Pub Songs on Palafox is a four song, lo-fi EP recorded in the raw as a live-air production that captures the energy and sound of a Lojah solo performance while busking downtown Pensacola, Florida in competition with the various sounds of a bustling city street.
Lojah begins with a rowdy Irish pub tune, Dicey Reilly, about a lush of a woman who spends her life crawling from pub to pub; a sailor’s favorite. The Black Velvet Band is another classic Irish ballad about infatuation, deceit and injustice which takes us out of the pub and away from the Emerald Isle to a penal colony in Australia. Following up is Looks Like Jesus, a rockabilly-blues styled piece and a Lojah original tells the story illustrating the conflict between despair and ambition, shroud with esoteric imagery, set in the Southern atmosphere he calls home. Miss Constance concludes the record, a naughty Caribbean-styled tune about the perils of younger women.
Lojah’s Creolized Roots Music is a style deeply influenced by Caribbean rhythms, Celtic melodies, and blues.
Spring is finally here and I think the weather is actually going to stick around. It has been a little while since I last sent out an update, because I’ve been so heavily involved in working for Veterans Healthcare reform, and some pretty significant life changes that I let my regular updates slip by.
Well, I’m back at it again. So far 2016 is proving to be a great year for me and I have some really cool updates to share with you.
MY ARTIST PAGE
For starters I opened up my artist page on Lojah.com where you can view and purchase my personally hand painted artwork, inspired by Indigenism, nature, arcane symbolism and personal vision. It’s still in its formative stages but it’s going to be great as it grows.
THE MOODY VIEW
I consolidated my old blogs into a single blog called The Moody View, easier to follow and keep track of. It’s a place where I talk about art, music, culture and modern critiques. I’ll be covering a lot of my experiences as I create more art and further explore life.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Link up with me by visiting some of my Lojah sites below.
The Handlebar is a hub of the Pensacola music scene. Located at 319 N. Tarragona St. the Handlebar has had a reputation for being a heavy metal and punk rock hangout. Due to the implications in the name, it has often been mistaken for a biker bar. The truth is that the Handlebar is a melting pot of styles and genre, with musical features which naturally include heavy metal and punk rock, but pop, folk and even country as well.
Ever since the bar first opened, the Handlebar has provided a stage for local and touring bands to perform and promote themselves. Some of the better known acts that have performed at the Handlebar include Run DMC, Black Flag and TSoL.
The Handlebar serves beer and wine in a single community room with plenty of open space providing a clear view of the stage. It’s a simple brick and mortar design splashed with black graffiti, decorated with vintage photos hanging crookedly on the walls. At the north end of the bar, opposite the stage sits a piano I’ve never seen played ornamented with a Pet Rose Plaque and a skull in voodoo fashion, capped with a bud light sign.
There is a single billiard table and jukebox that plays when there are no bands onstage. Typical selections include anything from the Dead Kennedy’s or Led Zeppelin to Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.
The back courtyard of the Handlebar makes for great escape sometimes from the volume and activity inside. With two tables outside, patrons of the handlebar can enjoy their drinks, company and the fresh air of the mild Pensacola climate.
The Handlebar is a required stop in Pensacola if you enjoy the atmosphere and music of an underground music scene. It has been an active part of the Pensacola music scene for so long that anybody playing original music locally inevitably plays many shows at the Handlebar. It’s been one of my regular hangouts for years.
Many great historical chiefs are celebrated in Native American popular culture. The most commonly remembered names include Crazy Horse, Geronimo, Red Cloud, Tecumseh and Chief Joseph. Along with these belongs the 18th century Muscogee Creek chief Alexander McGillivray, a great man who is not as commonly spoken about, but is just as significant to both Native American and United State history as those formerly mentioned.
Alexander McGillivray was the principle chief of the Creek Nation near the end of the 18th century. He was the son of Sehoy Marchand, a French-Creek woman from the powerful Wind Clan. His father was the prominent Scottish trader Lachlan McGillivray who immigrated to Creek country in 1736 from Dunmaglass, Scotland, and spent the majority of his time in Little Tallassee and Otciabofa which was also called Hickory Ground  on the Coosa River. This is where Lachlan met Sehoy.
Lachlan secured lands amongst the Creek people near the ruins of the French Fort Toulouse close by Little Tallassee. There, he planted a garden and built a plantation house, naming it the “Apple Grove.” In time Lachlan became a wealthy trader, entrenched and well respected among the Indians.
