Thursday, January 20, 2011
I am the last person you'd ever want to ask about country music. I have a superficial grasp of it, at best, and I've been eager to dismiss it for most of my life. For no good reason, of course: It's outside my comfort zone, is all.
I grew up in a hayseed town (literally), and took a Greyhound outta that berg the day after I graduated high-school. My first big city job was at - what a quaint idea, nowadays - a newsstand. We sold out-of-town papers, periodicals, comic books, trading cards, and A LOT of adult product. These were pre-internet days... all the sketchy stuff was paid for with folding money and put into plain brown bags.
One bracing Minnesota January night I was positioned at the front register. My "boss", Trea, took my They Might Be Giants cassette out of the box and sent me down to the basement with his pinch-hitter, while he popped in a cassette. From the basement, through the concrete floor, I could tell he was playing music above the regulation level, but it didn't sound like the normal punk-rawk we all listened to...
I floated, muzzy-headed and cotton-brained, back upstairs and took my place behind the register again. Music blasted and echoed off the concrete walls. Not the serrated buzz-saw guitars and aggitated drums, which I was used to. Concrete-pure and mellow: The Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Sessions. A neck-snap revelation.
There is no music I relate to bitter-cold Minnesota nights more.
We've got one of those nights tonight,
I dreamt of that picture here