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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SPRINGTIME AND THE SKIDMARKS

angels in flight




The daffodils glow in full flower like stars come down from the night sky to play on the ground in the daytime, sway on a stem in the earth breeze and enjoy being seen up close with appreciation for their beauty. They bloom for a good long time giving some of the people on earth a chance to see them up close. Then they go back to the sky til next year.



We've had a couple of days of sun and even tshirt temperature. It's like one of those stories of down and out, if it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all, been down so long it looks like up, no light in the tunnel so it must be a grave, then Da-da, everything is coming up daffodils, it couldn't be any rosier, sittin on top of the world, rollin along, singin a song. It's Spring. Calves sprawled out in the sunlight next to their mamas taking a rest, soaking up some rays. Driving with the window down and the air feeling good. 



Last Friday night I picked up cassettes of the 2 Skeeter & The Skidmarks albums for the car. Costs less than putting in a cd player. I can drive now with the Skidmarks playing. It makes driving fun to hear them tearing up a composition by Scott and Edwin, Groundhog Shuffle, an instrumental that is funny to listen to. I can see a groundhog running with the way Edwin is clucking his banjo and Scott his mandolin, fast, fingers way down on the frets in the high notes, running that groundhog fast as they can make him go. There goes the groundhog scuttling fast as groundhog legs can carry him, the body weight shifting back and forth going full tilt. They run at about the speed of a cat. A cat is all grace. A groundhog in our way of seeing has obesity issues. When he runs, it's a sight. Can't help but laugh. 



They are a wildly light-hearted band that plays a song as a spontaneous expression of joy. Their song list is varied from old country songs to old-time fiddle tunes, banjo tunes, singing good-worded songs. Willard found the original words to Yellow Rose of Texas and sings it the way it was sung way back when, before the state of Texas made a commercial of it. Sandy sings two songs about the South, Dixie Darling and When The Roses Bloom In Dixie Land. Scott's mandolin 15+ years ago sounds good. Their sound now is their sound then on steroids. In concert, they bear down on it, several years advanced in their musicianship and in their experience making music together. The music comes from a light-hearted place in their hearts and goes directly to the listener's heart and lightens it up. That's the kind of band Skeeter and the Skidmarks is. They lighten the heart with good music played in a burst of delight. 



Good springtime music to roll down the highway playing in my sound capsule adjusted so the music is happening in the middle of my head like with headphones. It's refreshing music. It's people who love making music together laughing all the way through because they have so much fun. The spirit of their music is what gives them the unique sound that is the Skeeter sound. It's the spirit of their laughter. For the sake of the music of these mountains and my own ears, I'm glad they're making a new album, or project. Musicians call them projects, we call them albums. If it's as good as their shows they've been putting on at the Front Porch in Woodlawn, it will be a treasure. I don't think they've finished recording all of it, but I already know a treasure in SW Virginia and NW North Carolina music it will be. Like old man Tom Pruitt would say, They's no two ways about it.     



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