Sunday morning, when the shocking news began to circulate that we had lost Lonnie, Kevin Bonner referred to him as a "southern gentleman". This he was, not a traditional aristocratic old money type, but a man of strong core beliefs and a quiet, steadfast love for his people. He would do anything for Tammie. I'm certain in the last instant before the crash, if he had time to take an action to give her a better chance, he did it instinctively. And Tammie loves him. And will forever. They made one another so happy that you could not help being happy just being around them. When I began gigging again after cutting way back when my kids were small it was a different dynamic. I had a home and established family, and most gigs were in a three hour or so radius of my home. The result of this is you tend to play for many of the same people much more than when you are in a road band. This is how I met Lonnie and Tammie. They, like many of the people I feel privileged and proud to refer to as my "Winslow Friends" were there to see and support a 17 year old Winslow native named Jesse. As time passed they became friends to Kelly and I as well, and we always were glad to see each other and catch up. Not to mention it's much more fun to play to your friends. Winfest, BB&BBQ, volleyball on the Thomas hillside (with old geezers taking out the youth with experience and treachery) are fond memories that make me smile. I loved stirring the pot with Lonnie about sports because it would trigger furious and gleeful trash talking bouts. He loved the Red Sox for some reason he never made clear to me. As a moto X rider, he was a very competitive guy, which came out occasionally. Even in fun you could sense the steel behind this quiet fun-loving guy. The first time my daughter's boyfriend Cody came to hear the band play Lonnie gave my wife Kelly a big hug as usual. Cody was sure Lonnie was some sort of bar drunk being inappropriate, which everyone involved thought was hysterical, particularly Lonnie. I shudder to think how far Cody would have flown if his misguided idea to intervene had actually occurred. Lonnie and Tammie are two of the best people I know. They loved each other and each other's people with everything they had. They would do anything for each other and you felt that light any time you were near them. Please, may that light continue to shine on us all as we process this heartbreaking loss. Peace and strength. MM
The cold snowy winter of the BRFC project and the focused intensity of the "late spring/early summer" goal of having the first collection ready to go have given way to the early summer/spring resignation of "no one really wants to sing this for me" and "people want me to play in their bands with them". Thus, while the BRFC project is far from over, it is currently static as a couple of sideman gigs and life in general take precedence. I played a recent corporate function with some old friends and new ones, a project so diplomatic in nature that as of now a name has not even been agreed on. I'm also playing in an Arena Country/Classic Rock, (for lack of a more descriptive term) band which is a new incarnation of Straightline. The projects are polar opposites with regard to approach, which makes me very happy. It is possible that some BRFC material might find its way into one or both of these projects as well. And since that might not be enough, An old friend is back and I hope some exciting new stuff might be forthcoming with him. But I still intend to have at least one CD worth of BRFC material completed before the final curtain drops on 2014. One way or another.
It's big tires and loud pipes on a 70's muscle car with Boston screaming out the rolled down windows even louder. It's knowing where "Copperhead Road" really is. It's believing Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard are every bit as legitmate bluesmen as Muddy Waters and Son House. It's believing Robert Johnson is as legitimate an American folk artist as Woody Guthrie. It's being pretty sure Jimi Hendrix' version of "Machine Gun" New Year's Eve '69-'70 is proof that there is at the very least an advanced spiritual plane in our galaxy from which certain gifted/cursed individuals can channel terrifying beauty. It's believing we are all better than we appear when we sling political and theological shit at one another. It's a spring fed stream that few know about and fewer have been to. It's trying to remember that all of the above is everything and nothing all at once.