Secrets of sung-about substance revealed

It was only a regional hit in the late ‘Seventies but it’s still on the set lists of certain Austin-identified bands. NyQuil Blues, written by Herb Steiner when he was with the band that first recorded it (Alvin Crow and the Pleasant Valley Boys, still regulars at the Broken Spoke), will always be identified with Austin. Chances are you know at least some of the lyrics (here’s one version). In this month’s Wired magazine, we learn for sure at last exactly how NyQuil provides “that restful sleep my body needs.” A full page under the heading “Fortified With Powerful Narcotics!” is devoted to analysis of the contents of this provider of night-time tranquility and just what each ingredient is there to do (or what it does, regardless of its stated purpose). NyQuil Blues was on the set list at the Austin City Limits live taping that included Alvin Crow and Marcia Ball, one of the best ACL sessions I ever attended, back when it used to be easy to attend any taping you wanted to and the musicians were pretty much all from around here.

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