When I give a speech, they usually mention in the introduction that I’m a musician and songwriter. I often lead off with this joke. “My musician friends always ask me why I sold out and got a real job. It’s really simple. I like to live indoors.” It usually gets a laugh.
It’s also a softer version of the truth. I don’t want to become Uncle Lloyd.
Everybody talks about You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive, but that’s Darrell Scott’s second best song.
I’ll be 57 next year. Got a lot of work today.
You can’t be 20 on sugar mountain. Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon.
Great cover of a great song.
For a hayseed like me.
If I ever figured out how to rank my all-time favorite songs, this one would be in the top 25. I’ve heard a buttload of songs, so top 25 is good. Very good.
The best songs sound like a Cormac McCarthy story (with or without the Spanish), told over music that sounds like rockers playing country. So many so-called Americana artists are long on (attempts at) the Cormac part, while utterly ignoring the rocking part. Bores me to tears. Listen for that guitar solo. William Clark Green, from Tyler Texas. Like Earl. And the Jackal, I think.
Now she tries to act. Like she don’t remember me.
Yep. It happens.
Back in Tyler, the Jackal once had a date with a future Ms. Universe. I wonder if she’d acknowledge him now. Maybe, in the way some of the pretentious fondly recall their embellished trip abroad back in college. I’ll be your third world country, if you be my reality show. Or something like that.
I once overheard this epic response to a snobby inquiry in a semi-crowded elevator. “Did you study abroad in college?” “Every chance I could.” Mental high-fives were given. One other guy laughed out loud too.
All that highfalutin’ stuff bores me to tears. So do fancy cars, and names. The King makes it a point to memorize the names of all of his kids’ friends- their real names- not the made up ones like we give our pets. I think he has charts. I imagine Angel from New Jersey is written in pencil on the edge of a page. I’m a sonder-loving edge dweller myself, who wrote on concrete sidewalks with pine tree bark when I was a kid. No charts, no chalk, but probably some names. I don’t remember many of them. Andy, Thomas. Definitely Buck.
But the King is a good soul, so chart on, brother.
What doesn’t bore me to tears, but still involves them, is StoryCorps. It provides more tears per minute than any other podcast I’ve heard. This one is a recent favorite. Like a lot of them, it makes me feel better about the human race in general, and worse about my place in it.
Self-protection might involve avoiding the family (or certain members) while you take time to figure things out; *** it might mean a short, long, or forever period of limited or no contact. It might mean a whole host of other things, entirely.
A-fucking-men, sister. It’s too often the people who don’t grasp or care that their baggage is crushing bystanders who scream bloody murder at the sight of circled wagons. I had a recurring dream when I was a kid that I lived in an underground bunker in the woods behind my house. It was peaceful, like staring at your hands in church.
Speaking of names, I wonder what my dogs would call me if they could talk? Food-giver, Rex, Asshole? Some dude displaying both the cognitive ability and self-awareness of my dumbest dog (the little one that won’t come when you call him) called me an absolute asshole this week.
I should get a tax deduction for the charity I give people once in a while when I choose not to fight back. My dogs might or might not agree. I shot the big one with a BB gun once when he didn’t come when I called him. Maybe he thinks I’m an asshole too, but now he comes when I call him. Every time. When I cook a burger for dinner at the farm, I cook him one too. It’s complicated.
I know I ain’t got it so bad. I can go home at night. Sometimes.
Charlie Parr. From Austin. Minnesota.
A long time ago, in a music city far away, during a simpler time, I played on a basketball team. Its name was the Spiders from Mars. It was fun. This is a great cover of a great song.
And I thought I’d sleep through Texas, but I woke up in Illinois
And the car in the lane next to me was driven by a little boy
And he flashed a smile at me then he drove straight off the road
Smacked an overpass, I watched his car explode
And when she wakes me from my delirium
I know I’m no longer fun
(via Twang Nation)
Turned north just south of Arkansas
And The Bird Hunters, from the Turnpike Troubadours’ self titled record.
Those of us who grew up out in the country, bird hunting with our dads, uncles and friends, behind legendary Pointers who now occupy dusty frames on our favorite walls will have a hard time not getting a little misty-eyed over the old bird dog named Jim and the Belgium-made Browning, like those many of us inherited from people we idolized.