Friday, December 30, 2005

Jen's Bluegrass Hotties

Well, I've been thinking about this for a while. I'm not one to blog in this manner, and I'm not sure I can actually get away with it. But since I missed out on that trendy "Seven Things" ... thing... that went around blogs before I began blogging, I'm going to take a moment to indulge in some mindless tripe about myself and pay actual homage to some of the finest men in bluegrass.

For the record, none of this homage has anything to do with whether they have perfect butts. That just ain't where the magic is for me. My tastes in what constitutes a "hottie" run a little different.

1. Intensity. A man who can meet my own intensity without backing down or flinching too often. Drive, determination, a real capacity to actualize intention, and an excitement surrounding possibility.
2. Intelligence. Lord knows if I'm lucky enough to make it to 80, the man sitting next to me on the porch swing had better be able to engage my brain, since most everything else will have been decommissioned.
2. Commitment. What does a man believe in , and how does he show it? Does he even KNOW what he believes in? Is he committed to being kind, to growing as a person, to something that matters outside of himself?
3. Talent. A man who knows what his gift is, and takes the time and effort to nurture it, and use it.
4. Humor. No man can have me who can't make me laugh, including at myself, in the best possible way. And, he has to forgive my self-deprecating sense of humor.
5. Strength. Ooh, this one is tricky. After 40 years, I finally figured out that I do need a man who is stronger than I am, but capable of expressing that with gentleness and love and respect. It takes a lot to reign me in, to calm me down, and to get me to think differently without feeling that I'm compromising. The man of my dreams will meet me at the center of the Mandorla, or that place where both "this" and "that" coexist.
6. Music. It's gotta be about the music. If he's not all about it, then he'll let me live in it, love it, pimp it, and still find a way to love me despite it.

All that said, I don't think the list here would be much different for any bluegrass fan. And being bluegrass, most of these men who are old enough are family guys. And that's a wonderful thing, too. Bonus.

10. Chris Thile (mandolin). Ok, this dude is just too young for me. But Nickel Creek is a force to be reckoned with and he is a leader in the discipline of mandolin. Just look at his face as he and Sara kick it. (For the record, Sara will be on the Top Women in Bluegrass that eventually will turn up on this blog.)

9. Mark O'Connor (fiddle/violin). Not just your everyday fiddler, Mark O'Connor has composed for and recorded with the best classical performers of our time. He would get my obsession with Bach and the Beatles. His work with Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Bela Fleck (see below) gets me at my winsome foothills, classically-trained heart.

8. Bryan Sutton (guitar). Another young master. I love his energized playing. Like most bluegrass talent that makes it to the studio, it's been a part of his family for generations. Keeping it alive and sharing with the rest of the world is a wonderful thing to be committed to.

7. Jerry Douglas (dobro). Apologies to Phil Leadbetter fans, Jerry simply edges out Phil on the hottie list. I love to watch him play this instrument which is simply like no other. A dobro player in a tux? BABY.

6. Tony Rice. Say it with me: not a wasted movement. Listening to his playing is ritual; watching him play is transformative. He leaves no listener untouched.

5.Bela Fleck. A beautiful man with a banjo, crossing over into Jazz, classical (his Perpetual Motion cd...oh my GAWD, BACH on the BANJO, it's like BUTTEH...) and everywhere in between. Oh, extra points for appearing on Sesame Street. Love him.

4. Sam Bush (mandolin, vocals). I've rarely had as much fun at a show, and felt as good when it was over. Something about Sam just bursts with hope and goodwill. And he can jam. (Note: Sam and Bela appear without any connection whatsoever to their former days as New Grass Revival colleagues.)

3. John Cowan (bass, vocals). Sorry, still working on the photo of Cow ( A giant of a man in stature, talent, and soul. He makes the most of everything. (Yes, another New Grass alum. I guess I came along a little too late, eh?)

2. Dirk Powell (fiddle, bass, banjo, clawhammer style banjo, accordion, vocals). One of the reasons I do what I do. He has dedicated his life to the performance and preservation of the music that runs through his veins. He doubles the option by working side by side with his wife, Christina Balfa, making a contribution in the arena of traditional Cajun music as well. One of the best moments of my life was meeting him at the top of a hill in upstate New York, and telling him how much his work meant to me and my children. I am grateful for Dirk Powell.

