End of Summer in Texas

by Stuart on September 12, 2015

September 12, 2015

Did you miss me?  What a year, eh?   It took about eight months to clear up. Just as I was getting back to performing, I had a little hemorrhagic stroke this past November.  What is this?  Did I miss church?  Was I mean to old ladies, or kick some puppies, or what? 

The worst thing about stroke is what it does to confidence, a major consideration for performers.  Will I remember my words?  My chords?  Will I be able to emote in the right spots without being phony?  Will I stammer?  The Kerrville Folk Festival in May was a great help, a safe place to work out this stuff, surrounded by long-time, caring and supportive friends in song circles under the Texas stars.  Now it’s back to the Austin scene, back to The Live Music Capital of the World: lots of music, but no money.

Here’s a new song with a nod to summer in Texas   

Summer Again ( c. SMB, 2015)

(lazy; Gerschwinesque)

Summer again; the sun so cruel; the ragweed hangs a-grievin’

Screaming goes on in my head I just think about leavin’.

Summer again; you haunt my mind; Your eyes so sly deceivin’

The highway waits to claim my soul I just think about leavin’.

 

Summer again, the earth so dry; the floods of spring forgotten

I think of you; I cannot cry; That summer dress of cotton.

Summer again, the high road calls; the mountains cool and distant

Somewhere a stream caresses rocks; I smell the pines, insistent.

 

Summer again; though I am old, the blood still boils within me

The girls of spring are wrinkled now, but they still they laugh here in me.

Summer again; the air so thick; I can’t believe I’m breathin’

The cold one cools my weary throat; and I just think about leavin’.

 

I’ve been thinking again about authenticity as I listen to my colleagues strut and fret their three and a half minutes upon the stage.  Okay, there’s no rule that authenticity must always be the goal, unless you want to call what you are presenting as “Folk” or  . . . here we go . . . “Country” music.   The great Harlan Howard (I Fall to Pieces; Busted; Streets of Baltimore; Pick Me Up On Your Way Down) said that all you need to write a great country song is three chords and the truth.   But the truth has got to extend to the presentation as well as the lyrics.

 So I listen to my friends singing “hay-ouse” for house,   or “romaince,”  layin’ on thick, phony country accents.  And I turn on my radio and I see why!  The folks in Nashville are peddling this stuff to the young’uns, with the rationale that it’s real country.  I recommend a listen to Hank Williams, whose country credentials can’t be questioned.  Ol’ Hank had a pure Alabama accent, but it wasn’t anything like what we hear represented as “country”.  He sang like himself, and that’s what made him great.

I’m headed back to the UK next June/July- England, Scotland, and Ireland. If you know of any places with bookings, please pass my information on. Remember~ if it ain’t live, it ain’t music.

Hope to see you in a song circle soon!

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