Sunday, February 23, 2014

Songs from Home: "After the Money from Mama was Gone" by Bob Reuter

Under the band name Three Fried Men, we have been recording songs by St. Louis songwriters of our generation. Next up: "After the Money from Mama was Gone" by the late Bob Reuter, with Fred Friction on lead vocal.


Free mp3

"After the Money from Mama was Gone"
(Bob Reuter)
Three Fried Men with Fred Friction

Fred Friction: vocals
Nick Barbieri: drums, rhythm acoustic guitar
Mark Buckheit: lap steel guitar
David Melson: bass, acoustic guitar

Recorded by Nick Barbieri and David Melson in St. Louis, MO
Mixed by Meghan Gohil at Hollywood Recording Studio in Los Angeles, CA
Mastered by Elijah "LIJ" Shaw at the Toy Box Studio in East Nashville, TN
Produced by Chris King for Confluence City



"After the Money from Mama was Gone" was recorded by Bob Reuter and his band Kamikaze Cowboy on their record Down in America (2000), produced by Michael Martin at the Broom Factory in St. Louis. A lot of us think that's one of the best records ever made in St. Louis by anybody, so follow that there link to the Kamikaze Bandcamp page.

Bob Reuter's songwriting speaks for itself more eloquently than anyone else could, but in this song I especially savor how Bob dwelled on local detail and picked out place names from his north St. Louis city and county environment, like Bruce Springsteen bravely putting the Jersey shore towns and interstates on the map of American music.

Bob sings,

And the bad kids down there on Hall Street,
burning up engines and wine,
burning like sunstroke, drifting like cowpokes,
bursting in flames up off of the line

and a St. Louis drag racing landmark has been burned forever into public memory. Bob always stayed a sure step ahead of his critics - it was no surprise, when KDHX gave him his own radio show, to discover that he knew everything about American music - and I submit that Bob knew exactly what he was doing right here within the tradition of American story songs, and that is what the cowpokes are doing in the imagery (in addition to supplying a gorgeous internal rhyme): that's Bob tipping the Kamikaze Cowboy hat and whistling across the smoking tip of his gun.

Fred Friction
I love to work with Fred Friction as a vocalist, have done so for many years, and thought of him first when I got the itch to record this song. When I called Fred about the idea, he pretty much shouted, "Yes! That has always been one of my favorite of Bob's songs!" Nick Barbieri recorded Fred's vocal in one single take -- this is the kind of song Fred exhales; it's part of him, it is him. When I shared the final mix and master of this recording with Mike Martin, who recorded Bob's original version on Down in America, Mike agreed that Fred was perfect for this song.

We offer the tribute in Bob's memory.

The song was composed and (c) Bob Reuter and is the property of his estate: This cover version is intended for free sharing and non-commercial use with full composition credit and (c) reserved by Bob Reuter and estate. Production-quality audio is available for community radio or local compilations, upon request.


Previously on Songs from Home
"Midget's" by Chuck Reinhart
"Had to End Sometime" by Bob Reuter