Now here I am, in a country town, in a pub of good spirit, in a song without end, in the company of people content to play their role, with the ghost of Walt Whitman hovering at my side.
Every morning I ride a few minutes to my school crossing and park my bicycle under my Detectorists tree.
I asked where she was going and she giggled. Said she didn’t know, didn’t care.
This is big sky music, languid yet powerful, like a wedge tail cruising on an updraft. The spirit of the sound echoes the spirit of the land.
My friend Gina sends an email with the subject line ‘Resident Rogues’, inviting me to see a swing/country/gypsy music band from the US in a little bar called the Merri Creek Tavern. She tells me a story as we wait to see the band.
The lyrics of Rattlin’ Bones were apocalyptic and disorienting but somehow strangely comforting after our deeply personal experiences of the Black Saturday fires.
We mourn the dead, but if they touched us in some way they never really die.
A friend had brought his portable record player to our camp site, a dry creek bed. Sitting in front of that roaring fire, toasting marshmallows, we were introduced to the songs of Simon & Garfunkel.
Lazy Lester sang in a compelling, rough-hewn voice and played harmonica, guitar and various percussion devices. Not blues from the delta, not the electric blues of the big cities but blues with a looser feel.
For the first time in years, after hearing a song for the first time I had to listen to it again, and again, and yet again.