Music and Other Kinky Stuff

October 21, 2007

Home again, home again – Jiggety jig jig! We heard some great music, had good eats and brews, haunted the “pre-loved” music shops, tromped through the woods, and fit in some other interesting little jaunts along the way. It was good. And it is good to be home. I guess that’s the sign of time well spent.

The next few posts will be a journal of sorts. Although its only been a week, the first few days are already foggy. Back in the day I would have put together a photo album. This new media is A-Okay. The best part is coming home with over 500 pictures to weed through. Instant gratification at its best.

Our trips are planned in that we know where we are headed and have a general idea of what we want to do. Other than that, we fly by the seat of our pants. We rolled into Nashville with a wave of football fans just in time for the Vanderbilt and Georgia game. Some Vandy Commodores were there to greet us. Wish they would have told us which hotel had a room left. Note to self: Sometimes reservations are a good thing.

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We dropped our bags, locked the door, and headed over to the Blackstone for a Nut Brown and dinner. The only noticeable change in Nashville, other than the ongoing construction of high-rise condos, was that it has become smokeless. The Blackstone, as well as many other establishments, were recognizably comfortable with smokers who are now relegated to outdoor patios. It doesn’t seem to have hurt business any though.

Our first appointment was at 3rd & Lindsley to hear Whitey Johnson with Gary Nicholson and Colin Linden opening. Nicholson’s bio lists over 400 songs recorded by artists from all walks of music along with the production of two Grammy winning records by Delbert McClinton, among others.

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We knew Colin Linden from XM satellite radio and his 2001 release, Big Mouth, although his career spans nearly 30 years. Of his two newest recordings, Southern Jumbo is my favorite. You can also hear Linden with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. He only played a few songs. I could have listened to him all night long.

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We found Whitey Johnson on the new releases shelf at Borders and didn’t make the Gary Nicholson connection until sometime later. Saturday night we witnessed the transition from Nicholson the writer to Johnson the bluesman. What a talented all-around musician.

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Bekka Bramlett, daughter of Delaney and Bonnie, joined them on stage for the last few numbers. She can belt out the songs with the best of them. I love a chick singer with grit. Do you remember Delaney and Bonnie?

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One of the first things we usually do when we get into town is pick up a copy of the Nashville Scene. Its a weekly paper with all of the happenings in Nashville and the surrounding area. You can find one at almost every storefront and restaurant. That is how we found the Southern Festival of Books on Sunday.

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And Kinky Friedman, who was promoting his new book You Can Lead a Politician to Water, But You Can’t Make Him Think: Ten Commandments for Texas Politics. It was the Kinkster at his best. Between the quick wit and satire, he made sense of some relevant topics. There was substance that you don’t see in mainstream politicos. At the least, there was a sense of reality. No wonder he didn’t get elected. However, he did get nearly 550,000 votes, or 12% of the total cast. And that was running as an Independent. And this was in Texas, mind you.

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He spoke and answered questions for an hour or so, followed by two or three songs, ending with the Ballad of Ira Hayes which was really quite moving. We filed out of the auditorium into a mile-long line to get our book signed. It turned out to be a pretty enjoyable wait since the guy in front of us that looked amazingly like Colin Linden, was Colin Linden.

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We talked about the shift from CD’s back to vinyl recordings. I guess I missed this, although it makes sense. He sent us to Grimey’s, a great place to pick up new and used music. They almost had as many vinyl recordings as they did CD’s. And an awful lot of young people sifting through them. The next thing I noticed were places advertising turntables for sale. What goes around, comes around. No pun intended.

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Willi and Kinky. I love it. If you get a chance, you really should pick up his book.

Next post: Shelby Bottoms on the Cumberland River and more music, followed by a Yankee on Confederate soil.

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14 Responses to “Music and Other Kinky Stuff”

  1. Jay Says:

    I love Kinky Friedman. He’s a blast! He would end his speeches at his rallies with “May the God of your choice bless you”. LOL

    Have you ever read any of his mysteries? I haven’t but I remember he would come to San Antonio and do book signings at Remember the Alamo, a mystery bookstore down there.

  2. Jay Says:

    Oh and … Great trip report! 😉

  3. Betty Says:

    Kinky is a real hoot. So funny, and makes a lot of sense, actually.

  4. gawilli Says:

    Jay and Betty – Kinky was a real find on this trip. Completely unexpected and surprisingly substantial. I haven’t read any of his other books, except to leaf through them, but I intend to now. Willi is reading a book he picked up at the festival called Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War. I have listened to quite a bit of it and I think you both would find it interesting. It’s the author’s story of moving home to Winchester, Virginia only to find that his family and neighbors are some of “the very people that carried Bush to victory”. Good stuff.

  5. mjd Says:

    I am glad that you are home. Your trips sounds like the kind you and Willi love…filled with music. Welcome home.

  6. daddy d Says:

    I love to hear the story of your trip. I learn so much. Good job.

  7. her indoors Says:

    sounded like you had a great time

  8. Big John Says:

    Sounds just great. I’ve travelled quite a bit in the USA, but regret never making it to Nashville or ‘The Big Easy’. Still, who knows ?

  9. dilling Says:

    I haven’t even read this post yet…will do as soon as I tell you this!~
    I am so VERY VERY VERY jealous that you saw KINKY FRIEDMAN…..he is another songwriting hero of mine AND just plain hero. I adore him to pieces…
    okay, I am going back to read, grow green(er) with envy and may come back with another comment. bye

  10. dilling Says:

    Wow…I would have voted for Kinky if I stilled lived in Texas. Absolutely.
    Do you read his fiction books? Read Roadkill, sometime. It’s one of my very favorite books…it’s one I haul with me to Willie Nelson concerts just in case I meet either Willie or Kinky for a signing.
    You never know who you’ll find getting off the Honeysuckle Rose, after all.

  11. Nessa Says:

    Sounds like lots of fun: music and books.


  12. Hey! I really, really like Willi’s shirt in that last picture!! What excellent taste he has!!

    Your vacation sounds like soooo much fun!

  13. gawilli Says:

    Mjd – It was filled with music and we did love it, but it is good to be home!

    Daddy D – I have been learning a lot also as I put these posts together. For instance, I didn’t realize that Bekka Bramlett replaced Stevie Nicks in Fleetwood Mac. I also didn’t know that Gary Nicholson produced Chris Knight, one of our favorites. Who knew?!!

    Her Indoors – It was great!

    Big John – I LOVED the Big Easy. We were there in ’99. I wonder how much it has changed since Katrina.

    Dilling – I should have known you were a Kinky fan! I think Willi has Roadkill – I will have to check. He sure had a following in Nashville. He got a standing ovation and the line for book signing was huge. It was really refreshing to hear him talk about issues from the gut. You would have enjoyed it.

    Nessa – Lots of books! And as many used book stores as there were pre-loved music stores.

    Songbird – Or should I say Razorback? My favorite cap is one he picked up this summer that says “WOO PIG SOOIE” on the front and has a Razorback on the back.

  14. Willowtree Says:

    Kinky has been my hero for years!!!


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