1. Tim O'Brien (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals). The reason I do what I do. His music came to me at just the right time in my life. Born and raised across the river from where I grew up, we stomped around in the same dirt, a few years apart. His work and writing tell me he's tread the same path, too, ahead of me a few paces. His work inspires, motivates, guides, and teaches me what I need to know -- that the answers are all lyin' there, for the seeking. His singing voice is one of the most resonant and riveting I've heard, a clear, honest sound without that over-the-top high-lonesome thing. Working with him in some capacity before my number is up is a serious goal. I adore Tim and am grateful for him and the work he does.

So there you have a few of my favorite men in Bluegrass. There are many more, and I hope to get around to introducing you to all of them and hopefully new talent as the blog rolls on.

If you have a favorite, share it here and tell us what you like best!

Monday, December 26, 2005

One Little Moment More

I hope you all are enjoying a warm and meaningful holiday season. I am learning with each year that all the cookies and Christmas music in the world won't stop normal, everyday life from happening, even though these little rituals of mine still hold something precious for me.

One huge piece of my heart at Christmas is filled with memories of my mother and father indulging in traditions or activities that had the greatest impact on me. My father has been dead for many, many years, but I still remember sitting around the dining room with my family listening to all kinds of music while he would spin out a tale or encourage a debate over one thing or another. I remember going out with him into the grove of neatly-planted pine trees that someone in our home's past had the foresight to plant, and picking and cutting down the tree for the year. I loved how it smelled, and the excitement of mounting it into the stand on the platform. We had steam radiators so it rarely got too dry -- a good thing for an old brick house built by Quakers in 1825.

Memories of my mother were different; when we lost our father, everything changed and it was all on her. She bore that particular mantle with mixed reviews, but she bore it out of love and determination that her children, in particular her daughters (my brothers had all grown and moved out by the time Dad died), would be well taken care of and would have the capacity to succeed. My sister has certainly reached this but the jury is still out on yours truly.

Mostly I remember the long, long hours I spent with my mother in her kitchen. Once we moved down and out from the country and into town, her Victorian home was the heart of our family's every major event as well as all the little ones in between. We would "waste" entire evenings sitting in the kitchen and dissecting life while we knew we had a ton of preparation for some big family gathering the next day. In later years, when she was unable to do as much, we all got a kick out of how she still managed our every move, from getting the pineapple tarts out of the pan to stirring the chile con queso. And, once we had children: "Don't you think he needs a little milk with that?" Or, even to my adult friends: "How about a little milk with that?"

Both my parents died as we were entering the holidays. Maybe the gusto with which they celebrated is the reason I take the holiday preparation and all the trimmings so seriously, and typically undertake the baking, gift wrapping, and magical role of Santa with such enthusiasm. But over the years I have come to realize that what really matters is the time we spend together enjoying it all, that the reason my mother worked so hard was so that those moments were that much richer, merrier, and more magical.

The time we have here is indeed magical, temporary, wondrous. Christmas is just a good reason to remind ourselves of this, but really we need to keep that in mind daily, so that every interaction, every moment, holds some meaning. Yes, that's nearly impossible, but living with intention is the best gift we can give to ourselves and to the people we love.

A few weeks ago, my former mother-in-law was discovered to have an aggressive form of lung cancer. While none of us were all that surprised that it was there, the rapidity at which her condition has worsened was an unexpected portal to the holidays for my former husband, his brother and sister, and their father. My parents both died suddenly, the gift being that we did not have to watch them suffer and deteriorate. Despite that being the case with my ex's family, the gift within this situation is the time to have with her just one more memory shared, one more game of Euchre, one more moment.

As I cleaned up my house yesterday and got dinner ready for my ex and our kids, I listened to a wonderful cd made for me as a Christmas present. The last song is one I want to share with you. It was written by and is performed by Gillian Welch, who is one of the most important women in bluegrass music, and one of my favorite performers (with her partner, David Rawlings) of all time. I love this song; contained within its simple lyric is a quiet ferocity for living, for exhausting every joy, every chance at loving, and for leaving no song unwritten and unsung. This ferocity for life and for welcoming what it brings to us, and finding a place in our lives for every good and bad moment, is the most important gift my parents gave to me. I wish I could pass it on to you, but for now, this song will have to do.