When Alexander was a young man his father sent him to Charleston, S.C. to be educated in the British tradition. After returning to his home on the Coosa River, Alexander was honored as a chief on the Creek National Council and given the name Hopue-hethlee-Mekko or “Good-Child King.” Shortly thereafter he was commissioned a colonel in the British army and installed as the English Agent to the Indians. He donned the uniform of a British officer, with the headdress of a Creek chief, complete with the white feathers of his rank and led a faction of Creek warriors in the Battle of Pensacola.
Before long, Alexander rose to prominence, becoming the principle chief of the Creek Nation. Being a fan of European history, he preferred to use the term emperor, though his actual power in the nation was severely limited and somewhat tenuous. He was a frequent visitor to and property-owner in Pensacola, FL, negotiating treaties with the Spanish who were the dominant European power in the region. He led Spanish funded attacks on American frontier settlements in Georgia. After the American Revolution, McGillivray was invited to Virginia where he received a paid Generalship from George Washington in the United States army.
An eager capitalist, Alexander McGillivray was also an investor and silent partner in Panton, Leslie and Company who opened a trading post on McGillivray’s property, the first brick and mortar building established in Pensacola, FL. His first wife was Vicey Cornells who bore him two daughters: Peggy and Lizzie. His second wife was Elise Moniac, the sister of the Choctaw chief Red Shoes and they had three children: Margaret, Alleck and Elizabeth.
As a native statesman, McGillivray worked tirelessly throughout his career to create a Creek Nation recognizable and respected by European nations, but still distinctly Creek, distinctly “Indian.” Much like his Cherokee neighbors he succeeded, at least until 1830, when the Indian Removal Act was signed into law by Andrew Jackson, robbing the people of their lands.
In January 1793 McGillivray traveled to Pensacola for a business meeting with William Panton. On the trip he developed a fever and never recovered. On February 17, 1793 at eleven o’clock at night, in the home of William Panton, Alexander McGillivray died. He was buried in the garden of Panton’s house in Pensacola, laid to rest with full Masonic honors . Alexander McGillivray was such a loved and respected leader that he was mourned throughout the lands. His obituary ran in London in the Gentleman’s Magazine.
“Feb. 17. At Pensacola, Mr. McGillivray, a Creek chief, very much lamented by those who knew him best. There happened to be that time at Pensacola a numerous band of Creeks, who watched his illness with the most marked anxiety, and when his death was announced to them, and while they followed him to the grave, it is impossible for words to describe the loud screams of real woe which they vented in their unaffected grief. He was, by his father’s side a Scotchman, of the respectable family of Drummaglass, in Invernesshire. The vigor of his mind overcame the disadvantages of an education had in the wilds of America, and he was well acquainted with all the most useful European sciences. In the latter part of his life he composed, with great care, the history of several classes of the original inhabitants of America; and this he intended to present to Professor Robertson, for publication in the next edition of his History. The European and the American writer are no more; and the MMS of the latter, it is feared, have perished, for the Indians adhere to their custom of destroying whatever inanimate objects a dead friend most delighted in. It is only since Mr. McGillivray had influence amongst them, that they have suffered the slaves of a deceased master to live.”
 Hickory Ground; a very special town and meeting place within upper Creek Country. Creek; Ocē vpofv, also called Little Tallassee.
 It is believed that Alexander McGillivray was the first Mason in the State of Alabama. Some researchers claim that A.M.’s remains were shipped to Scotland and buried on his father Lachlan’s land.
 Gentleman’s Magazine, Printed under the caption: Marriages and Deaths of considerable Persons,” August, 1793, Vol. LXIII, London, p. 767
Lojah is a Native American-Irish folksinger from Pensacola, Florida. He describes his eclectic sound as Creolized Roots Music, influenced by Caribbean rhythms, Celtic melodies, and Southern American blues. His music is immersed in social realism, and arcane insight woven together with tongue-in-cheek witticism and a festive vibe. He is currently performing acoustic sets along the Gulf Coast.
“Pub Songs on Palafox” is a four song, lo-fi, EP recorded in the raw as a live-air production that captures the energy and sound of a Lojah solo performance as executed while busking downtown in competition with the various sounds of a bustling city street.
Lojah begins with a rowdy Irish pub tune, “Dicey Reilly“, about a lush of a woman who spends her life crawling from pub to pub; a sailor’s favorite. “The Black Velvet Band” is another classic Irish ballad about infatuation, deceit and injustice which takes us out of the pub and away from the Emerald Isle to a penal colony in Australia. Following up is “Looks Like Jesus“, a rockabilly-blues styled piece and a Lojah original that tells the story illustrating the conflict between despair and ambition, shroud with esoteric imagery, set in the Southern atmosphere he calls home. “Miss Constance” concludes the record, a naughty Caribbean-styled tune about the perils of younger women.
