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It’s a beautiful day for a minor medical procedure

so just wish me luck. Rather than fulfill the stereotype of “adults” discussing their various bodily ailments and complaints in excruciating detail, let’s just say the biggest thing I have to face today (far as I know) is my own claustrophobic nature, and the MRI tube. Showtime, 2:30pm CST. So I’m armed with one prescribed 10mg Valium, and as many deep breaths as I like. I hope that’s enough for a half hour in the belly of that very skinny whale that makes some truly ungodly sounds. But: my blessings are many and my troubles are few. All good. 

Oh boy, this is gonna be a ramble. Hang on tight.

Maybe you’ve come across this post wanting the usual music-news digest, a list of what fortuitous events have come my way since I last wrote to you, while treading my “career” path. I can never write the word “career” without thinking of another word, “careen.” Sometimes I feel like I’m pole-vaulting through this life, flying faster than planned across the arc of the one go at it I’ve been allowed, careening more than careering, never sure if or when I’ll get over the bar. About the music and music business, I’ll get to that, in some fashion. But first, I’ve been thinking about all this other mess:

What remains of the world’s natural beauty is relentless, and is absolutely unfazed by whatever particular human crisis or ecstasy we may be experiencing on yet another given day. What remains. This constancy is both blessing and curse. Or maybe: neither. Every morning the impossibly old ash tree at the front corner of my yard stands up to the eastern sun and doesn’t care if you take notice or not. Tallest tree on our block, (except for perhaps the way-out-of-control pecan tree in the backyard) leaning slightly and unfortunately toward the house. Though I’m not sure what could take it down, other than a couple days’ worth of whining chainsaws and a whole lotta sweat and muster by dudes/women in helmets and harnesses. Maybe a direct swipe from an F5 tornado, or the insidious and now ever-spreading insect, the emerald ash-borer, knock on wood. A drunk driver ran into it a few years back; I didn’t see the car (we were out of town at the time), but the tree trunk lost a little bark and that was it. Some shards of clear plastic from a headlight cover, sparkling up the pavement by the curb. You can’t even tell it had ever been assaulted at this point.

And the cherry tree blooming obscenely near my front door—it’s casting off a storm of cute little pink petals swirling around in the wind, a wind that threatens to blow the old paint flakes and dust I’ve just scraped off the front porch concrete into oblivion, to sink into and contaminate the surrounding soil. Nature’s ambivalence is heart-breaking, ungrateful, careless: I sweep up the old paint into a dust pan and dump it in a plastic bag. The spiky leaf blades of every lily and iris coming up in the front flower bed stab the Spring air these days with their same old miraculous green intention, all “wha’-me-worry?”, all “just-doing-our-thing, man.” Everything out there not man-made, whether flora or fauna, might be all that remains of an objective perspective in the world—though to say they have “perspective” is, in addition to being a factual error, even too much of an assumption of any investment by them in us. Presence is possibly a better word than perspective. The natural world speaks, but does it listen? It all simply is. And “is”, simply. And we of the clown species at the top of the food chain (well, most of the time: how deviously silent those shark fins can cut the surface of the water) thread our courses and desires and dreams in it, around it, or through it. If you’re the guys currently developing the properties behind my mom’s house, you just cut down what’s in your way and get on with the job. You might leave a tree here and there for decorative ornamentation, a tip of the plastic hard-hat to the mighty forests (or even neighborhoods) of not-so-long-ago. In the name of land husbandry, we’ve been pretty sorry grooms, drunk at the wedding and still sleeping it off, for millennia. Given the chance to care or not care, most choose the latter, easier option. Because, to quote that quaint gospel song from some years back, “We’re only here for a little while . . . .” Or B.B.King, singing Let the Good Times Roll: “when you’re dead you’re done, so let’s have a little fun, and LTGTR.” I realize that none of this is simple; land is for sale, houses will be built, and money will be made. That’s the way it goes. I just wish that it all didn’t go so quickly–that we humans didn’t seem so reckless with all that we have worked for, with all that we’ve been given. That we appear to be as disinterested in Nature as it is in us. 

The good life is luxury, or so we’re told. Which is most often presented to us in 30-second TV ads for pharmaceuticals placed at every commercial break during the evening news. All these blissful folks, picnicking in the sun, or fishing on a yacht, while an instrumental soundtrack of beatific banality coasts along at mid-tempo and the risks of said medications are calmly yet quickly described in a comfortable yet confident(and legally required) voiceover—“may cause blindness, stroke, incontinence, hallucinations, or death”, etc. etc. What a world. I’d like to know the psychology behind those Cialis ads—the couple outdoors, staring towards the sunset, while soaking in separate bathtubs. (Ya know, you two might have better luck getting something started, meds or no, if you were in ONE tub—but that’s just the way my own mind works.)

I had me some good life last week, sans Cialis, ha ha, down in Clarksdale, MS—played two shows, one recorded on video and audio for future broadcast, and the other an informal set outside the front door of Cat Head, a blues music and folk art store right downtown on Delta. Thanks so much to Roger Stolle of Cat Head for having me (and to my friend Alan Brockman for originally setting that show up), and to Gary and Carol Vincent for their generous hospitality during my stay with them.

Alrighty then! Hey! The funding campaign has been very successful—and is still going. Thanks to all of you who’ve jumped right in, in support of the new record. In two weeks we’ve raised almost $10,000. I’ve revived/revised the “Let’s Make a Record” page on the site, so you can easily check out the options. A couple of the higher level, limited-quantity options have already sold out. If you’ve taken a look at the tour schedule lately, you know that I’ll be on the road quite a lot as we ease into the summer. My next show is in beautiful New Orleans, on Tuesday May 1, at the House of Blues—a songwriters’ round with Jim McCormick and Mike Doussan. Disappointed to not be playing Jazz Fest this year, but I’m always glad to get a little dose of that wonderful city.

More news soon—and, sponsors, I’ll be getting that exclusive page up soon; will let you know when it launches. For those of you not in on the party yet, check out the details here:

See you out there, somewhere, soon!



One Response to It’s a beautiful day for a minor medical procedure

  1. Kerry April 20, 2018 at 12:04 pm #

    Hey Kev. Hope you’re well! My doctor had them put me to sleep to do an MRI!! Keeping my eye on the Charlotte gig. Best, Kerry

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