One Little Song
Gillian Welch
(from, appropriately enough, her album, Soul Journey)

There’s gotta be a song left to sing
Cause everybody can’t of thought of everything
One little song that ain’t been sung
One little rag that ain’t been wrung out completely yet
Gotta a little left

One little drop of fallin rain
One little chance to try again
One little bird that makes it every now and then
One little piece of endless sky
One little taste of cherry pie
One little week in paradise and I start thinkin’

There’s gotta be a song left to sing
Cause everybody can’t of thought of everything
One little note that ain’t been used
One little word ain’t been abused a thousand times
In a thousand rhymes

One little drop of fallin' rain
One little chance to try again
One little bird that makes it every now and then
One little piece of endless sky
One little taste of cherry pie
One little week in paradise and I start thinkin’

Gotta be a song left to sing
Cause everybody can’t of thought of everything
One little song that ain’t been sung
One little rag that ain’t been wrung out completely yet
Till there’s nothing left

Monday, December 19, 2005

Going for Merry

Even though it's one of my favorite seasons of the year, so many things are swirling out of control, from the way the leader of the free world is behaving, to a few crises coming home to my own family, I couldn't do them all justice right now.

But tonight I baked a few cookies, wrote out a few cards, and tried to remember, Christmas time really is coming.

That's it, for now, along with this song from Bill Monroe.

Christmas Time Is Coming by Bill Monroe

Snowflakes a-falling, my old home is calling
Tall pines are humming
Christmas time is coming.

Can't you hear them bells ringin' ringin'
Joy to all hear them singin'
Let it snow and I'll be going
Back to my country home

Christmas times a' coming
Christmas times a' coming
Christmas times a' coming and I know I'm going home.

Holly's in the window
Home where the wind blows
Can't walk for running
Christmas time is coming.

Home fires burning
My heart's yearning
For the folks at home when Christmas time is coming.

Can't you hear them bells ringin' ringin'
Joy to all hear them singin'
Let it snow and I'll be going
Back to my country home

Christmas times a' coming
Christmas times a' coming
Christmas times a' coming and I know I'm going home.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Hopelessly Hopeful

Ooooh, it's so chilly here in Northeast Ohio. I'm just not a big fan of being cold. I'm a lot less of a fan since the gas company tripled my monthly budget amount; apparently while I was in the process of moving, the rest of the world got to sign on to a better deal. Oh well.

"Oh well." I say that a lot, but I don't think I mean it like most folks do. I'm genuinely, helplessly, hopelessly hopeful. This used to drive people nuts, and I think it still does. Despite my inner cynic, I've always been one to try again, to say, "Well, there's a reason for this. We just don't know what it is," and try to keep moving.

I must get this from my mother, whose father left my grandmother with two young girls to raise while he started a new life with another woman. From a young age, my mother and aunt worked pretty tirelessly alongside Grandma to put food on the table, domestic work, washing other people's laundry. Yet, Grandma always found a place for other people in her heart, found a way to reach beyond the mess she had on her hands. A handful of lucky readers are well aware of the famous Scotch great grandmother's recipe. My grandmother, despite being flat broke with two girls to raise, would bake these perfect golden buttery brown cookies and give them to the people whose underwear she washed! For cryin' out LOUD, Doris! Sigh. It's hard to keep the women in my family down.

And boy, am I ever glad for that. My beloved sister and I come from a long line of proud, thick-headed Englishwomen. Even when we're so sad and sick of everything, we always find a way to laugh and keep going. We can turn any sorrowful situation and find the joy and meaning hidden within, without losing our edge, our wisdom.

Not everyone can put up with that. I'm so glad for the friends I have who understand what a dopey romantic I am. I live for that feeling of being completely overwhelmed with the reality of life's quirky, untamed agenda. Once a prisoner in my own home, in my own soul, now I thrive on not having the slightest idea of what might be around the corner. Sure, sometimes it scares the crap out of me and when genuine mourning is required, I honor it with all that it demands. But I always end up back on my feet, ready to keep moving, loving, living, working, dreaming, changing.

I have had days when I didn't think that was possible. I lived through weeks of mourning my lost hope. There really were days that I felt I could not go on. I know, I really do know, what it's like to want to leave this world and all its frustration behind, to step quietly out of the room and see if anyone notices.

