I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
August 09, 2015 - 10:18 a.m.
Hold on to your hats. I'm not writing about Falcon Ridge today. I actually went out and did something exciting yesterday. A few days ago Seth asked me if I was going to the Watkins Family Hour at Lincoln Center Outdoors. I was certainly strongly considering it and if I had someone to go with the answer was, "yes." So I left my house around 3 for a 7 o'clock show to get a good place on the line. Seth beat me by about 20 minutes. We were not at the very front but close enough .We ended up sitting in the fifth row, which was just about perfect. The people standing blocked he view of the people closer. By pure chance Glenn was right in front of Seth and Eliot joined Glenn. Sharon was the first person on the line. I know Damon was there but I didn't see him. We were told by people working the show that they didn't expect a sellout. So of course two of my friends couldn’t get in because it was a sellout.
This was a special show they started with their own material but then did all of Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited with guests singing and playing on it.
I am not that familiar with the Watson Family Hour. I have seen Nickel
They started off with Tombstone Blues and you could tell this would be electric and I don’t mean as in Dylan goes electric. There was so much energy and excitement. This was not background music. This was music that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. It won me over instantly.
There were lots of special guests including Al Kooper who played the signature keyboard on the original recording. He told some stories about the sessions. And he played that organ. Of course on some songs he played the piano and I am totally forgetting his name but the usual great keyboard player the band has played the organ. Al was not listed in the ads for the show. That was a great surprise. The advertised guests were Shawn Colvin, Pokey LaFarge, and Aimee Mann & Ted Leo. They all took turns at singing lead sometimes in combination.
You know that I know no lyrics. I know almost all the lyrics to that album and so does Seth. We were singing along all the time. Of course Seth is a great singer and I'm not, I'm not a good singer. I'm not a fair singer. I'm a brave and shameless singer. I tried to sing loud enough so that only Seth could hear me as we sang together, that's bonding. I did sing loudly for the finally, Like a Rolling Stone shouting out the refrain. Hey they asked us to sing along and most people did. HOW DOES IT FEEL? HOW DOES IT FEEL? … I stood up and eventually so did the entire crowd. Many people ran up to the edge of the stage.
I thought they couldn't do an encore after that but they did, Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35. Did you ever think I'd shout at the top of my lungs, "Everybody Must Get Stoned?" Cause that's just what I did. This was why you go to concerts. It wasn't just the music but there was the communal experience. We were all joining in. It's the basis of so much of religion and sports too. While you are doing that you are part of something bigger. You are not alone but part of humanity. It's a special thing. I don't get that at the Slambovians Dance Stage set but I get that's what it's about. There I observed. Here I was part of it.
This has been an amazing summer for free shows in New York, Lucinda Williams, The Punch Brothers, Rhiannon Giddens, and the Watkins Family Hour. Who am I missing? I think there was more. But these weren't just good. These were all exceptional.
I started a discussion on the Facebook Falcon Ridge group on who would be a good headliner for the festival and bring in new people. The Watkins Family Hour could do it. If they did Highway 61 Revisited on the main stage the hill would come alive with the sound of music. That is what it's all about.
Today I have to finish planning out my radio show set. I am going nuts looking for one CD. I had the artist send it to me to play on the show but my landlady moved it when she cleaned my room. I told you that I had an anxiety attack after that. This is what I was afraid would happen. I had CDs organized in piles on my night table and she cleared the table and threw things where I had other CDs. But I can't find that one and I thought I went through everything.
Make sure to listen to me Tuesday night on WFDU. I will be Brian's guest. His show is from 8 to 1. I'm not sure when I'll be on. When we work that out I'll let you know and I'll be posting a list of the artists but not the songs I'm playing.
Is it a grits morning? Maybe. I'll see what I make for breakfast. I have several possible plans for today. If I do none of them I might write more about Falcon Ridge later. I figure I have two more entries to write about it. One about Sunday then a coda.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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