Our mission: To seek out and promote superb but rarely heard songwriters.
Throw me from this train

I met Rob in 2001 when he became a New Folk winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival. It was a real hoot to acquaint this Canadian with some of the Texas Hill country.

From time to time one of his songs comes up on my 400 disk CD player and all of these fond memories from that week come flooding back to me. Like the collapse of his tent. I guess he wasn't too much of a camper, God bless him.

I contacted Rob the other day to see if he would be interested in having a post on this website, and he replied with this file of the song entitled "Throw me from this train". It's some sort of serendipitous thing that he would propose this song, as I am currently working on several railroad projects in Southeastern Indiana.

The railroad can be a powerful metaphor for life, as we can tend to get caught up in a single minded direction with our careers and relationships and never get to explore the rich countryside that surrounds the tracks.

If you enjoy this song as much as I enjoy Rob's music, you will probably want to check out his website at www.roblutes.com . You can order his CDs from this site.

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Direct download: RobLutes_ThrowMeFromThisTrain.mp3
Category:Music podcasts -- posted at: 11:28am EDT


What ever I say about Gary Cross is not enough. 

I met Gary at a Kerrville folk festival early in the decade. He and his buddies were sitting on "The Rock", which is this outcropping in the smoking section; left field of center stage. For years I had gone to the Festival alone and this time was no exception. I was wandering around looking for a place to sit, looking a bit like a lost stray animal I suspect. 

But there are no strangers in the world of Gary Cross, and he immediately struck up a conversation with me. We have been close friends ever since. His enthusiasm and marketing background always make me feel better about my own music than I ought to, and he has provided valuable assistance and insight in some of my endeavors in this regard, including the production of the Enclave event in Austin that we began a few years back (I have recently suspended this due to my travels). 

Horizon is one of many songs that Gary has written, and is a good example of his style and poetic sensitivity to the human condition. It's a long piece (not as long as American Pie) but Gary, as we all know, has a lot to say. 


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Direct download: 05-Horizon.mp3
Category:Music podcasts -- posted at: 5:27pm EDT

The Sailor

Back in September of this year I was in Austin on a Friday night. As is usually the case in Austin on any Friday night, musicians tend to coalesce and perform melodic compositions, and this was no exception. But since this visit was such a short notice only four folks showed up and only two were musicians.

One of the two non-musicians is an able story teller, and this story was captured during the recorded session entitled "The Band's Getting Back Together (Not)". The Sailor, as told by Charles "Balloon Dog" Wakeland (AKA "The Professor") is a little rough but a good example of Charles's sense of humor.

The first time I met Charles at his home in south Austin I shook his hand, which is this massive mandible thing, similar in girth to the paw of a grizzly bear but gentle as that of a kitten. He proceeded to show me some of the metal working toys that he has in his shop and described some of the projects that he was working on and others that he was planning to be working on; all the while using the technical prose of an aerospace engineer to portray such mundane events as how the hot plasma from the cutting torch vaporizes the metal that it hits while the surrounding ferrous lattice remains cool and undisturbed. This type of description is why he is known to his close friends as "The Professor".

But others who have seen him tying up balloon animals at local events for the kids and the ladies  in Austin know him as "Balloon Dog".

Such is the flavor and character of the South Austin residents.


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Direct download: 09-Sailor_Story.mp3
Category:Music podcasts -- posted at: 4:20pm EDT

The Distance

I started this site just over a year ago, knowing very little about Podcasting (I had a book on it), but thinking that it may be a good way to promote some of the things that I was doing, as well as some of the things my friends were doing. My desire has been to find the diamonds in the rough, those that are just emerging to the surface that exhibit great potential. 

Finding the time to get out there, find the talent, record, edit, engineer etc, all while maintaining a full time job has proved to be rather difficult, so my postings have been rather sparse and infrequent. 

A few weeks ago I decided to start taking submissions (see the submission button at the left). The Podcast that is being posted here is a result of that solicitation. After listening to it, I went to the band's website and ordered their CD. Being a junkie for the western side of country, more specifically the southwestern side of country, I heard the distinct flavor of Country & Southwestern in this song. These guys wouldn't be out of place at Greune Hall or Sixth street in Austin.

I've had my first listen to the CD and there are some lyrics that definitely reach out and grab your attention, and I'm looking forward to hearing it again. 

Here is what the song writer has to say about this tune:

You notice the clock is crooked; it's 1:37 pm. You've wondered what this day would look like for a long time. You study all the angles. She's standing in the kitchen wearing the blue dress you bought her in Barra de Navidad four years ago. She pours two glasses of diet coke and rum, very unlike her, not being much of a drinker. You ask her to pour a bit more booze in yours, adding that you prefer the dark rum but this will do. "You really shouldn't drink so much", she says.  

Outside it is sunny, but cold. The wind is blowing. The quaking aspens are dropping their leaves. It's fall (these things always happen in fall). 

There are no more locking hands over the abyss. The distance is too much. IT'S OVER.....and you both know it. Five photo books worth of years sit on the wood and brick shelf, awkwardly unwanted. The rum starts to cast a maudlin fog..... 

