We attended the Americana Music Awards show on Thursday. It was my first time to see a show in the Ryman auditorium. Everybody you can think of was there and performed a song. Oh, first, at 5pm, we went to the Douglas Corner Cafe, and watched Casey Driessen open a show. He is really great. I first saw him with Tim O'Brien at the Nugget in Reno back about '04. He's a truly great musician and really fired me up. He had a good drummer and a good upright bassist. The similarity to Casey in size and appearance to my old friend and pedal steel player Adam is remarkable.
So up next was Darrell Scott. It was his CD release project. He played all the material from the album, which is entirely cover tunes. Good stuff. One of the spookiest tunes ever, "The Devil," written by Hoyt Axton, was played with a full band. Hoyt's version is a trippy vocals-and-drums thing. I wonder if it is a "stomp and scream," like Eric Taylor mentioned last year. It was good to be reminded of Paul Simon's "An American Tune" as well.
Well, so then it was off to the Ryman. It was great, though we were in the pews way up there, and I expected the sound to be better. But here's who I remember performing: Robert Plant, Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, Justin Townes Earle, Kevin Welch, Kieran Kane, Levon Helm, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, Sam Bush, John Hiatt, Tift Merritt, the Steeldrivers, Joan Baez, and James McMurtry. Yeah, it was a great night of music. So much that we couldn't get ourselves out again this weekend, though there were solo shows all over town from these guys.
The evil pressures of a house full of stuff waiting to be packed and transported to Nashville was heavy on our minds, and we ditched an opportunity to see Glenn Campbell and/or Buddy Miller, and arrived last night to pack and clean. On the way here was an ominous traffic accident involving a U-haul trailer attached to an SUV. Since there are two ways to go, I chose poorly for our state of mind (everyone seemed okay in the wreck). We got to Kentucky and it is going fine. We will be out of here in enough time for me to finish this important job application before it is due. Unfortunately, we're moving into a storage unit. It is a familiar but older way to do these things, and certainly easier than moving across the country in the first place. It gets me thinking about all of the apartments and roommates I had over the years in Chico. There have certainly been other times where I couldn't wait to get out, or had to move under less than good circumstances.
A strange series of coincidences first thing this morning got me on the right foot, and I am always glad to hear from my old friend Gene "Doc" R. He wrote to tell me about the show he saw, the great Tommy Emmanuel. Tommy recently drifted into my consciousness, as a legitimate heir to fingerstylists in country, like Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins and Merle Travis. He is a phenomenally talented musician and took my breath away, drifing in on a slow wireless connection this spring (find some YouTube stuff and see yourself). Before my tour with Hellbound Glory, I met some really neat folks on the plane: David G., Janice Y., and I was seated next to one of the nicest strangers I've ever met, Brian G. Brian is a huge fan of Tommy's and I belive he took lessons from Tommy, or is involved with the fingerstyle festival in Kentucky, Tommyfest. Brian was full of sage sentiments about performing music and made the point how it is worth it; seeing a good show makes you feel so good (so we should all go play those shows). Tommy's show in Chico did some of that I'm sure, and I'm so glad that Chico is able to bring musicians of that caliber.
I'm doing only all right. I injured my left should this summer, perhaps tearing my rotator cuff diving into a pool. So as long as I rest and heating pad, it goes okay. Eventually I can have it looked at. Sigh. Tomorrow is the last big push to pack and clean and we'll load the U-haul Tuesday. Keep the positive thoughts coming our way, it really helps. Just a few more days in this place...
Sunday, September 21, 2008
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