A great advertising wave of the new millennium was finding obscure songs from the past to promote new products or tie in with corporate identities. A worthy suggestion for the Amtrak corporation would be to seek out that great artist from the early days of musical Americana, Captain Appleblossom, that is if they can find out anything about him at all. He recorded during what was one of the heydays of the train industry, creating at least one number that seems like it would be eternally appropriate for railroad travel: "Timetable Blues." This track was released by Rounder on that label's Train 45 anthology, an entertaining collection which also features contributions from the likes of the Pullman Porters Quartette, Homer & Jethro and several groups of singing convicts. One of three different collections of train songs produced by this label, this seems to have gotten the best reaction, with the Captain Appleblossom track picked quite often as a favorite of critics. The song was one of four the artist cut for Okeh in 1929. The others were "The Cowboy's Lament," "When Father Put the Paper on the Wall," and "The Book of Etiquette," all told revealing a wide range of interests, including what might be one of the only songs in existence about hanging wallpaper.
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