We Are On The Edge

Dandelions and Forsythia in bloom on walk to Wegmans.
Dandelions and Forsythia in bloom on walk to Wegmans.

We went a graduation party yesterday in my parents’ old neighborhood and drove by their house before settling in at the party. This is the time of year I would usually help them hang their canvas awnings, something I called the “Awning Ritual.” The awnings are still up in the garage and their house looks empty of life.

We arrived at the party when the band pulled up. I asked the drummer what kind of music they played and he said, “Americana.” They set up in the backyard and sounded really good. But it is curious to me that in 2019 so many bands play the same batch of old songs, a mixture of the Band, Hank Williams, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Statler Brothers, etc. It’s as if they are trying to enshrine some heritage instead of developing something new. Maybe all this devotion will lead somewhere. I loved all that stuff in the day but comfort food makes me nervous.

During Jeff Spevak’s book release party at the Record Archive, while the Americana band was playing, I wandered around the store. I had read a review of the Art Ensemble’s new record that morning and looked around for the Jazz section. In the “A’s” I found a row of Louis Armstrong cds about a foot and half deep. And then tucked behind that one. the Art Ensemble cd, “We Are On The Edge, A 50th Anniversary Celebration.” I love the record and marvel at their forever forward movement.

1 Comment

One Reply to “We Are On The Edge”

  1. Americana just sounds like the recycling of great original music by a bunch of musicians with no ideas of their own. It repulses me. I don’t even care if they’re good at it. Make something new. I listened to some Esperanza Spaulding tracks this weekend that really sucked me in…that was rare and pretty great.

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