Sunday, June 10, 2012

Indian Summer

Summer is lost now
The frost is closing in
To the cold gospel dollar
The poor man walks in sin
I can't get no entrance

The doors all in rows
I pray into the distance

Let me out of these heavy clothes, I'm beggin'

Indian summer

I need some return
So hard to get warm now
It's so easy to get burned
Down on the pavement

The laws are learned
So hard to get warm where

It's so easy to get burned

One sister called up

Said the love have broken down
I said there too much ice around here

To find no solid ground
While I just squeeze a season 

From this paper bag
I pray to the burning tires

Wrap my feet in rags, beggin'

Now the sky is empty
The street is sweating tears
Communion at the station
For a million grinding gears
While I'm riding out this century
The harvest engine sing
From the church of mercenaries
To a naked virgin spring I'm singin'


When Dirt Floor was released, i was like a kid on Christmas Morning, waiting to bust into the living room and start unwrapping that present i had been eyeing for weeks.

Only, i was 27. And had just had four wisdom teeth removed that day. And i had been waiting for about a year. It was nothing like the wait from Living With the Law to Din of Ecstasy, that was basically an eternity for the hardcore Whitley fans waiting to see what the hell was going to happen next -- an insane 4+ years.

Terra Incognita had released the year before ('97) and had some simply incredible songs on it, including one of my all time favorites "Immortal Blues" (more on that one later). Still, i was waiting for more pure National style Chris, raw resonator stuff that left nothing to the imagination. Low to no effects, just the guitar, slide, boot board, and the growling falsetto.

So i had heard from David that there was a new release coming for the purists, put out on a label called Messenger Records by a college guy named Brandon Kessler, produced by Craig Street. About the album i heard descriptions like:

  • Two track analog
  • Single stereo ribbon mic
  • Recording in a barn in Vermont

and i just knew this was the one.

So the very day of the release i was having all four wisdom teeth extracted (as it turned out, the dentist botched the job and left a root fragment in there that just kept on going, causing an impaction-induced infection and follow-on oral surgery 14 years later).

(this is why you should [1] get your wisdom teeth extracted when you are 15 or so and [2] get it done by a bona fide oral surgeon)

Anyway, i was all drugged up and bleeding from the surgery but not even N202, Valium, and Vicodin were going to keep me from getting a hold of that CD. So i went to the music store -- slurring my speech with bloody gauze in my mouth like i had just gotten my ass kicked at Fight Club -- and demanded my copy of Dirt Floor

It was worth the wait.