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Tuesday, September 22, 2009
A cool night blue cloud blanket was spitting rain, micro bursts of wind, low hovering touchable white submarine like clouds: a night foreshadowing fall in WY. I was traveling south to Jackson from Yellowstone paralleled by landing airline traffic. Rumors of Cotton Jones playing in town persuaded me to stop at at the local hootenanny outside of town. I grabbed some chicken and a whiskey-coffee to stay warm, sat and listened to some sitar, and a Barbados-Jimmy-Buffet-type who played a small saxophone.
I had discovered Cotton Jones a few months prior and have been enjoying them since. Their mysterious sound combined with my failure dig into their background gave way to an imagined group of super hipster Northern California city kids trying to re-imagine themselves as a back country-folk like tribe. So when a group of rather plain looking kids, some clad in plaid, with scruffy beards got up and were introduced as being from Maryland I was pleasantly intrigued.
The story was enriched as we moved from the hootenanny to a small house in town, sat around in front of a football game and talked about their mountainous hometown, Cumberland, in northern Maryland. Whitney, the lovely female side of the band, gave me some of her whiskey and graced us with stories of finding vintage organs in Maryland thrift stores, organs that she currently records with. The band set up in the front yard and they began what became a extremely personal show, a unique show for a group of young artists and writers living in Jackson who get no interesting music coming through.
In trying to thank them, for such an unreal night, Michael, the lead singer guitarist and writer expressed the mutual uniqueness of the night to me. They were thrilled to be part of a large tour, but to take a few nights off and explore a part of the country they've never been to without the pressure of an organized show was a refreshing perspective for them, along their travels. He told me playing on someone's front lawn was a nice change from setting up at night at a club or festival and leaving in the morning without meeting the people that actually live in that town.
They continued to play into the night and inevitably the tourists that dictate much of our lives here in Jackson complained from a nearby motel. The cops came warned us to quite down. So the Cotton Jones collective of traveling musicians unplugged and sang quietly in the night.
We soon moved into the living room and piled on the floor and squeezed cozy on the couches like a large family on Christmas morning and listened as they played an amazing version of Dylan's Girl from the North Country as well as some acoustic versions of their originals.
I picked up this little handmade EP packaging that night. It was handcrafted by one of their artist friends in Maryland. It was well crafted but had all the perfect little imperfections that make this kind of art a one of a kind memento never to be produced the same way again.
The end of "Gone the Bells". Sorry for the terrible video, I took these after many a beer with my digital camera. The audio however, is worth hearing.
"Girl from the North Country"
Friday, August 28, 2009
I often, like most who wonder and explore the never ending world of the web, find some expressions of other people's lives captured in one form or another, that are especially provocative and inspirational. I am going to start to share a few that really take me far away and trigger a reaction of ideas and dreams related to my life. This one is called "Fresh Start" and I found it via some photography blogs via www.fecalface.com. In the future I will be better at saving the artists name. If you know it feel free to contact me / correct me. enjoy.