remember the Alamo!”.

Today, we remember the Alamo, as well as the lessons taught us by the heroes who died at that shrine to Texas liberty.  To the men who gave their lives for the cause of freedom, we raise our glasses.

March 2, 2015

Texas Independence Day

179 years ago today, Texas declared its independence from Mexico, as a group of settlers declared their solemn right to live in liberty, free from tyranny.  Thanks to the valiant sacrifices of the men and woman at Gonzales, Bexar, the Alamo, Goliad, and finally San Jacinto, Texans today are raised in the same spirit of independence.  This commitment to freedom is best encapsulated in the letter that Commander William Barret Travis wrote while surrounded by enemy forces at the Alamo.

Commandancy of the The Alamo

Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World-

Fellow Citizens & compatriots-

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna – I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man – The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken – I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls – I shall never surrender or retreat.  Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch – The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days.  If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country – Victory or Death.

William Barret Travis.

Lt. Col.comdt.

P.S.  The Lord is on our side – When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn – We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.

Travis

Now go out, eat some brisket and Tex-Mex, wash it down with an ice-cold Shiner Bock, and enjoy all the things you like about Texas.