The glow of the evening sun sweeps across the vast valley casting hues that compliment the beauty of the natural world. I sit in peace surrounded by the mighty Cascades. The worries of daily living seem moot at this point as I recline into the comforts of my camping chair as I am present to the American roots of bluegrass music filling the air. There is something majestic about listening to bluegrass high up in the fresh mountain air. It just makes sense, lyrically, as the music blends into the mountains and where one chord starts and the other ends, the wind just carries each note away.
Growing up north of Seattle, the annual Darrington Bluegrass festival, was often talked about, but I had never attended. After spending over a decade away from the Pacific Northwest upon my return my attendance to this event had bumped to the top of my to-do list. Still, it took another two years for the timing to work out and now that I’ve attended only one day, the festival is on my calendar for next year in ink! In fact, my family and some great family friends are planning on camping up there for the full 3-days. This experience has made a lasting impression and already I look forward to attending next summer.
Dancing around in a room naked, playing the air drums in the car, belting out a scat solo in the shower—shooo-witti-DO-bop! Music is one of the key quintessential ingredients to life. It adds the spice, add a little reggae, throw in the blues, a dash of head banging rock, just a spoonful of country, it surrounds us. Even the crappy music in stores I notice. In fact here at my work, they pump in some jazz in the hallways, it’s faint and I bet these financial types don’t even notice it, yet I recognize it, especially when they play David Sanborn and Bob James’s Maptuo. You can see me bouncing down the halls doing a little jig here and there on my way to some senseless meeting. That’s neither here nor there though. I’ve always been that cliched guy who does live to a beat of a different drummer, and for some reason the drummer in my head is always off key, go figure. The iPod has to be one of the greatest inventions for a person like me, I can have so many tunes in such a small compact place that can go with me anywhere. I no longer have to lug around CDs. I like to travel light.
If you were to think about all the songs, artists, genres and come up with your soundtrack to your life what would it sound like? What tunes trigger those memories of a time gone past, or maybe you’ve got the foresight to know of a tune in the future. Even though an iPod playlist can hold so many more songs, let’s keep this to the 12-14 tracks a CD can hold.
1. Chan Chan – Buena Vista Social Club
2. Back to the Earth – Rusted Root
3. Bro’s Hymn – Pennywise
4. Old Man – Neil Young
5. Son of a Sailor – Jimmy Buffet
6. Ignorance – The Lashing Dogs
7. Wild River – The Samples
8. Living in the Promiseland – Willie Nelson
9. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes – Jimmy Buffet
10. More Than A Feeling – Boston
11. Barstools & Dreamers – Widespread Panic
12. Seven Steps to Heaven – Miles Davis
13. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes – Crosby, Stills & Nash
14. So Much Trouble in the World – Bob Marley
Of course, this is a live document, ever evolving and changing. As it stands for now, this is where I’m at. Some are rooted in deep memories, others remind me of a place.
So what does the soundtrack of your life sound like?