“Blues had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going.” By Langston Hughes
Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.- Charlie “Bird” ParkerI’m a bluesman moving through a blues-soaked America, a blues-soaked world, a planet where catastrophe and celebration- joy and pain sit side by side. The blues started off in some field, some plantation, in some mind, in some imagination, in some heart. The blues blew over to the next plantation, and then the next state. The blues went south to north, got electrified and even sanctified. The blues got mixed up with jazz and gospel and rock and roll. – Cornel West.
The blues are the roots and the other musics are the fruits. It’s better keeping the roots alive, because it means better fruits from now on. The blues are the roots of all American music. As long as American music survives, so will the blues.
Once you discover that you can, then you must. And it’s not easy. You have to take direct steps. You really have to count your blessings and you have to make a decided effort to not get seduced by the blues.
There are many reasons I love Langston Hughes. Many of the same reasons we all love Helen Keller. I learned about Helen Keller in highschool, I didn’t learn about Langston Hughes until I found him on my own. Both are heroes to this world. They both offered such beautiful insight on how they see the world, both courageous , both beautiful, both inspiring. Both could be from a place of Extreme darkness or enlightened walkers of the sun and morning. These two poems were on my mind today. I pray for all the children that are crying and suffering. I pray for them and their parents. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even believe in god anymore but I pray anyway. I am a spiritual Christian and sometimes my faith is tested when I see such atrocities and how the world is going. Sometimes I feel that the churches have been so passive in action when our brothers and sisters needed action. Even During the Civil Rights movement , why didn’t more white churches help? These were and still now our brothers and sisters. They are not illegal aliens. They are US. I hope their darkness ends but I know too well how unjust this world can be but I will pray just the same to any god that will listen for their safety and to stop the cries and suffering as soon as possible. I pray that they have strength to continue the journey wherever it may lead. My eyes are red because children are crying for their mommy and daddy and it is one of the most horrific things to listen too and our world is getting smaller and the news is getting harsher. How can we repeat history? Horrible atrocities should never be repeated. I pray they get to see the light again. I pray for the babies to once again be in the arms of their parents. I pray they find a way to survive together. I pray they have strength to survive. I pray they are walkers with the sun and the morning.
Walkers with the Dawn
Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
Walkers with the sun and morning,
We are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom,
Being walkers with the sun and morning.
So I took a impromptu day trip to New Hope today with a friend and that town is so beautiful, especially at night. I met some really great shop owners and people and had a great time. The Tye Dye store had this cool couple and two dogs. The woman owner is a Melissa McCarthy clone. Everything she said was funny. I loved her and their dogs. They are expanding and opening a second store in Asbury Park. They do all their Tye Dye product in house. I wish them the best of luck.. These dogs were tired from a hard days wotk. I took a few pictures while I was walking around there and a few on my on my way there as well so I will share them with you here There is something about that town that comes alive when dusk falls. This picture of the shop of India really spoke to me so I took a picture. I don’t know why things speak to me but when they do it’s very clear. I walked into the sweetest bookstore and I meant to take a picture of that too but I didn’t. I got distracted by this adorable card of Billie Holiday and it comes with cute stickers as well. So cute. I got one for a friend.
Zora Neale Hurston was there too.
New Hope It is a town for lovers. Friends too but when your there you can’t help but long to be with the one you love, especially when the Sun starts to melt. Once I stayed there years ago and I stayed in a little inn called the Logan Inn. The cool thing about the Logan Inn is it is haunted. Ghosts! Yes. Very cool. I stayed in a room that was haunted and a ghost lived there. I never did see her. Her name is Emily, room 6. Doesn’t mean she wasn’t there. I would stay there again. Maybe I’ll get lucky next time.
On the way there I saw this adorable Hot Dog Stand, Johnny’s. It was so 1950’s and it was next to a babbling brook. Really sweet. I had to stop and take a few shots. Sometimes you drive into a spot or a place and it takes you back in time. It can be anything like a shady bend with a wooden billboard or a little motel with a shady maple and vintage Sign saying the same. When that happens it’s the closest thing to time travel I know. I told my friend I had to stop and take a few pictures. I’m used to getting the eye roll or why? but I don’t care lol.
This friend was cool though. She didn’t mind, I saw a bunch of Barns with horses and could have stopped all day but we had to get to our destination. It’s hard for me to see horses and not stop. They are so beautiful. I am still waiting to see my wild mustangs. Wild Mustangs, we will ride them some day. As we were walking around I spotted my girl. I always have to take a picture of her when I see her cause she also speaks to me. Always has. Hey Girl! I Love Marilyn. 💋. I put her in my super star tragic hero category. People like her, Prince, Michael Jackson, James Dean, Elvis, the super stars. They die young. It’s too much for their hearts and minds, the burden of such extreme fame. And in the end it leaves us with the sorrowful residue of their greatness.
Time to sign off. There will be a New Hope 2 blog coming soon. Until then.
So on my way driving to Minneapolis I stopped off in Chicago. It has been about 25 Years since I’ve been back. I was going to go the same place I went last time I was in Chicago. I was headed over to Buddy Guy’S Legends. One of the best blues bars in the world owned by Chicago’s very own Legend, Buddy Guy. He has always been a blues hero for me. I was hoping he would be there, it was ten days before Christmas so he could very well be there. Good news he was! The last time I went to Legends 25 years ago he was there as well. Just standing against the wall. I didn’t even notice him until he smiled and then I saw his gold BG ring and I realized who he was. There was a private CD release party going on and I kind of crashed it.
Any Way the first time I went I had no camera but I stayed at this Russian owned hotel called the spa motel. Very cheap, very clean. I got to Legends, different location but Buddy’s Bar and I got to Chicago B.L.U.E.S and saw Son seals. I went to Kingston Mines and saw Magic Slim and the teardrops. I also went over to the historic Maxwell Street to soak in some Blues history. Here’s some vintage pictures of Maxwell Street. When I was on Maxwell Street is was like a glorified swap meet and I it was very cold so there were a lot of garbage cans fires burning strong.
This time I didn’t have a lot of time but I made sure to spend a night at Legends. The staff was amazing, the wings were so good and the Buddy Guy Beer hit the spot after driving 500 miles. I saw three acts and then Buddy graced the stage with the Lindsey Alexander Band. It was super lucky to have met Buddy Guy and take this picture. I cannot express how much Joy I got from his music and performances.