"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

24 January 2014

The Devil's Music in the High Country

Back in the day, that halcyon time before I even knew this place existed, he was a loco figure. These days, he lives up over the other side of the Roof of the World. When he shows up to play, he says how good it is to be back home in a voice that smoked a million cigarettes, making Tom Waits sound like he's trying too hard. He sings songs in the voice of man who has been followed by the hellhounds on his trail. Given he's gone through a cancer-leukemia, lymphoma?-it would seem he survived at least a mauling.

Older now from back in the day, he has dreads longer than my hair, and that's to my mid-back. I see no ravages of cancer treatment, which I can unfortunately recognize all too well. He has a bit more of a pronounced widows' peak-back in school we called those thigh burns, but that's another story. He wails the hymnals of a man who has fished upon the River Styx itself. A visitor, nay, a survivor, of the hellscapes. The locos love him for it. That perdition makes for the very bestest of blues.

I walk in, and, were I poetic, I'd say the atmosphere was positively electric. I ain't that cool. It's the usual nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, which allows one to breathe. The scents of happy hour; quick food, pheromones, booze, sweat, and everybody working for the weekend were merely a byproduct. There was standing room only. So it goes. He was wailing away and I found a good vantage point at the bar with bottle of imperial.

It's the little moments that get me; a father and son going out to dinner over righteous blues. Locos, all old, old, if not ancient friends, telling our musical host how impressed they are he can still do a small venue, but still pack a big room.

I should probably getting around to shaking hands with this man, even if he'd forget who I was the next time he saw me...

A family reunion, me getting to meet one of the elder children. A couple, whom a neighbor recently told me would never live together sporting those kind of rings. I overheard them talking about their wedding album, and wondered of it'd go platinum. Moments like this can make me go a big rubbery, but you'll never see it.

Hou lin, hei tsin...

After the break, another of the loco talent comes on; the Fiddler. I've heard him do both Americana and blues well. He's on the blues tear, and I am not disappointed-it's after midnight and I got two bottles of wine-oh, fuck yes. I walk out with a smirk on my face.

Life is good, simple as that...  


  1. Oh, I'm so jealous...being a blues baby from way back. And yeah, sometimes life is as simple as that.

    1. It was a good night. Blues like that is rare up here.

  2. I kind of sort of remember commenting on this when I read it the first time. But then again, I might have been dreaming. I seem to have developed a talent for sleeping and reading simultaneously. Typing, not so much.
    I wish I remembered what I may or may not have said. I'm often brilliant while I'm dreaming.

    1. Darling, you're brilliant when you're awake ;).