Song of the Week – Freaks’ Lament/Sawdust and G-Strings, Carny Soundtrack


Carny1Robbie Robertson broke up The Band and documented their last show in a film directed by Martin Scorsese. The Last Waltz was recorded on Thanksgiving Day 1976 and the film was released in 1978.

From this experience, Robertson caught the film bug and began work on Carny (1980) – starring Gary Busey, Jodie Foster and Robertson – which he co-wrote and produced. It’s a decent movie that you should try to catch if you haven’t seen it yet.

It also resulted in an interesting soundtrack album. Side 1 has six “songs” and side 2 is more traditional movie music, credited to Alex North. But the instrumental songs on side one, except for Fats Domino’s “The Fat Man,” were mostly written by Robertson. It’s hard to be certain because the credits are so sketchy.

Today’s SotW is “Freaks’ Lament/Sawdust and G-Strings.”

Carny – Freaks’ Lament/Sawdust and G-Strings

Robertson wrote “Freaks’…” but “Sawdust…” was written by Davis Causey and Randall Bramblett. Keyboardist and sax player Bramblett has performed with top name acts, including The Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Sea Level and Elvin Bishop. Guitarist Causey has been a key member of Sea Level.

“Freaks’…” is a swampy mood setter designed to showcase a bluesy guitar solo then transitions into “Sawdust…”, a funky, sax driven groove that could fit nicely on a post-Lowell George Little Feat album (or Sea Level disc). Bramblett plays the horn on this one.

Enjoy… until next week.

One thought on “Song of the Week – Freaks’ Lament/Sawdust and G-Strings, Carny Soundtrack

  1. This is really great, Tom. I think it is The Last Waltz that Scorsese notes he and Robertson were roommates for a time, and that they would stay up late watching all these great films Scorsese loved. He seemed to really enjoy talking about that period.

    And, as stated, one of the great mistakes of my life was not going to The Last Waltz. But, in 1976, a $25 ticket was a huge amount, even if it did include Thanksgiving dinner. Still, i should have let the heating bill slide for a month, or something.

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