I naturally met JJ Smith at McGuire’s Irish Pub in Pensacola a couple years back. Kilted in the tartan of the Lamont clan, JJ runs a show that is not just a folk music performance but a bit comedic shtick as well. His crowd-interactions make for some of the evening’s high points.
JJ’s style stands out from the majority of the singers I’ve met on the Irish pub tour in several ways. To begin with, his personalized renditions of the classics reveal significant blues, and American country music influences, which bring the Celtic style home to the American South. Live, JJ makes use of a lot of bass runs on his guitar which often helps to add a subtlety and a sense of motion outside of the songs’ basic chord structures.
JJ hails from Stonehaven, near Aberdeen, Scotland, but has resided in St. Petersburg, Florida for the past several years. While in the States, he has steadily toured the southeast and managed to produce two album releases: Druid Roots Going Home, and his solo album JJ The Balladeer. They’re both great and very distinct from each other.
Druid Roots was a trio JJ was a part of, a rather eclectic mix of folksy styles. The album projects a heavy Celtic theme with very noticeable elements of East-Indian drumming, country-western music, and a hint of rock and roll. My favorite track is Stonehaven Waltz, a traditional sounding Celtic ballad, but the whole album is worth the listen.
The Balladeer contains 15 tracks of excellently produced Celtic ballads. JJ’s resounding baritone voice coupled with the full and sometimes booming open strings of his guitar create layers of richness within each song. The songs are mostly mellow, somewhat nostalgic pieces. The highlights include Galway Shawl (my personal favorite); a cover of the classic U2 hit I Still Haven’t Found what I’m looking For; and Whiskey on a Sunday.
Rich McDuff is Northwest Florida’s most popular Irish folk music performer. With a loyal and regular fan base, Rich helped build and define the music scene at McGuire’s Irish Pub while performing there for more than twenty years.
Although the moose-kissing tradition at McGuire’s predates Rich’s arrival on scene, he is responsible for writing the accompanying, and now entrenched “Kiss the Moose” song. He explains “When I began playing here, asking a first-time patron of McGuire’s to kiss the moose might be met with a bit of confusion and resistance. The traditional aspect was lost on them. I figured if there was a song to go along with it, it would give the tradition a bit more validity for first-time visitors to the pub. And it has worked out pretty well.” Now every act that performs at McGuire’s plays this song, and the moose-kissing tradition has expanded to include not only the moose but a couple other McGuire’s fixtures as well.
Rich is also known or pushing the bounds of the debauchery which is naturally as part of McGuire’s slogan. His “Dirty Limerick” song, played to the classic mariachi tune of “Cielito Lindo” contains rhymes that could even surprise a hip-hop fan. Many of Rich’s regulars eagerly look forward to this point in the evening, awaiting their opportunity to share the stage with him and recite their own limerick specially prepared just for this song. The best and most classic limericks are written on a scroll and tucked away in the secret archives, only to be taken out upon the performance of this tune.
Even more entertaining, energetic, and amusing is Rich’s version of “Seven Drunken Nights,” with extended responses – a wee bit too naughty to be written down here. This point of the night is when you are likely to see the most crowd participation. This rendition of the classic Irish song is memorable, if not for the increasingly lengthy responses, but the reactions and looks on the faces of new comers to the McGuire’s scene.
Crowd interaction is a major part of Rich’s act. You never know just where the night will lead or how ridiculous the antics are likely to become.
Rich’s set also contains a set of American country, and acoustically played classic rock songs familiar to everyone. As a classically trained guitarist, Rich McDuff’s musical talent becomes most apparent when he plays a traditional jig or reel or the occasional classical guitar piece.
Rich’s revolving schedule alternates between the pubs in both Pensacola and Destin, Florida. While he is away, his regulars in Pensacola always look forward to his return. Some will even make the drive to Destin to see him when he is performing there.
Sluggo’s bar and restaurant located at 101 S. Jefferson St., in downtown Pensacola is an enigmatic club that has provided its eccentric crowd with a gathering place to revel in their eclectic musical tastes since St. Patrick’s Day 1990. Over the years, Sluggos has operated in numerous Pensacola buildings, undergoing significant transformations while still remaining true to the Pensacola underground music scene.
