Sometimes life is perfect. We need to remember those moments, because they are fleeting for most of us. Sometimes we get a perfect view, a perfect feeling, a perfect morning, a perfect day- maybe even a few perfect days- or, in my case, sometimes a perfect song.
I love getting a perfect song because a perfect song can be a moment that lasts forever. I guess that’s what I love about music, and especially about writing music- I get to capture the firefly in the jar.
We meet perfect people in life- sometimes for a moment, a day, a few months or years and sometimes for a lifetime. I’ve been blessed with both personal and musical cohorts. Mark Zamcheck was the first musical cohort, and Paul Candilore the second. I later met Scarlet Rivera and John Durrill and their legends continue to grow, most recently with Miranda Lambert’s performance of JD’s “Misery and Gin” at the ACM Awards and Scarlet’s “Rolling Thunder Reunion” tours with Eric Anderson. Paul and I are now in our third decade together, and I follow Mark’s musical journey which has led him back to the music we created from 1967-1969- in my opinion, his best work, now even greater.
But Paul and I are like brothers. We recently performed a song at my daughter’s wedding, the crowd favorite, “When the Phone Don’t Ring, I’ll Know It’s You,” and the reaction from the young crowd was telling. “You guys sound like a whole band!” “You guys should have played all night!” “Dad, you nailed it!” Brotherhood and chemistry. The original van Gogh Brothers- Paul and me. The beautiful celebration. The bright, joyful and hopeful young people. Perfect.
Mark Zamcheck wrote a song called “Perfect”. I urge you to Youtube it. It is also available on iTunes. I’ve been playing it over and over this month of September. I am at one of life’s perfect times.
Kathy and I travel to Europe in early October. We are approaching five years together and we thought this trip would be a great finale to our first half-decade and the capper to a wonderful year of building and growing. We will see old friends in London and then explore Barcelona, which suddenly seems in vogue much to our surprise. I’m looking forward to being in Europe and England and regaining the perspective you get when you’ve been out of country.
And the travel continues in November with a possible trip back to Boston and then New Orleans for Thanksgiving with my son. I think that might wrap the travel up for a while, and I hope to gain clarity on the next musical step as the months advance. I’ve been listening to my inner voice and to lots of music from over the years. I think it’s time for a return to the van Gogh Brothers’ roots-rock, a la Beggar’s Banquet this time. I’m hearing that and thinking of open tunings and crystal clear driving acoustic guitar with sparse electric accompaniment and big drums. I await my muse. We shall see.
In the meantime, the van Gogh Brothers will reunite in April in Boston, and the Voices of van Gogh are considering some dates in LA in early 2017. The musical wheels are slowly beginning to turn again…
I look forward to writing more about Europe next month. I left out the details of my daughter’s September wedding here because words would not do the experience justice- it was perfect.
Until next time, happy end of summer 2016. Go well.