Then a funny thing happened. My hope just....came back. Just showed up like an old friend, with a banjo on its knee.

This tune is by no means a bluegrass tune, although almost everyone will know it. It's the song, "Helplessly Hoping," and for as long as I can remember it's been one of my most favorite songs. The thing I first loved, and have always loved, about CSNY was the way they nailed the singing. All that great protest stuff sits fine with my liberal consciousness, but ultimately, the singing is what keeps me coming back for more.

And this song is just so beautiful in its simplicity. In my next life, maybe I'll play guitar like that. No next life, you say? Well, I can hope, can't I?

Have a wonderful night. And never give up your hope.

Helplessly Hoping
Stephen Stills
Helplessly hoping her harlequin hovers nearsby
Awaiting a word
Gasping at glimpses of gentle true spirit he runs,wishing he could fly
Only to trip at the sound of good-bye

Wordlessly watching he waits by the window /
and wonders at the empty place inside
Heartlessly helping himself to her bad dreams he worries
Did he hear a good-bye or even

They are 1 person
They are too alone
They are 3 together
They are for each other

Stand by the stairway you'll see something certain to tell you
Confusion has its cost
Love isn't lying its loose in a lady who lingers
Saying she is lost
And choking on hello

They are 1 person
They are too alone
They are 3 together
They are for each other

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Full Moon Fever, g'Earl Power Style

It's that time again...another full moon rounds the corner. Another month gone, which means I get to share another song about the moon.

This month's selection is brought to introduce you to an amazing group of women. Now, like many other industries, bluegrass and traditional music have all too few women on the front lines. But these g'Earls help make up for that.

Meet Uncle Earl. I had heard about this group on many occasions, and on learning that their most recent album was produced by Dirk Powell -- pretty much the only blessing you need in traditionall music is a nod from Dirk -- I decided I'd give them a listen. I got one of the most satisfying and restorative listening experiences yet. These women are simply amazing musicians, and bring to Traditional the woman's story. One of my favorite songs on the album is a killin' song in which the woman does the killin' -- and it will be shared here eventually.

But meanwhile, this beautiful song is a g'Earl original. The simple lines are supported perfectly by the wistful, almost whispering melody. I think of this song when I see her in the sky, trailing me on my way to and from work, or gazing back at me late at night when I catch her in the window. Thanks to her, I never feel alone. Moon is always present, through all the phases of my own life, and watching over all the ones I love when I can't be there.

Pale Moon
By Kristin Andreassen / 2004 Yellowcar Music, ASCAP
Arrangement: Uncle Earl

Pale moon in the bright blue sky.
Quiet moon in the trumpeting sunlight
Full moon in the bright blue sky.
High noon is hiding your light.

I heard she's waiting. She waits for night.

Crescent moon in the bright blue sky
Tiny spoon. Little bite of the big pie.
Half moon in the bright blue sky.
Hold on. Hold back your better side.

Maybe she's waiting. She waits for night.

Crooked moon in the bright blue sky.
Corner of the room. You watch from the outside.
Shy moon in the bright blue sky.
Lonesome moon. Stars more your own kind.

Heard she's just waiting. She waits for night.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

What's Your (Arche)Type?

I rarely go anywhere without one of my archetypes.

I've gotten to know my psyche pretty well over the last three or four years. Like any of us, my life has many moments of beauty along with formidable stretches of darkness and confusion. When I went through a particularly bad stretch several years ago -- which turned out to be only the beginning of a journey that brought me here and on which I continue -- I discovered how badly I needed a better way to frame my inner work, my seeking, my quest for self-understanding, so that I could bring to my conscious life all that it deserves.

In doing so, I fell in love with the writing of Robert Johnson, a Jungian analyst who died only in the last few years. His work has been a pillar in my evolution. It is no surprise that one of his heroes was the great Joseph Campbell, creator of the "Power of Myth" work that has been so helpful to many everyday seekers.

What I learned was, if I had no human counterpart who could explain or understand or help me bear my odyssey, I could take up the journey alongside a historical or mythological or literary figure, and that by walking his or her path for a while, I could bring those lessons back to my own experience.

Most of my archetypes are lone wolves. Powerful women that few men will have the nerve to love, powerful men with the ability to get us to see things differently. The only lasting remnant of my Catholic upbringing may be the ability to engage in this practice of turning inward and using my imagination to get beyond fear and keep going.

