It’s a brand new year. Congratulations to everyone who managed to stay a toe’s length from the edge of that bridge for another damn year. It wasn’t a great year and I don’t want to go on and on about it, but that ‘focusing on the positive’ wasn’t working for me, either, so I turned on Sirius and listened to the Drive By Truckers ringing in the new in New York City. They were dirty, nasty, dark and put a grin on my face from the git-go, with Patterson sending you all a big, fat “Happy New Year, Motherfuckers!”. They opened with the Gregory Dean Smalley story, reminding us all right away that we can’t die now ‘cause we’ve got another show to do. The Big To-Do was represented, but, mostly, it reminded me of shows of old, with Decoration Day, Gravity’s Gone, Ronnie and Neil, Dead, Drunk and Naked, bunch old stuff, and Ghost to Most! They ended with Shut Your Mouth and Get Your Ass on the Plane and Angels and Fuselage. Oh, yeah, Shonna Tucker broke out her new one. (will be on Go-Go Boots, which they’ll kick out in February)
My year had a few smiles. Ronnie Fauss put on quite a show at our place. He’s a treasure both musically and personally. He has great EPs, too. Check out Naomi’s review of Mulligan and if you haven’t heard him before, you’re missing out.
My buddy, Jon Durham, sent me a couple of his new and improved CDs (by way of Puddin’haid from Little Rock!). I can’t decide. I love the new Good Dogs and Bad Weather, but the 2008 Roots and Wings really still sticks with me in a big, bad way. Something about those wings unfolding in this new year resonates.
My friend, Shady, who hosts a best-kept-secret radio show in New Zealand, of all places, turned me on to Barry Saunders with “Far As The Eye Can See”. This guy is amazing. I had to do a quarter-turn auditory adjustment, my ears being tuned to twang ranging only from Texas to Tennessee, but his beautiful, effortless voice evaporated all my preconceived notions and transported me right into the smack-dab middle of each song. Listen to some Barry Saunders, maybe Black-eyed Girl and let me know…..Thanks, Shady, for the radio shout-outs and this gorgeous CD, even though I was a little taken aback at first,,,I thought that was Keith Richards on the cover!
I had the extreme pleasure of doing a hootenanny with Kevin Montgomery and Sean Snook in the fall, as they traveled the country promoting the Orange Duffel Bag project. They played 50 states in 50 days, raising some awareness of a problem nobody thinks much about, so congratulations to them on a difficult job well done. I hope foster kids everywhere get a little more help than just an orange duffel bag when they’re turned loose in this cold, harsh world. Most all of them have had rough times. Go be nice to a kid with no home and listen to some Kevin and Sean.
I can’t start 2011 without my warmest thanks to Naomi, for all she does and for putting up with my shit for another damn year.
And, Jitter, man, what can I say? Y’all are simply the best.
Love on ya!