I think of something I want to give somebody. It's The Black Keys rendition of Junior Kimbrough's work. It's called Chulahoma.
It is how I was introduced to Junior Kimbrough's work. But that was only after I went to the place he and R.L. Burnside built. That night I was there I didn't know where I was. I just knew that it was fantastic. The air around me was praise and worship. It was a church, but not like any church I'd ever seen before. This was concrete floor with a little bar on the back left. Usually I'd get a beer but only as to what I saw as an admission price. I wasn't interested in drinking it. It was my tithe you could say. Same thing I do when I catch a local gospel hall.
Though I don't go out much, music is where I lay my head.
It's as close to I can be to connected beyond those I consider close.
Chulahoma and Thickfreakness are two of the best albums I've ever heard in my life.
They'll go down in history.
Because they are studied in the blues of legends. It was Duwayne Burnside with the charisma of Elvis Presley. Garry Burnside, like his nephew Cedric, is one of the sweetest guys you will ever meet. And all you'll be able to say is, "Ohmygosh, I loved what your Dad did. This is such an honor," while you shake his hand and then run away because it's Garry Burnside. (Charlie introduced me to Garry, but I never had the nerve to walk up to Cedric.)
It was Little Joe Ayers and Willie Wilkinson who first showed me that photography and writing was where I wanted to be. It was Tom McDougald, Paul, Sanders, Charlie, Connor. It was the Rendezvous, the Love Music Festival, Memphis in May. It was the first time I saw the origin of music within me. It was the story of Robert Johnson and Como and Clarksdale and Holly Springs where I found homes outside of ones I had known.
And every time I see that welcome sign I have an argument in my head. "Hey, (challenge thyself). Was music born here?"
"No." I'm at an advantage because I already know how the other side of me feels.
Music has no origin. As far as a human can remember sound existed. And even if you turn all the music off the crickets are still chirping. There is a thunder rumbling in the distance.
And even in those who supposedly can't "hear" as well as me there is an awareness of music.
There is solid proof out there that music is within us. Every last one of us.
Today I am grateful that she played her music for an audience. I am grateful to be a roadie who carries her guitar case. I am grateful to sit and talk with a guy who says, "You should tell them to take advantage of opportunities." I am grateful to hear stories about people who volunteer their time because that's who they are and that's who they've always been.
Life is stories and lists.
Life is music.