Achilles Tenderloin New Single "Little Girl Blue"
The name Achilles Tenderloin is the man Joe Augustin, who bills himself as an indie-folk and acoustic blues artist from Richmond, Virginia. He’s only 39, but he sings with a quivering voice that makes him sound at least ten or twenty years older than that. His style is akin to an acoustic elderly voice of experience, and “Little Girl Blue” is a sweet
song about a young girl.
We’re led to believe this young girl is Augustin’s daughter. He incorporates detailed memories of her life experiences. These include having a lemonade stand, back when she was really young, on up to becoming an adult and (possibly) having a family of her own.
Sonically, the song begins with acoustic guitar, played to a waltz time signature. After a short intro, Augustin’s voice comes in sharing that lemonade stand memory. Shortly into the performance of the song, mandolin accompaniment is also heard augmenting the track. About midway through, that mandolin takes a really nice solo. After that, choir-like
wordless backing vocals can be heard mixed in.
Oddly enough, though, Augustin refers to this girl as “Little Girl Blue,” when the most common usage of that term applies to Little Boy Blue, an English language nursery rhyme. The earliest printed version of this nursery rhyme comes from Tommy Thumb’s Little Song Book, which dates all the way back to 1744.
It’s a little strange, the juxtaposition between the song’s lyrical sweetness, and Augustin’s dead serious vocal. It sounds like he’s singing a funeral dirge, and not a song for and about his daughter.
Granted, he does express some regret when once he needed to leave town and tour while she was in high school. It’s gotta be tough for a parent to leave his child back home while travelling because of a music career.
Although he doesn’t come right out and say it, however, one surmises that he’s lost contact with this young woman. And that likely explains the track’s overall downer tone. “I suppose you’ve grown older and hardened your hands,” he sings, “You’ve forgotten my songs and your lemonade stand/I imagine you’re married, with kids of your own/Whose
lemonade tastes like the day I left home.” Sadder still, though, is when Augustin sings, “Guess I’ll never know, if you think of me still.” Is it even possible that this young woman can forget a father or father figure? That seems unlikely. Nevertheless, one is led to believe this separation is permanent, if not extended.
Family can be filled with strange arrangements. This father and daughter are still ‘family,’ even if they’re not physically together. There’s nothing sadder than familial estrangement, though. Augustin sings it as though he’s mourning this girl’s death. It’s as if she’s dead to him, as he’s wondering if he’ll ever see her again. She’s called “Little Girl Blue,” but this dad is really the blue one here.
Stylistically, this track is folk, or at least, folk-ish. It’s sad in the way, say, the wartime folk song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” is sad. Augustin’s vibrato singing on it fits its subject perfectly, too.
It is, indeed, blue music.