Castanets, aka Ray Raposa and a shifting cast of collaborators, is about to release Texas Rose, The Thaw, And The Beasts via Asthmatic Kitty, but you won’t find this haunting cover of Hank Williams’ “Rambling Man” on it. We asked Raposa about his previously unreleased take on the classic, one of seven Williams’ covers he recorded this past year.
It’s been mentioned “Rambling Man” was the first song you ever covered. What drew you to it?
Just one of those things. I remember hearing it as a kid and being really creeped out by the steel. The yodel too, just scary stuff for a little guy. Forgot about it for a couple years, decade or so until it came on in a bar I’d snuck into and the hooks re-hooked. Been stuck with it since.
How’d you decide to do this proper recording?
I was on tour with Michael Gira a couple years back and was soundchecking a few nights with H. Williams tunes. In Amsterdam he pretty much dared me to do a record of ‘em and I was too proud/stubborn/dumb to decline on that dare so I went ahead with it. Got back to Portland and recorded the songs I could remember. Did most of em pretty much live in the living room. This one got done during a lunar eclipse if I remember right.
Any chance you’ll try out for the lead role in that new Hank Williams movie?
Ha. Wouldn’t mind playing his son. I feel a bit more of a kinship with Bocephus.