Paulelmo's Blog

Pusher (Spurgie’s Song)

When it comes to my ever-present need to see how the fibers intertwine where song ends and spoken word begins, “Pusher,” which was originally titled “Spurgie’s Song,” stands at the apex of the verse that I’ve created. It is the only piece I’ve written for an existing piece of music and then adopted into my spoken word routines. What is more, even before that, I’d taken earlier spoken word pieces and fitted them to this piece of music for public performance.

All of those performances were with The Spurgie Hankins Band on Tuesdays at The Empty Glass, conveniently located on Elizabeth Street in Charleston, WV.

Spurgie has a portion of his set, which we’ll call “I just wanna express myself,” although I think those are just lyrics and the song has another name that I can’t recall right now. Be what may, the portion of the set is the express yourself portion. For a while, it was just Spurgie expressing himself, but then he brought in percussionist T. J. King–yes, that’s right, that T. J. King, from Electric 102.7–to add to the expression.

It wasn’t long before he asked me to join in, and, man, I’ll tell you, the ten or twelve Tuesday nights that I’ve shared that stage with Spurgie and the gang have been some of the most rewarding nights of my life.

Like I said, early on I just worked two or three of my spoken word pieces into his groove. Then, I started to realize that I could show my appreciation for the work we were doing together by writing a new piece to fit into it. This is what came out. It has become my favorite spoken word piece, and I look forward to doing it with Spurgie and the gang again in 2010.


  • I’ve deleted the actual verse here, as it exists on the site elsewhere, both as a written piece and a spoken word.

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