Ramblings – Tenneesee Whiskey, Westerns and Friendship

It took me 2 years to get Mr Adair to take me to a concert, this was down to two reasons:

  1. I am particular about who I want to go and see, so I bide my time until an opportunity presents itself.
  2. Scott hates crowds of people.

Then in March 2019 the moment was upon us. It was to be an evening of Country music straight from the States. Headlining was Chris Stapleton.

These days Stapleton is relatively mainstream thanks to his big performances with the likes of Justin Timberlake etc. 2019 he was heading up to his peak and man I was excited.

‘Tenneesee Whiskey’ had become somewhat of an anthem in our house and was set to be our wedding song (although that now has close competition, maybe we need two songs, or a setlist? You can do that right?)

So I was buzzing for this event, Scott less so, and I knew he was just partaking for my sake. But I can say from the minute that lineup started to the end, he was hooked and more excited than I was.

Mr Stapleton and his lovely wife performed for over an hour, with no fancy lights, no big ass band, dancers and all that shit, just him, a drummer, and his wife. The only time he stopped was to swap guitars. That voice of his is like butter and the way he makes the guitar sing pisses me right off.

I have been trying to replicate the bluesy, silky smooth guitar playing for 2 years with little success, which I blame my fat stubby fingers for.

What is the point of this post?

There really isn’t one, other than to point everyone in the direction of a legend.

I was sat listening to ‘You should probably leave’ while reading an old western by Zane Grey and thought everyone deserves to know about this.

“‘Wild Woods is the place for me” he soliloquised, as the cool wind fanned his cheeks and the sweet tong of evergreen tickled his nostrils, ‘But I’m sure most haunted in these lonely, silent places.'” – Zane Grey

That is Stapleton’s music, that feeling of absolute beauty and pleasure but with an intense emotional afterthought.

I think when you are a creative person you are always seeking to acheive that; to convey the darkness that coincides with the light in a way that is still a thing of beauty.

After all its two sides of the same coin.

I used to have to go to Church as part of my work when I was a Youth Worker, I would avoid it where possible as much as I could mainly because it’s just not my thing but also because Church music is the one sure thing to make me cry. It doesn’t matter if its mad happy clappy stuff or Ave Maria there is something it does that breaks me.

Only now I’m older do I understand why. It’s because there is 50 plus people in that one place all singing or mumbling but all believing in something bigger than themselves, so it’s not the music that bothers me its that intense faith.

I can’t get with that programme and don’t want to, I have my faith, thoughts and systems that I rely on and it doesn’t involve ‘God’ or Church. However, witnessing that level of faith is quite special, it certainly moves my soul.

I think you can find that beauty in the everyday. I find it in music, I find it when my mind is still, when I am sat quiety getting lost in a story of cowboys, when I am working on a creative project that isn’t held to a deadline, sometimes it is as simple as driving the car with the windows down, the music up, while the sun sets.

I find it when I am focused on one thing, when I am learning something, which I partly why I love playing the guitar, it is a constant test and learning process.

Once you figure that out and tap into it, certain moments aren’t quite so overwhelming as you are surrounded by small versions of that everyday. What it means is that the sadness or intensity on the flip side of those moments of joy also aren’t quite so powerful. I think we are trained to think the worst in all situations as we live in a constant state of fear, which is distracting from the joyful moments.

I met with friends I hadn’t see for way too long this week and that was one of those moments where I saw the beauty in life, there is such a length of time where we have connected and shared life, such history, those connections are special. That is where I find my faith.

I was met with two babies that are now the evolution of that story, to re-connect in such powerful moments when we were once just kids with our whole life ahead of us is crazy. It puts a smile on my heart.

To see a baby whose eyes that are the same as my friends that I have known and seen for 15 years is overwhelmingly wonderful. That is now the kinda stuff that brings me to tears but happy tears.

“‘Cause love is more precious than gold
It can’t be bought, no, and it can’t be sold
I got love enough to spare
That makes me a millionaire!” Millionaire – Chris Stapleton

Mr. Stapleton and old cowboy stories are my comfort zone, two of the perfect ways to get lost and find faith in life. Reminding me of both the light and dark.

Anyway, that’s this months ramblings done and it took a weird emotional turn for which I can only apologise, it will be back to business as usual with Why We Ride – Part 4 out soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *