Video Premiere: You’ve Rambled Too Long from Martha Spencer

Virginia old time and Americana artist Martha Spencer has created a live music video for one of the songs on her current album, Wonderland. She surprised some of her fans with the uptown swing influence on some of the tracks, but this one, You’ve Rambled Too Long, is right in her mountain-style wheelhouse.

Martha grew up playing this music, with her family, as a member of the Whitetop Mountain Band with whom she still appears. The Spencers have been part of old time music in southwestern Virginia since the 1940s, and her desire to see this sound both preserved and expanded is a major part of her cultural ethos.

You’ve Rambled Too Long finds Spencer speaking to herself and reflecting on that inner wish that things could stay as we remember them.

“I wrote this song after being out on the road a while and coming home to our little community school closing, an old guitar picking friend Dave had passed, and our local store had closed. It’s about coming home to a different place and the loafering benches where people once gathered being empty. When I was a kid, my dad would ride us down to Crowbar’s, the little country store, where he’d go sit on the liars’ bench and swap tales with other folks. A lot of folks had nicknames back home: Crowbar (Olen Price) had three sons – Gopher, Head, and Horse; and by the time I was a youngin, Gopher had taken over the running of the store. When dad would loafer, I’d go hang with my friend who lived beside the store. It held some sweet memories for me.

I also think of the folks who stick in a community to try and make it better, and keep things alive and thriving, and appreciate all the folks who invest in a better future for their little corner of the world.”

The song is raw and real, as is this stripped-down duet performance.

You’ve Rambled Too Long and the full Wonderland album are available now from popular download and streaming services online. It can be purchased for download directly from the artist on bandcamp, where you can purchase audio CDs as well.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.