Now, of course I don't sit around doing this all day, or even have time for it every day, but I find that a little imagination goes a long way. I like the notion Jung created of the collective unconscious -- the idea that timeless themes like love, death, fear, hope, good conquering evil (or light over shadow) belong to all of us and play as our subtext while we go about making our plans and living our daily lives. I love the notion that as I go about writing out the lunch money checks or setting appointments to interview candidates -- tasks that keep my everyday, unromantic life rolling along -- I'm on a parallel inner journey in which the person I'm to become wrestles with any number of challenges along the path toward marrying the Self to its meaning.

What in blazes does all this mumbo jumbo have to do with Bluegrass?

Somehow, back when all this started, nothing reached me the way traditional and bluegrass music did. It somehow seemed the perfect "soundtrack" for this journey. Believe it or not, I had not yet seen T-Bone Burnett's wildly successful adaptation of Homer, "O! Brother, Where Art Thou?" and did not in fact see it until this past summer. Still, I knew of its success, and had to ask, couldn't part of that success be due to more than just the refreshing sound of the mythological Soggy Bottom Boys? Ten million soundtrack copies sold can't be wrong.

At that moment, the journey that began as a charge to regain my authentic Self -- once a little girl spending countless hours wandering the acres of her country home nestled in the rolling Appalachian foothills of Eastern Ohio -- split into two journeys. One was to find my true path; the other, to help lead others to this music, and to what it means for them. I was girded by the knowledge that so many people already hungered for it, and remain pretty convinced that now, more than ever, many Americans are struggling to reconcile their own origins of Self with the fact that in their day to day lives they exist under a relentless counterattack of commercialization, corporate greed, politicism, and the drive to achieve homogeneity.

I wish the seeker in you, readers, the thrill of the journey and the strength to see it through.

Man Of Constant Sorrow
Lyrics & Music : Traditional

Played by Jerry Garcia with David Grisman in 1991, and much earlier with the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers and with David Nelson in the 1960s. Sung by Dan Tyminski in the movie, "O! Brother, Where Art Thou?" and more recently played by Phil Lesh & Friends in 2005.

I am a man of constant sorrow
I have seen trouble all my days
I bid farewell to old Kentucky
The State where I was born and raised

For six long years I've been in trouble
No pleasure here on earth I've found
For in this world I'm bound to travel
I have no friends to help me now

You may bury me in some deep valley
For many years where I may lay
Then you may learn to love another
While I am sleeping in my grave

Maybe your friends think I'm just a stranger
My face you'll never see no more
But there is one promise that is given
I'll meet you on God's golden shore

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Can't Imagine.

I can't imagine that it was 25 years ago today that John Lennon was murdered.

I can't imagine what it would have felt like to have four bullets pumped into my chest by a lunatic.

I can't imagine what Yoko went through to let go that night.

I can't imagine telling my kids their dad has been murdered.

I can't imagine not having heard my mother sing to every Beatles song that came on the radio. ("Turn it up, Dad, we can still hear Mom.")

I can't imagine having gone down the path I did without the influence of the Beatles.

I can't imagine a world without the music of John Lennon. I just can't.

Can you?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Windy Mountain Breakdown

No man is an island, but every good woman deserves her own mountain.

At least, I think I do. But until I find a way to get one, I'll have to suffer a while longer in Ohio.

The music I love sometimes helps to make that easier. In fact, it has really been my salvation. Nothing replaces a good cry, but when it's time to move on and get back to living, music leads the way for me. Before I finally forced myself to pick up an instrument and sing again, I left myself few options. Slam doors. Cry whenever the kids weren't looking. Leave angry messages. Scream hurtful truths. It was ugly, unproductive, unwell. Singing and playing, even in a shaky voice, has transformed everything, and all I can do is give my life over to it.

One of the best gifts I ever gave myself was a recording called "Windy Mountain" by Pete and Joan (affectionately known as Nondi) Wernick (Pete and Joan are in the center in the accompanying photo). It is a beautiful collection of just really good traditional songs, just the two of them singing, or Joan singing alone. It's all the more beautiful to me because it comes from two people I admire deeply as much for their love and respect for each other as their work. When I bought it last year, Joan kind of warned me that I might not like it because of her singing. Yet hers is the kind of voice I most admire -- powerful, deep, honest, real. There isn't a song on that recording that I don't love. I so appreciated the chance in October to tell them both how much it has meant to me.

