What better way to start a Wednesday than with a great modern take on an old murder ballad. Based on the actual events that took place in 1890, the song tells a story of policeman (James Brady) who was shot dead by bartender Harry Duncan in a saloon in St Louis, Missouri. Four years later Duncan was executed for the murder and in 1929 Wilmer Watts and His Lonely Eagles recorded the original track that retold the fateful tale and titled it, “Been on the Job Too Long” . Ever since then the song has been performed by a mixture of artists including Bob Dylan and Leadbelly, also going by the name of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, ”Duncan and Brady’ or simply ‘Brady’.
The version I have selected today is performed by the young Fresno, California native (and now Los Angeles resident), Frank Fairfield who, inspired bygone days, now creates an authentic blues, country sound with his guitar, banjo, and fiddle filled tunes. His version is one of my favourites, maybe you will agree?
Fairfields single, ‘Duncan and Brady’ is available on Third Man Records