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Category Archives: music

 …where a man might find a bed?”

He just grinned , and shook my hand, and “No!”, was all he said.


For me, few artists music speak to me as much as Levon Helms’ nostalgic, warm, and truthful interpretations of honest tales of the love of home, the desire to roam, and  the twists and turns that walking the road of life present. From his days with The Band to the Americana of his latest work  with “The Ramble” and found on Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt (UPDATE: Electric Dirt wins the 2009 Grammy in the American Roots category!) I’ve always come away from listening with added insight and a smile, and no matter how dark the day, a feeling that the sun’s about to shine.


If you’ve been up on Slide Mt., the Ashokan High Point Trail, or come out the west side of the Warner Creek Trail in the Catskills and went looking for a cold beer you might recognize Snyder’s Tavern down on 28A in the village of West Shokan, featured in this short, but wonderful, somethin’.







In my estimation, few songwriter/musicians come close to matching the incomparable Richard Thompson. Seen here with his son, Teddy, performing a number written by RT and Tim Finn (of Crowded House), Persuasion. In this veiled paean to failed romance you see the anguish of the young man and the melancholy of the elder, although, to me, in Richard’s brief half smile at 3:53 you can understand that all love, failed or fulfilled, grows bittersweet with time and in the understanding and acceptance of that lies the truth.


There is a girl in New York City,
Who calls herself the human trampoline,
And sometimes when I’m falling flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Whoa so this is what she means,
She means we’re bouncing into Graceland,
And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart,
Everybody sees you’re blown apart,
Everybody feels the wind blow,

In Graceland Graceland,
I’m going to Graceland,
For reasons I cannot explain
There’s some part of me wants to see
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love every ending
Or maybe there’s no obligations now,
Maybe I’ve a reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland 

 Paul Simon “Graceland”


It seems that as I get lost in the solitude of long distance hikes music lyrics find their way into my head.


Some are incongruous and interminably annoying, as when the lyrics of “Signs” from the Five Man Electrical Band got in my head when dancing ecstatic kilometers away across a moonlit Moonlight Ridge within one of the last terrestrial wildernesses while the great Southern Ocean glistened in surround.


Others have come at less ethereal times and given me a feeling of redemption and transcendence far beyond that which the location could on its own impart.








Grandpa said to cousin Jed
Sitting on the porch,
“I won’t retire
But I might retread.”
Seem like that guy singin’ this song
Been doing it for a long time
Is there anything he knows
That he ain’t said?

Sing a song for freedom
Sing a song for love
Sing a song for depressed angels
Falling from above.
Grandpa held the paper
Pretending he could see
But he couldn’t read
Without his glasses on
“How can all those people
Afford so many things?
When I was young we wore
What we had on.”

Mamma said, “A little love and affection
In everything you do
Will make the world a better place
With or without you.
“A little love and affection
In everything you do
A better place
With or without you.”

Slamming down some late night shots
The artist and the hero compare
Those envisions and afterthoughts
For the twenty first century.
But mostly came up with nothing
So the truth was never learned
And the human race just
Kept rollin’ on.
Rollin’ through the fighting
Rollin’ through the religious wars
Rollin’ down the temple walls
And the churches’ exposed sores.
Rollin’ through the fighting
Through religious wars
Mostly came up with nothing…

“Grandpa, here’s your glasses;
You’ll see much better now,”
Said that young girl
Of Edith and Earl’s.
But Grandpa just kept starin’
He was lost in some distant thought
Then he turned and he said
To that young girl,

“A little love and affection
In everything you do
Will make the world a better place
With or without you.

“A little love and affection
In everything you do
A better place
With or without you.”

Hear the rooster crowin’
Down on the Double E
It’s a new morning
Breaking on the green.
Bouncing off the Towers,
The sun’s heading for the street
The business meeting
Window shades are drawn.
Another morning edition
Is headed for the porch
Because Grandma puts down the paper
Before Grandpa raises his fork.

A little love and affection
In every thing you do
A better place
With or without you.

Neil Young “Falling From Above”