Monday, October 27, 2008


There are those times when jogger's high overtakes you and you don't realize how tired you are until you stop running. Rewind to this past Friday at the V Cafe, at the CD PRE-Release show for Old Skin Horse. After I got through the obligatory stomach butterflies that always seem to happen when things are bound to get interesting, I think I (along with the cavalcade of monstrous talent behind me) put more energy into those songs than I ever have before. The line-up went thus:

Michael Dean - bass, accordion
Ethan Norman - acoustic, vocals
Andy Vandergriff - acoustic, vocals
Bill Van Vleet - drums
Jim Walker - lead electric
David Whipple - trumpet
+me on acoustic, electric, and vocals

David Van Buskirk plowed in from Nashville and opened the whole show for us. His fu manchu left us in awe (and made me think he looked like a younger incarnation of my uncle, Steve), and I was humbled to meet someone who had given so much for the Kingdom of God. I would retell those stories I heard, but justice would not be done if I did so. You shall have to sit down with him and ask him about Africa and bicycles.

The second block of the night was given to Ethan and Michael playing Ethan's tunes while the lovely Carla Huxtable (yep, you read that right) sang back-up with the imposing amount of gumption it takes to do that when you're not accustomed to it (as she is not). I was glad to have the opportunity to sit back and hear those songs through fresh ears and from afar. Not that Ethan and I have played together for eons, but it's easy to fall prey to the habits of old guitar parts when new ones might be the direction that the song wants to go. If it takes on a life of its own (and we hope it does), then playing stagnant riffs is like adding poison to the water. It was good to see those songs take on life.

As for my set, I've never heard Song for Dogs with so much energy. For that matter, I haven't heard any of those songs with so much energy. But you'll have to come to the next show to see that sort of thing happen, because I'm a little too lethargic to eloquently expound on anything right now, and I'm going to bed.

And, by the way, Old Skin Horse comes out on iTunes on November the 1st. So go download it and drink it in.


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