Lonesome Onry and Mean: How I Inspired the Song "Texas Ganja Man"

According to some songwriters, given the right circumstances, songs just pop out. Ironically, Baltimore, Maryland honky-tonker Arty Hill (right) recently wrote a song inspired by a line in a comment LOM dropped onto Craig Hlavaty's blog about the relative merits of Bob Marley. I commented that "I lived all over the world in the 70s and 80s, including two years in India (similar to being on a desert island), and one of my go-to albums wherever I was living was always Toots and the Maytals' Funky Kingston. Raised two decent children on 'Pressure Drop' and 'Time Tough.'"

The line about raising two children caught Hill's eye and ear. He emailed a verse and chorus the next day, then several days later a complete song. After he'd finished the song and cut a demo, he sent me the following email note:


Lonesome Onry and Mean: How I Inspired the Song "Texas Ganja Man"
"The comments section of that article on Marley is one of the most thoughtful, articulate exchanges on any kind of music I've read in awhile. That sentence you wrote - 'Raised two decent children on Pressure Drop and Time Tough' - has a very musical quality, and I would not have written the song absent that sentence. Hence, your name is forever stuck on this ditty too!"

Hill goes on:

"Me and my buddy Caleb Stine play gigs together here in Baltimore sometimes. He's sorta alt-country/folk, but he has a deep appreciation for old country and bluegrass. Our plan is to do a record in the next year or two. He will include stuff that is more country than he normally plays, and I'll include things that wouldn't necessarily fit on an Arty Hill & the Long Gone Daddys record. "I played him "Texas Ganja Man" and he laughed and said, 'I hope you like that tune, 'cause if you ever play that at a gig, people will request it every fuckin' night.' So my guess is it will end up on the record I do with him. "And hopefully on Willie's next record too!"

Hill's most recent album, Bar of Gold, made it to No. 1 on the Freeform Americana Charts in early 2008.



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