The Sluggo’s kitchen offers vegetarian cuisine at reasonable prices and has been featured on VEGCOOKING.com. Their most popular entrées include the Tai Chili Bowl and the Pecan Dust Sietan. They have a full bar, a reading room and a stage for performing acts.
Many touring musical acts count Sluggos as a regular stop on tour to and from cities such as New Orleans, Atlanta, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville and Orlando. Over the years, many popular acts have performed here including Everclear, Sugartooth, Run DMC, Digital Underground, the Reverend Horton Heat, and Shadowyze.
Sluggo’s also offers the stage for local and developing bands to cut their teeth and attract a crowd, playing original music. On most weekends and often during the week, there are opportunities for local artists to open shows for larger touring acts. Presently all of Sluggos’ shows are open to all-ages.
Over the past twenty years Sluggo’s has reinvented itself a number of times. Terry Johnson, the owner explained her vision of the ever transforming Sluggo’s. “Sluggo’s has to evolve in tune with her environment. Stagnation equals death. We shouldn’t separate the arts, we should embrace them all and provide an atmosphere where everyone can express ourselves and share our ideas. If we limit our options just to how we started, Sluggos would be just another bar scene.”
Not just another bar-scene, the Sluggo’s scene is diverse in tastes and styles. Tending toward modern, progressive and punk rock, Sluggo’s has also hosted hip-hop open mic nights, several charitable events and other cultural expositions.
McGuire’s Irish Pub is a Pensacola landmark, rich in atmosphere and tradition. Located in the Old Firehouse at 600 E. Gregory St. Pensacola, Florida, McGuire’s boasts “Feasting, Imbibery, and Debauchery 7 nights a week.” Themed as “a turn of the century New York Irish Saloon” McGuire’s features nightly performances of traditional Irish Music and sing-along. Such artists of note include Rich McDuff, Dun Aengus, and JJ Smith playing a majority of classic and traditional Irish folk music.
Established by McGuire and Molly Martin in 1977, but only located at Gregory Street since 1982, this pub has a few traditions that have grown up with it. The ceiling and the walls are covered with over 1 million one dollar bills, signed and donated by the pub’s patrons. In the late night hours, as the debauchery gets a-going new comers and those overcome with that Irish spirit may be called up to kiss the moose as the featured artist sings the traditional moose-kissing song.
As a restaurant McGuire’s serves lunch during the day and dinner until the wee hours of the morning and employs some of the hardest working wait staff in Pensacola. Dining at McGuire’s is always fun and satisfying, with very large portions. The nacho plate alone is piled up the size of your head. And the quality is top of the line.
McGuire’s is a winner of numerous awards including Beef Backers “Best Steaks in Florida,” for their USDA Prime Beef steaks. Their Molly’s Cut is the best steak I’ve ever had. It is also an 11 time Golden Spoon Award Winner, and a Florida Trend Magazine Hall of Famer. McGuire’s has also been featured on the Food Network’s Outrageous Foods during which the “Big Daddy Burger” made with bacon, cheddar cheese and jalapeno peppers was created.
McGuire’s is also celebrated for its selection of beers. They proudly display a quote by Carrie Nation; “Life’s too short to drink cheap beer.” McGuire’s operates an onsite brewery where are created a selection of quality ales and porter. They include a light ale, Irish Red, Raspberry Wheat, Porter, Stout and root beer. They also brew and serve a rotating variety of seasonal ales. Visitors may tour the McGuire’s Brewery and home brewers are offered a sample of McGuire’s own brewing yeast for use.
The bartenders are very friendly, professional and offer quick service. They pour 1½ oz shots and double shot martinis. McGuire’s is the home of the aptly named Irish Wake, a green concoction served in a mason jar with a green and a red cherry, so potent that no more than three are allowed per customer per visit. Amongst its many awards, McGuires with its 8,000 bottle wine cellar is also the winner or the 2009 WineSpectator Award of Excellence.
To new folks, the McGuire’s layout may cause some initial consternation. Much like the TARDIS from Dr. Who, McGuire’s seems to be bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Like Disney World, much of McGuire’s is virtually unseen from ‘above ground,’ with 400 seats throughout several different themed rooms. Then there are the bones of Bridget McGuire.
McGuire’s is a regular stop for many celebrities and politicians who live in or pass through Pensacola, including 2008 Presidential candidate John McCain. This is a fantastic pub in which to be a visitor or a regular. With good food, good drink, and great atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed. Just be sure to pay close attention to the restroom signs when ye stop by.