It is a quiet, civil affair (even with the alcohol). The fights have stopped. Arrangements are made: "I'll be in Pendleton for a few weeks; that should give you enough time to pack your stuff and find a place", she says.

You agree. 

Strange how passion can go so stale, how that distance grows, how we forget (...or don't). You would love to hate her, but after all you've been through, a huge sadness is all you can manage. You remember you used to love her, careful not to remember why.  

It's time to move again.

This song came to us from Scotland Barr and the Slow Drags, located in Portland Oregan. The band members are, from left-to-right; Mickey Featherstone-bass; Scotland Barr-lead vocal, guitar; Zach Hinkelman-lead guitar; Bryan Daste-pedal steel, sax, theremin, backing vocals; Chris Hubbard-keys, backing vocals; Nick Kostenborder-drums.  The picture was taken during their recent tour, outside a San Francisco club called Thee Parkside, by the drummer's mom. Thanks mom.

The Distance can be found on the band's CD entitled  Legionnaire's Disease . For more information on this group, please visit the following websites.:


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Direct download: 08_The_Distance.mp3
Category:Music podcasts -- posted at: 9:05am EDT

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Category:Subscription Information -- posted at: 7:55am EDT

Young Man I met Page Williams through a Leisure Learning course in Houston, Texas, known as Guitar Circle. I am not sure what exactly it is we "learn" at Guitar Circle, but Page is the adept Den Mother of all who participate, making sure that email addresses and phone numbers are up to date and that we are all aware of when the new enrollment dates come back around.

"Young Man" is currently her one and only original song, which was recorded the evening of July 22 of this year at my condo on Briar Forest Drive in Houston, where a "mini-circle" was held with a few of the Guitar Circle enthusiasts. I now refer to this recorded collection of songs by Mike Yeates (see the podcast "Megans Song" on this site), Page Williams, David Britton, and John Schneider as Briar Circle.  

The photograph posted here was taken at one of the Artist's Enclave musical events in Austin, Texas. It tells a lot about this event. From left to right are:

Gary Cross - As co-producer of the Enclave Music Series he is possibly pondering the stage construction, which is nearly as hap hazardly built as the eclectic collection of buildings and hardware at the Enclave property itself. Later in the evening, Gary once again transforms himself into his alter ego "Rudy the Redneck". This phenomena generally occurs as a catalytic effect of mixing an excessive number of Shiner beers with his hard work as co-producer.

Dan Northcutt - Another  Guitar Circle member, who I hope to have a podcast posting from sometime in the future. Dan writes some wonderfully witty and sarcastic material. 

Mike Yeates - Again, see "Megans Song" in the archives of this Podcast site. Mike is also a Guitar Circle member.

Page Williams - Gutar Circle den mother, song writer and performer.

Steve Fryer - Sound engineer extraordinaire. Steve has produced at least one album with the group "Monkey on the Bed". For more info on Steve and Monkey on the Bed, go to http://cdbaby.com/cd/motb or http://www.monkeyonthebed.com/

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Direct download: Young_Man.mp3
Category:Music podcasts -- posted at: 1:16pm EDT

Megan's Song Mikes Yeates tells stories of East Texas in his song writing that seem all so familiar to me. Having grown up exploring the forests of North Alabama, I felt some propinquity to the piney woods in East Texas when my family relocated to Texas in the mid 1960's. I met Mike several years ago and immediately fell in love with his lyrical style and East Texas stories. This song sample, however, was written for his daughter. It was recorded on November 8, 2003 at the Artist's Enclave in South Austin. Mike's niece (Amanda) sings with Mike on guitar and harmony vocals.
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Direct download: Mike_and_Amanda__Enclave.mp3
Category:Music podcasts -- posted at: 9:09am EDT

add to my PodNova
Category:Related Links -- posted at: 12:17pm EDT

Have your original songs posted on this site

If you have original music that you would like published in this forum, please send your submissions to cactusclef@gmail.com Please include:

Your song in .mp3 format.

A photo to go with the song in .jpg format.

A short text file describing something about yourself and/or the song.

If your submission is accepted, CactusClef Publishing will respond with a request to use your submission on this site. The work will be covered by a Creative Commons opyright, which basicly means that subscribers may copy it for their own personal use but any commercial use is forbidden without your permission.

For more info on copyrights and digital technology, visit the Creative Commons Website by clicking on one of the links in the CactusClef website, or by going directly to the Creative Commons Website at http://creativecommons.org/ .

Category:Submissions -- posted at: 10:26am EDT

Podcasting News
Category:Related Links -- posted at: 4:30pm EDT


This photo of David Clary was taken at the Artist's Enclave in Austin, Texas playing along with Kevin Hollingsworth. The song Mars was written by David about the time the Mars rovers started exploring the surface of the red planet two years ago. This version of the song was captured live at the Enclave. David has a studio version of the song along with a collection of other original tunes avalable on CD. To find out more about David or his CD, contact Cactusclef Publishing at cactusclef@netzero.net or contact David directly at songsmith101@yahoo.com

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Direct download: Mars.mp3
Category:Music podcasts -- posted at: 8:04pm EDT

San Diego Sessions


album price #
ROBERT LINDSAY NATHAN: San Diego Sessions $12.97
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Category:CD for sale -- posted at: 12:36pm EDT