2008/03/10

Flora Molton, Eleanor Ellis

heavy "blues gone to church" rootsy gospel. next to zero information on the web about this singer and her timeless music, some of the most heart felt and beautiful in the cannon. i think this is the only disc representing American music in the entire Ocora catalog -- and have to say probably as good a choice as is possible: stark and minimal. so true. so real.

from Spinning in the comments:

"Flora Molton used to play outside of the old Woodward & Lothrop department store in downtown D.C. - I remember stumbling out of the Metro exit and hearing her voice. it was a bitter cold day in December, shortly before Christmas. I think she was seated on a metal folding chair (the kind used at card tables), but am not sure if I'm remembering that correctly... You can read more about her here.

She had a cardboard sign of some kind, too... for donations, maybe?

A few years after I first heard her, I ended up working a few blocks down the street from Woodies. There was an elderly blind man who stood on the street corner day in and day out, singing a wordless moan - he and Flora were the last real street singers in D.C.

I don't know this man's name, and wish i had more appreciation for his singing, which was monotonous (he never varied the tune), wordless, high, keening, and ear-piercing. It was very difficult to block out the sound of his voice, especially when our office windows were open.

I am sure he's long since gone."

it don't get more real than that do it? a living national treasure. singing on the street with a cardboard sign for donations.

rapid one and rapid two

16 comments:

bb said...

ugh oops

z can you plz delete the above comment? from the office acct. lil bit of fail this afternoon.

regardless. this is a fine album.

Mena Mark Hanna said...

this rocks fo real. you have any odetta? She's one of my favs. ive got an album of her covering dylan.

zhao said...

harbingerapocalypse? is your closet misanthropy project? what office do you work in, the church of satan??? LOL :D

zhao said...

i have a mental image of you sitting in some cubicle in full death-metal body paint and regalia...

bb said...

hahhhahaha...it's actually my boss's acct, attached to a company gmail catchall. thanks for wiping that out.

zhao said...

hey look here motherfucker this here is a HOUSE OF THE LORD get me? and if you gon bring all that evil up in here may you be damned to an eternal 4AM in a swanky hotel room filled with coke and nasty ass hos like some 2 short type shit.

or something

bb said...

... it could happen....

zhao said...

just tell security to let me in later

Spinning said...

Flora Molton used to play outside of the old Woodward & Lothrop department store in downtown D.C. - I remember stumbling out of the Metro exit and hearing her voice. it was a bitter cold day in December, shortly before Christmas. I think she was seated on a metal folding chair (the kind used at card tables), but am not sure if I'm remembering that correctly... You can read more about her here

Spinning said...

Flora had a cardboard sign of some kind, too... for donations, maybe?

A few years after I first heard her, I ended up working a few blocks down the street from Woodies. There was an elderly blind man who stood on the street corner day in and day out, singing a wordless moan - he and Flora were the last real street singers in D.C.

I don't know this man's name, and wish i had more appreciation for his singing, which was monotonous (he never varied the tune), wordless, high, keening, and ear-piercing. It was very difficult to block out the sound of his voice, especially when our office windows were open.

I am sure he's long since gone.

zhao said...

wow...

it don't get more real than that do it?

a living national treasure. singing on the street with a cardboard sign for donations.

makes me eyes water

alejo said...

believe it or not, i found a copy of this record on a pop music store in buenos aires; bizarre, absurd and magical. a once on a lifetime chance to get it but i didn't have any money back then, so, with pain, i had to let it run away.
looked around for it since then...
thank you very, very much for this!

zhao said...

:D :D :D

Ryan Shepard said...

... he and Flora were the last real street singers in D.C.

We've still got a few - keep an eye out for this guy around Dupont:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rock_creek/4035725517/

Anonymous said...

I saw Flora Molton at the Clearwater Hudson River Festival in '86. She was on a side stage, playing to a small audience. She was quite old at the time but played guitar and sang well. After the show I bought a cassette from her that I still have - somewhere. It was $5.

zhao said...

cassette? rip? post? :)