I'm up too late trying to get sleepy after a dramatic night of losing my way past the falls, past the county-line... running outta gasoline and blup-blupping to a cringing halt just off the highway.
And, of course, I had on stupid red shoes. Again. Pointy and pointless, impossible-to-run-away-in red shoes ($4) all dressed and ready for a bar-gig in D-town... Oh my glory. Bright poppy rouge..
I kept seeing the wavering light of a walking person (possibly an assailant out to take my banjo and my pearls, or maybe a meth-cook totally freaking out about my hazard lights) drifting slowly through the trees... Ugh. No cell phone.
JAMES!!! Where are you James?
But then-- I finally decided that I should just quit being a scaredy-britches and so.. I just opened the door, palmed my flip-knife, and said, "Hello?!" to the Mystery Person beaming light toward my Mystery Self.
Turned out to be a really nice guy with a gas can and a head-lamp...
He wouldn't take my money, but he told me to help someone out next time I could.
Thank you, Gas-Sharing, Light-Wearing country boy. Rescue Hero.
And so I got to the spot, just thrilled to see Natalie's smiling face. She was singing her songs and holding down the gig while I'd been busy chawin' my fingernails down to the elbow-- 'fraid of my own shadow-- with completely impractical, impulse-buy foot-wear, which stupidly perforated the red-clay and gravel ground like pretty hobbles.
Thank you to the people who were happy to see me tonight, though. I was happy to see you too.
YES!! I'm sleepy, LP
This morning I made the fire to last... My old mountain friend, Billings is his surname, told me once in West Virginia that chopping firewood is all in the stance. Like golf. Like love...
Ha! I've been hacking away at my gift-pile of oak out front; trying to make the logs small enough to burn... And there ain't a thing on the green earth more satisfying than seeing the pieces fall apart under my axe. I mean it with a peanut.
It was pretty groovy; the female servers were doing some intense dancing to Copperhead Road during the break-- red dirt women, Las Vegas high kicks in tiny little shorts with big ol' belt buckles and black-lined eyes...
I sang hymns and bootlegger-banjo songs-- then a bouquet bunch of rainbow balloons broke loose and floated directly into the ceiling fan. The sound was like a semi-automatic weapon being fired from above. Bone-chilling.
I love the guy who tipped me big-- yes, you. You know who you are even if I don't. Red hot pocket...
And the beautiful little girls in German dress... Happy birthday forever.
I love it y'all. So we open the windows-- even the one that doesn't close unless you manhandle it and cuss-- and cruise for passion-vines and fallen apples.. Ain't scared. And souls so clean, hope and rain.
My three dear friends to play tonight with me at the Crimson Moon...
William Dantzler, a member of the experimental groups Cult of Riggonia and Jack and Yoda-- just having completed an East-Coast tour--comes with his drums and his long yellow hair to hold down the low for me and my ladies... Dantzler is a creative and solid talent.
Natalie Ray, a local and beloved singer-songwriter out of D-town will lend her sultry voice and composed wilderness to the performance. She and I have an idea to work together on a duo project, since she is such a prolific writer-- and we both love harmony. More to come on that!
Madelune Polites, beautiful and ephemeral and noble, sings with the high, haunting, crystalline voice of lovelorn classical Baroque...with a shotgun BANG and a silver smile like a thunderstorm. Madelune is a young woman to have her perfect command of the language of music and feeling. She is a delight to hear.
These three free-winged wanderers make sounds that I've never heard before, but the commonality of culture and love have our respective arts and intentions aligned.
The Crimson Moon in Dahlonega tonight, Hendershots in Athens tomorrow night.
P.S. If you made it to the bottom of this letter, you may like to know that we are going to have a late-night musical gathering after the Crimson Moon show this evening. Come and let the truth in your eyes recommend you, and we'll likely throw down by the bonfire...
My flock and l flew out last night in a queue. The boys held their respective instruments; Willow a baritone uke given him by Grandfather, and Edwin a little hawaiian-style uke with cat-gut strings given by Grandma...
Matilda, rad and right-on tambourine, sang her favorite hymns: "Down to the River to Pray" and "Amazing Grace.." Gal can harmonize like birds climb the air on the wing.
Willow sat up front with his legs dangling down and jammed his instrument with perfect focus and enthusiasm; like his daddy Jason Kenney, he whipped all about and furrowed his brow and all together put his whole self into the music.
Edwin, with his cookie and his baby uke, sat on the corner of the stage trying to decide how to feel about the drum kit.
I danced for them all like a life-long roadie at a Dead show.
Those children must imagine that everyone in the whole wide world plays music...
Heart Alive, LP
So beautiful out here..
Painting with the yellow stones by the river, climbing in the Laurels, picking up chanterelles and laughing at Klaus Von Kitty's prim moxy...Chomsky Dog's lightening-flash terrifying dashes of a sudden down the trail..
Collecting fallen apples--cold to the touch and other-worldly yellow, decorating the table with tiny neon zinnias from the garden, making green tea...
I wish I had a pair of strong hands to open the honey jar. I've tried hot well-water...I've tried to grab the lid with Superman's night-cape... Jar just won't open..
But....the cicadas sing all day long. And even though there're road blocks and cares all about the things I wish were not... There are rainstorms and verdure and sweetest love in vivid noise up on the hill.
Honey Jar Blues but It's All Right, LP
I love to see those folks. The mayor of my town came out and sang most every song. My favorite avante-guarde banjo man was there (of course) to teach me more about the value of "attack..."
And I drank the well-water from the big glass jug I'm always carrying around.
"Whatcha got in THAT jar, Young Lady?"
Makes me smile.
But I wish that every day were as temperate and as filled plum full with kindness...
Thanks be to the good people in the country where I'm lucky to live.
My mother's hatching guineas keets... My father's MIA... My children are all sleeping well without a worry...
I'm in love with this day.
There was a beautiful couple drinking local white wine and they bought a disc... There was a new employee with three kids and a wife who kept calling me "Baby Girl," and I sat through a break and spoke with my old high-school art teacher. I accused him of giving A's indiscriminately based on favoritism and relative artistic opinion. Do these things happen in the city? OH! And the muffler fell out on my treacherous dirt road...
But.. I still felt that it was an evening well-spent in the company of listeners under the sky, and I was glad to caterwaul, content to stomp my tambourine.
"It don't matter what I do.. I can't get along with you...I'ma take you to your mama pay day.."
*Raving 'round at these possessions.. What are these but the thin black water in between?
*Highway-- remind me that the world still lives.
*Would that we could open wide and let the good wind blow us free..
*We're all here. It's all inside you.
*Cut me a whippin' switch... 'Cos I'm good to lick the devil...But this is gonna hurt me more...
*My body is a dulcimer, my heart is tuned to D
*When you walk out into where I can not go, and I may no longer see your form...
*Great resistance come... Come a time when I will have to leave your side... Never miss me..
There. That's better. LP