I did have to smile though at the big 1980s Oldsmobile convertible with the top down and a guy sitting in the back seat banging away on a guitar as they drove down the road. Now THAT is an example of the joy of music!
Happened to catch the final half hour of the "director's cut" of the film "Woodstock" the other day. I was reminded of how time definitely taints our view of events, not unlike the cool round sunglasses I used to wear back in the day. While there is no question that the late Jimi Hendrix was a pioneer of the electric guitar, his rambling, sloppy, pointless BS solo in the film proves that while he was an innovator, to call him a virtuoso player has to be a stretch. Of course, there were most likely some mitigating (i.e., chemical) reasons for incoherence of that solo....
On a much brighter note (pun intended!), check out the new recording by Alison Krauss & Union Station, "Paper Airplane." AKUS, as they are known to their fans, will surely go down as one of the all-time greats of traditional country music. It is rare and special to hear a group so totally in synch and at the absolute pinnacle of their craft. Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski Ron Block and Barry Bales are masters of their instruments (in the case of Douglas, he may be the best ever on the dobro) but it all comes back the other-worldly singing of Alison. In my book, she is one of the greatest singers of popular music EVER, regardless of genre. Buy their records and see them live if you can.
Be sure to check out the latest issue of the always fascinating Fretboard Journal magazine. The cover story about country musician Marty Stuart and his vast collection of historically important items related to the early years of country music is a real eye-opener. Stuart, along with being a great guitarist, mandolin player and singer sees himself as a guardian of pieces of history that were in danger of ending up in rummage sales, or worse, and his anecdotes about his late, former father-in-law Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe and many others are wonderful. FJ continues to be the absolute premier magazine in the guitar world, in my opinion. As a former magazine editor myself I appreciate the fact that writers are allowed to take as long as is necessary to tell their stories, something that is sadly not the case with most publications. The layout and print quality is gorgeous too. Get Fretboard Journal. You'll be thanking me!
As I drove down to Woods Hole to launch my kayak and go fishing this morning I marveled at how quiet everything was after the big weekend - Main Street was empty of cars and the town had that wonderful, sleepy off-season feel. I know it won't last though. I just have to keep reminding myself for fortunate I am to live in a place where so many people want to go.
Peace & good music,