S and me before our night of toe-tappin.
Notice the strained smile on my face. Stress.
Music is a soul’s medicine, isn’t it. It can penetrate any armor you’ve put up around yourself. Mine, this week, has been the “wound so tight she’s going to snap” shield. R has been tip-toeing around me as I make list after list of what we need to do to the house before putting it on the market. Phone calls with friends have been short. The foam egg mattress we have on our bed has not helped me have a good night’s rest.
..and then like a dam breaking, a night listening to music at the Nelson Art Museum helped me break free of my mummified state of stress. it massaged my temples and shoulders more than a masseuse ever could. just what the doctor ordered. I laughed and smiled and forgot all about the lists.
Not only was the act of listening to music helpful. To me, more importantly, it was the type of music. I’ve finally admitted to myself that I am a die hard junkie on Bluegrass. Old Country. I came into that genre late, listening to K’s burned cds my third year in college. The tunes caught my ear, and I never asked her to turn them off. But I also never instigated playing them. Then one night in a seedy dark bar, I caught a showing of a bluegrass band, The Wilders. It was in a room painted all black, and there was a crowd of maybe 75 people. The music started and the rest was history. I was a fan. Then for Christmas, my parents-in-law gave me a record player. I bought some records on eBay..a few of which were old country: Hank Williams Jr, Johnny Cash, early Dolly Parton. I also bought others, but those three were the ones I came back to night after night. These classically trained musicians of The Wilders, one of which meant to become an opera singer, became my doorway drug into this new world.
And the layers of the instruments. If anyone remembers the part in Amadeus, when Salieri describes his first encounter listening to Mozart’s music.
“On the page it looked like nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse – bassoons and basset horns – like a rusty squeezebox. Then suddenly – high above it – an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight.”
I focus on the layers of the bluegrass bands. I try to listen to each instrument separately..and then as a whole. The sum truly is greater than the parts, although the parts are pretty sensational. Plus, Betse can kick some fiddle ass.
I don’t think my mom’s Motown/Rock/Broadway influence will ever leave me. But I can’t deny the new love in my life. Thanks for cheering me up, bluegrass.
Here are some songs from the Wilder’s website. Enjoy.
Two — Betse kicks it!
Yeah…I remember that part in Amedeus. I think you had me bound and gagged forcing me to watch it. And I know I’m not the only one!