I have spent the past couple of weeks researching two of my newer favorite bands – Railroad Earth and The Infamous Stringdusters. This morning, I am holed up in my office looking for new live shows online (listening to this one as I type this.). I have been scouring the internet for relevant articles. Looking up School of Dobro with Andy Hall and watching sample videos. Reading Chris Pandolfi’s website. E-mailing the guys from Railroad Earth just to tell them how rad their show was. Googling “railroad earth blog” in hopes that any of those guys keeps a blog I can read.
It’s funny, because I didn’t think I had this obsessive thing. Mr. Thor is a maniac when he gets interested in something. He will spend weeks telling me the minutiae of the lives and careers of the musicians in his favorite bands. Last night he didn’t believe that I had been researching so he gave me a band member quiz. Please! Amateur. Has he been on facebook looking through Andy Falco’s pictures yet? I didn’t think so.
I say the tables have turned because now it’s Mr. Thor coming into my office to invite me downstairs to have coffee with him this morning. Mr. Thor who is thinking, “my god, can you pull yourself away from your imaginary musical friends for two seconds to talk to me?” OK, maybe he’s not thinking anything that dramatic, because that’s my job. But I think it’s funny, now, to see myself absorbed in something that would normally be “his.”
So, what is it? What is it that makes the music not quite enough? Why do I need to read articles and look up live shows and photos and read blogs?Am I some kind of creepy stalker?
(that’s where we all laugh.)
I think, honestly, it’s a search for context. This stuff is so different for me. I am new, as of last September, to anything even related to or served with bluegrass. And I am amazed. And, suddenly, I find out that there are people who have already been here for YEARS. and it’s their passion. for some of them, it’s their livelihood. And how did they get there? Why don’t more people understand this music? There is an entire universe that I had never even brushed up against, and now I find that I want to live there.
So, maybe, I am looking for my bridge over. My doorway, the connection that tells me I am not so different from these people living in this other world, that I am welcome there as much as anywhere. Anything. Words on a screen that tell me how those guys got there, what moved them, what continues to move them.
Last night and this morning I got some words in an e-mail from a couple of guys in Railroad Earth, saying welcome aboard, hope to play for you again soon.
The door creaks open. 🙂