Monday, August 27, 2007

...Indian Summer: O' My Brothers...Where Art Ye?

























...being a Southerner, with a father who loved TV shows like Johnny Cash's show on ABC, Hee Haw and listened to C&W when it wasn't hip to be black and reveal as much, my daddy would bump that shite anyway... still a country boy, West Indian roots or no...(grown men are allowed to call their fathers "daddy", where I'm from) so, there's a special place in my heart for bluegrass music...Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, cats like that...I've seen 'em play... (at an early age I learned to cut through the bullshite of the times and find my funk wherever it was)...























...years later, when I was cutting some tracks (in the same spot they cut "Purple People Eater") in Nashville, I stumbled out the back door of the studio looking for the parking lot at about four in the morning to smoke a butt and I looked across the street to find that we were right across the plaza from the Ryman Auditorium...that big red barn where everybody who was anybody in the old-school country pantheon played (or wished they did)...it was surreal...still, I ran across the street to see if I could peek inside the windows at the back of the building that was facing where I was standing....see the stage where Johnny Cash kicked in the footlights...I couldn't see dick but I was there....


























...by that time the performances at the Ryman had long been moved to some replicated sound stage at a nearby theme park but I knew from pictures that this was the actual, factual...we might drop our accents in college but you can't deny who you are...most southerners-turned city-dwellers don't like to admit that there's any country music that they'd willingly listen to but I'll tell you right here, point blank-- just like jazz, say what you will, there's some phatness from the old school in the genre that should be checked out. It was quite cool rapping with Garrison Keillor in the hallway of the Four Seasons about the history of the Nashville landmark after doing an interview for his (then) new film directed by the late, great Robert Altman...I was reminded of all of this a few days ago when I copped the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack from a friend...she couldn't have known what the tunes on that LP would raise inside the depths of me...I'm glad she hooked me up with it because the tunes on that album reminded me of a time when I'd get in the wind at the drop of a hat...playing tunes...traveling...and feeling free...all of which reminds me of an alt rock band called Indian Summer...

...I remember that we did a gig with Indian Summer, who were based down in North Carolina and we'd never met-- just heard about them through the band grapevine...they played a style totally different from the funk-rock-ska that we parlayed but everybody meshed and they performed an original cut called "Land of Plenty" that they cut in a stylee years before DMB became famous for doing tunes similar to it...after that show, we were all prepared for that long schlepp back right after the show (nothing like a ride in a van with eight other guys, all of us soaked in post-performance stank) but the bass player, acknowledging one of those unwritten codes between traveling bands, asked us over to their pad in the Raleigh, Durham area-- a hop, a skip and a jump from where we were...showers 'n shite!...grub!...west-and-wewaxation...the next morning, er, afternoon, we all rose and they took us over to this quarry to swim in its cool waters and drink beer...the scene was more laid back, gulp, back in those days...



















...after that weekend, whenever we played in that area or heard that they were in our neck of the woods in Virginia, we'd try to hook up...when I hear bluegrass songs like "I am a Man of Constant Sorrow" by The Soggy Bottom Boys, I think of the ride back home after that initial meeting. Well rested, having met a couple of stand-up friends, the jade hump-backs of the Appalachian Mountains rolling by as we snaked it on back up Interstate 81, out of North Cacka-lackey and on into Virginia's Shenandoah Valley...past Mount Pilot...through Blacksburg/ Radford...right on back into town...nothing like the countryside in my birth state especially just before autumn arrives...The Indian Summer, it's called...good stuff, son...real good stuff...I could try to make up stories like this but then, I'd be a fraud...I prefer keeping it on the real side and there's not one iota of fiction in the words above...still, I wonder where all those Indian Summer guys are right now...loved their sound...I miss 'em too...

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1 Comments:

Anonymous cameron said...

Nice ! I love bluegrass and classic C&W. I grew up watching my dad belly laugh at Hee Haw! as he was best buds with the fat guy ( name escapes me). There is something so organic and natural about that music genre blues included...nice CP...

5:48 PM, August 27, 2007  

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