Milwaukee Record is proud to present Public Domain. The monthly video series features Milwaukee musicians setting up at Colectivo Coffee to adapt some of the world’s best-known songs in ways they’ve never been heard before. Watch the entire series here.
This installment finds one excellent country band paying homage to another. Milwaukee’s own Buffalo Gospel treated the Back Room to a warm and heartfelt rendition of “Short Life Of Trouble,” a devastating song from Grayson and Whitter. The seminal country duo consisting of singer/fiddler Gilliam Banmon “G.B.” Grayson and singer/guitarist Henry Whitter formed in 1927. In less than three years together, they signed two record deals and recorded 40 songs.
“Short Life Of Trouble” is one of the final songs Grayson and Whitter recorded together. The 1930 composition was released just months before Grayson died in auto accident at the age of 42. While the pair’s time together was brief, they sold tens of thousands of records and managed to forge a reputation that would carry on for decades to come. Grayson and Whitter songs have been covered by the likes of Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger, and this particular song has been reprised by The Stanley Brothers, Frank Fairfield, Jerry Garcia, and many more. Buffalo Gospel is the latest in a long line of acts to breathe new life into a classic song that far outlasted the short-lived duo who wrote it.
The video was shot, recorded, and edited by Cheston Van Huss of Effigy Media. Travis Whitty produced the opening sequence. Public Domain is sponsored by Colectivo Coffee Roasters, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, and Transfer Pizzeria Café.