Preparing to leave here to go to the East Coast for a run of shows hasn't been easy. I don't feel like leaving. My schedule was thrown off the last few days by work....files for mixes were supposed to come in, but my client was bogged down in the chaos side and files weren't coming through to me correctly and they didn't make any sense inserted into the mix...wrong key. I think we got it in the end, but the magic wasn't with us until the last hour.
When chaos rules, there's nothing like a good friend. Joe Garcia was the first guy to ever stop me down here and ask, "Hey, man, what's your story?" And, man, did Joe come through for me today. He helped me prep things around our cabin so I could head out on the road with some peace of mind. And in return, I did the traditional thing. I offered to buy beers. Joe picked the most expensive establishment in town....well, really, it's the only place; Landers Brew.
We were the only ones in there for quite awhile. Just me, Joe and Phillip, the owner. It wasn't long before Joe had grabbed one of the guitars laying around the room. We weren't really playing....just knocking on the strings for comfort while we drank our beers, passing it back and forth. After a little while, a trio of desert walkers came into the bar....not the usual zombie sort of walkers. These folks were actually quite normal. Even a little Los Angeles in their mannerisms. Lindsay, Levi and Barbie were good people; friendly, open, and honest.
Pretty soon, maybe through a haze of some purple smoke and more beers, that guitar was playing us. I played a Dave Van Ronk tune and Gram Parsons tune. Joe played a couple of his own, capping the night off with one of the best versions of Shadow of a Ghost I've heard him play. But the magic first came when our new friend, Levi, was passed the guitar. I realized he had to know something about songs after singing along with me for Hickory Wind. I slid the guitar right across to him and he knocked us out with a lustful tune he wrote about Mary Tyler Moore. Beautiful.
The desert is magic. I haven't hung out with strangers in a bar and passed the guitar...well, maybe ever. Thank you, Levi. And thank you, Barbie and Lindsay for being part of the party. And Joe, you're a great friend and an even better human being....and a damn fine guitar player and songwriter too. And Phillip, the owner of Landers Brew. Thank you for keeping this amazing establishment open and the beer pouring.
I'm so lucky to live in a town that has a place like this....even if it's the only place. See you back in the desert in a couple weeks. It's time to hit the road. I'm off to the East Coast in a couple of hours.