Kirk's Bio Part 1 Key Dates: 1917: My dad was born. He was raised in Texas on the Mexican border. He as a real cowboy in his youth and spent ample time watching the southern end of northbound cattle from the back of his cow pony. He learned to finger pick guitar in a style that seems to have been unique to that part of the country from his fellow Mexican cowpokes. My dad mixed that picking style for what passed as country music in the 1930's and tried to teach it to me on our family Sears and Roebuck flat top box. But I was too smart for that stuff. As soon I learned three chords I was off to find the Rock and Roll Rainbow. 1966: Ray Charles released his recording of Buck Owens, Crying Time . Hearing one of the best Soul/Rhythm&Blues artists of that time cover a tune penned by a Bakersfield Country player helped me understand that Country music was my calling. Unfortunately, I ignored that calling and continued to chase the Rock and Roll rainbow for a number of years. Alas, "Youth is wasted on the young" 1967: I traded my treasured album Tequila by the Champs for Rubber Soul By the Beatles. With its acoustic country feel and thematic musical approach the album helped me gain an appreciation for intelligent arrangements and solid production values. 1980 My Rock&Roll Fever broke. I was pedal to metal into Gospel and Country and I haven't hit the brakes yet.
Veteran’s Day in October Veterans Day came early this year for the Resurrection Airmen Band. It was September 23rd. The autumn sun was bright, the breeze was brisk. Overlooking the valley, high on the hill in front of the Holyoke Soldiers Home the Stars and Stripes flew in God's own sky. The aroma of steaks and burgers filled the air in the open area in the rear of the facility. Tents were raised, tables were set and the veterans, many escorted with great care and respect, by the staff filled the seats along with family and friends. For two hours the Resurrection Airmen Band had the honor and privilege to play our brand of Texas dance hall style music with a New England twist for those who gave the gift freedom to the USA at great cost to themselves and their families. A number of the care givers danced with the vets including those vets with walkers as the band played Boot Scoot Boogie, Don't Rock The Jukebox and other country dance tunes. It was obvious that for many of the staff their time at the Home is more than job, it’s a calling. As we played our version of Lee Greenwood's “God Bless The USA” we could see pride in the eyes of these senior soldiers and many sit up a little straighter even those in wheelchairs. The Resurrection Airmen consider each opportunity to perform for an audience to be a privilege. However, our time at the Soldiers Home picnic will be held for years to come as a particularly special time when we were able to share our music the with the brave men and women who served to defend the land of the free and the home of the brave.
I woke up Saturday after a late night gig at Listons Bar and Grill in Worthington. I took a look at my reflection in the mirror. A title for a new song popped into my head: “Thank God Beauty Is an Inside Job!!” I’ll be working on that. Listons is one of a kind. I mean that in good way. We arrived to unpack and set up at around 8 PM. The lot parking lot appeared to be almost full with cars and trucks. When I was able to locate a spot to squeeze the Explore into Margaret and I were able to see beyond the other on-road vehicles. Marg said “can you believe this? I have never seen this many snowmobiles in one place.” It was a veritable sea of sleds. Inside, it was wall to wall snowmobile suits, each filled with a human being eating a large plate of well prepared food. The aroma was pleasing. It was a challenge not to sit down and order a plate but we were there to work. Chowing down would have to wait. Steve is a great host and knows his business. As soon as a couple of tables cleared he had them moved to allow us to set up the noise making gear. As we held forth with the Resurrection Airmen’s version of Texas Dance Hall music with a New England Twist, the crowd got just rowdy enough and loud enough to make it fun. The good times and out in the woods location put me in mind of the dance hall in Luchenbach Texas, at least until I ventured outside during a break and froze the fringe on my buckskin jacket. The Airmen play country music without prejudice. A few weeks prior to the gig Steve asked if we could add a couple of Neil Young tunes to play in honor of a Listons patron who passed away in the last year. We obliged with “Heart of Gold” and “Southern Man”. Our piano man, Michael Johns (aka Mike Parziale), turned in a great vocal for “Southern Man” for a strong round of applause. I dusted off my ancient “G” Blues Harp for “Heart of Gold”. I think it went okay as we received a request to repeat the tune before the night ran out. I stepped outside for a break. As I looked to the North, I could see the moon clothed in light clouds through a stand of tall pines. Incredibly beautiful! Later that night as we were loading the vehicles above us was a clear star studded mountain top sky. The view alone was worth the ride. But Steve paid us anyway. What a nice guy!!:) I send a heartfelt thanks to drummer, Rich Mayer, who, at the very last minute drove in from Brattleboro, VT to fill in on drums for our scheduled percussion guy who was suffering with a severe cold. Rich’s performance was spot on, he never missed a beat. You can bet we’ll invite him back. At the end of the last set Steve asked us to play a tune of our choice. We chose a “Uncle Sam’s Birthday” a track form our soon to be released CD TEXAS STATE OF MIND. It was good fit as the lyrics where inspired by my affection for small towns like Worthington, MA, Covington, LA and Luchenbach, TX.
God Bless Hope to see you at the next gig. Ya’ll be sure to wave and say howdy!!
The Resurrection Airmen will release TEXAS STATE OF MIND a compilation of ten original songs in digital and CD format within the next few weeks. The songs were written by Mike Ingram, Kirk Creswell and Margaret Creswell. The Airmen and friends recorded the songs in a Western Ma studio over the summer and early fall. The musical styles include Texas Dance Hall, Texas Swing and Country Blues with a focus on dancability and fun. The recording will be available on iTunes, Spotify and similar on line music services as well as on CD. The songs can be previewed at www.reverbnation.com/resair.