Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Wonderful Trouble

Am about to put up my official end of year Best Of list and this bloke figures very highly. Tom Russell, he's got a snazzy new website and a road diary, which is not just a If This is Tuesday travelogue but a typically rich literary and musical journey.

I invited thirteen gorgeous rockabilly gals up on stage to sing “Mohammed Ali” in Malmo. The high point of the tour. On we went to Amsterdam and on into Belgium. Sang at the A.B. in Brussels where Iggy Pop made his recent amazing video. Some Cat with a house deep in the wild woods of Holland had 150 Bob Dylan bootlegs. He served us a gourmet meal and played French Bal Musette Music. On down the road to Amsterdam. It was raining on the canals and we filled the Paradisio small room and then took pictures in front of the neon hooker windows. An old friend of Bukowski's led me through the rainy Amsterdam night. It's all a blur, as it should be. A slow dream.
The tour ended up in Dover, in a water mill where some gentleman who used to play harmonica for the Yardbirds sat in on blues harp. The Bob Dylan movie played on the BBC the night we were at Dingwall's in London. I had to wait until I got back to El Paso to watch it. I was stunned. Moving, wonderful, apocalyptic. I was left with a feeling of awe and the sense that it was all done 40 years ago. All that remains is to define things in terms of your own personal ragged art, and struggle out on stage and stagger on through the night; away from anything trendy and programmed. Attempt something nova-honest and bone hard. Everything else is a lie....there is nothing new under the sun. What is this Americana Bullshit? No Depression? Alt Country? Alliances and networking? Art is as close, or as a deep, as the last chilling song you heard, and I ain't heard many. I need to write a few. Fuck it. Americana is Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop. Lucinda Williams. Hard Times in Babylon by Eliza.

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