And tonight, this one suits me. In fact, it suits me most days. When it all comes down around me, I remind myself that, one way or another, I'll get to that mountain, even if it's alone and with only with minutes to spare. The view will have been worth it, I am certain.

Windy Mountain (trad.)

(Refrain)I'd like to be upon a windy mountain
Where the treetops drape the sky
Then I would forget all my worries and my trouble
I'll just let the wind blow them by

Let me hear the leaves on the trees when they are singin'
Just a moment of relief is all care
For I've got no sorrow, no heartaches, or sadness
As long as I can see the trees this way

* Refrain

Tell my old lover in care you should see him
Just how much I love he'll never know
I've gone to rest away upon the mountain
Where the howling wind will always blow

* Refrain

Oh, friends bury me way upon the mountain
Where that old wind will always blow
For I want to rest alone on the mountain
Where the howling wind will always blow

* Refrain

Friday, December 02, 2005


I was all set to feel warm and cozy tonight, home again with my two great kids and planning to engage in a little holiday prep.

Then, I screwed up.

While I gaily (not gay-ly) strung lights on the tree (alone, for the first time, ever, which in itself is a post for another time), the kids settled in to a holiday movie, "Home Alone 2." I was really hoping for, you know, Rudoph. Frosty. ANYthing. But, ok, another round with the McAllisters.

That was two and a half hours ago.

I hate commercial television.

Out of the likely 90 minutes of film, we suffered through another thirty minutes of incessant, screeching, whoring advertising. And, it's still going. (Not to mention, I ran out of lights and have to go buy another string tomorrow just to finish the last two rows of branches before we can start loading on our ornaments.)

How can people allow themselves to be bombarded with this, with all that they complain about in their lives and all that is going on in the world, when there are so many other worthwhile things to do?

Whew. It's over. Kids are upstairs. TV is off. Victory is mine.

This holiday season, don't stay home and watch ad after ad for KOHLS BEST PRICES OF THE SEASON EVER SALE. Turn off the tv, and turn on someone you love. Or pick up a book. Or an instrument. Or get out, and hear some live music. Live in Northeast Ohio? Here's an option:

Friday, December 16 -- 8:00 PM
The Kent Stage

From their Web site:
Like missionaries from the Mother Church of Country Music, these guys love to spread the word of Hank, Bill, George, Lefty, and Merle. It's "real" country music with plenty of fine singing, crisp and clear instrumental picking, smart original tunes and new spins on classic songs from the masters. Hillbilly Idol reaches back to embrace the traditions of bluegrass, western swing, and honky tonk, and brings them forward to "water the roots" of those traditions today -- and -- they have a great time doing it.

Ya see? How fun is THAT!? Gosh, they even just LOOK like fun. And holy cow, these boys are local! Now get your tails down to The Kent Stage for a fun break from that Johnny Mathis Christmas Album!

Advance discount tickets: $10.00Day of Show: $12.00

Will I see you there?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

THESE Boys Kick My Bluegr-ass!

Ok, time for a lighter note. Or, more like, an enthusiastic one. It's been a dark, somewhat disappointing week thanks to all the goings on in the world. But, once again, bluegrass saved my blue-ass, and the benefit is yours.

Not long ago, Jim asked if watching a guy with a guitar turned me on. I kinda laughed. I guess I expect any man brave enough to hang around with me for any length of time will know how to play some instrument or another. (For the record, Jim had demonstrated, without fanfare, that he can, apparently, play the guitar.) This is not to say, however, that I don't feel a bit threatened by a man who can sing higher than I can. And in bluegrass, it's possible.

But when I listen to, and sing and play along with, the amazing Lonesome River Band (not to be confused with the Little River Band!), I just don't care! These guys totally blew my socks off at IBMA. My son got to sit right down front, taking in every perfect note. Afterward he picked up the Head on Into Heartache cd and met mando man Jerry Parker who signed it for him.

And Sammy Shelor? There are no words.

But, guitar is nice, too.

Please come to Ohio soon, LRB! (Meanwhile, check them out, y'all. You will NOT be disappointed.)