Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Road Trip


Today I took the 5 1/2 hour drive to Madison, WI with an old friend. I first met David Clark in April of 2004 (I think it was '04... man, does that suddenly seem like a long time ago). His unique blend of song, story, and Americana captured my attention the night I saw him perform.
Although I'm not sure the term is accurate, I thought of him them as a Renaissance American and Americana preacher. His love and deep respect of his roots, his country, and his God was suffused in every note he played, every word he read. That night his guitar playing was transcendent. It was the first time in a long time I'd seen a real honest to goodness performer, someone who was passionate about his work and not sold out to popular culture, who was not afraid to stand alone on a stage with a guitar and a microphone and tell you what he thinks, what he feels, what he believes.
His first trip around the country was in an old green pickup that I would not trust across town. His second and third were in a bus he'd converted himself. While it was a great improvement over the truck, it was no $300,000 motor coach.
But it got the job done. He called it The Blessed Donkey. His fans donated money to help him purchase and convert it.
So David and I struck up a friendship on his next run through town, as some friends and I tried to promote his visit and get him other bookings in the area. His influence helped convince my Dad, I think, to come out of retirement and dust off his guitars and start to play again. I grew up listening to Dad play, and now I have a CD of him playing some of his favorite tunes. I've heard all of them a hundred times or more before, but what a treasure this CD is.
Last night I took most of David's CD's and copied the MP3's out to my player, and I drove the rural highways of Illinois and Wisconsin, listening to David's unique blend of Uncle Remus, original songs, and acoustic guitar. I have seldom had a more pleasant journey. I keep coming back to Mr. Eagle's Message, and the different things it means to me every time I listen to it.
David has recently stopped touring full time to make some real money. Americans are reluctant to get their fat asses off of couches and out of living rooms for entertainment that might make them think, that doesn't feature blood or boobs.
It is our loss.
If you can listen to this , or this, and somehow not want to hear more, then I feel for you. If you DO want to hear more, stop by David's web site and listen to some clips, better yet buy one of his CD's.
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