There is something about those moments when you are alone and listening to music. I am not lucky enough to have a designated place to listen to music, maybe this is a good thing. I have the stereo in the living room as my parents would call it, even my parents kept the radiogram in the “sitting room” how novel that would be now to have a room just to sit in.
I have no man cave or rumpus room, the wonders of music all happens on full display. Apart from those times when the rest of the household is asleep or out. Over the last couple of days I have been for some reason waking at 4a.m. or so, today I managed to 5:18a.m. must be a Sunday thing. I can find no reason for this other than I wake and want to get up. I feel reasonably rested and my mind is no more pr-occupied than normal.
So for the last week or so I have had a solid couple of hours alone to sit and listen. I have made the conscious decision not to watch the news, this can be an upsetting experience as the tragi-comedy that is US politics unfolds in all it’s glory. I also have to play at a lower volume than I may normally choose or these moments of solitude will change to less than pleasant experiences as I explain my decision to my wife. Somewhat for this reason my choices of listening has been on the quieter spectrum.
When you have to listen at a lower volume then it becomes almost an intentional practice to hear everything as well as you can. Todays choice was Martin Simpson’s Grinning In Your Face. The album I finally managed to really hear the banjo, also my re-introduction to Dylan in the 80’s and the first time I ever heard Peter Gabriel’s Biko performed in an acoustic format. Somewhere along the way I lost the cover but kept the vinyl. I have a few of these lost souls in my collection and have to wonder is it like socks in the dryer or something.
This was also the album that opened my mind up to country and blues. Yes I had dabbled and pretended to appreciate all these types of music but remained loyal to prog and rock, with occasional forays into folk. I remember being spellbound watching Simpson playing in his red boots sitting surrounded by three or so guitars and a banjo and then he played slide on his guitar and the world changed. There is a difference to sitting listening to someone play slide on a record and then experiencing this in a room with the player.
There is so much on this album to discover and the odd thing is I had forgotten until this morning as I slid it out of the dust jacket and placed it on the turn table.
To end a few pictures of last weeks visit to the high desert as I was thinking about that as I sat listening and sorting through pictures on my phone.
So there you go, last Saturday’s hike in the desert which was considerably cooler than it is going to be here today and we still never managed to get to the river yet.