Chattanooga is a great bicycle town. Now that my office at the folk school is pretty much put together (I’ll be having to haul less stuff back and forth), and now that the weather’s getting better, I’m looking forward to daily bicycle commutes– And counting on my bike to be the official vehicle of my spring and summer nighttime ramblings around town. In a daydream about riding around town, this song bubbled to mind. It’s exactly the kind of happy little melody I like to sing when I’m on my bike. I hope it helps summon the warmer weather and a cheerful spring in Chattanooga!
I just recorded this here at my desk, using Lisa’s handy Zoom H4n. Nothing fancy… Just a simple little song about the city I love, with a nonsense chorus, “Chicky Run”!
I’m feeling like a doofus tonight for forgetting to set up my recorder at our house concert in Memphis. It’s not that I necessarily wanted to capture me and Butch, but we did something very special at the end with our Australian friend, Adrian Kosky. He had played a few of his own songs at the beginning of the concert, and then we brought him up for the closing number, where we played a super groovy version of “Arkansas Traveler” (there were actually two people there who had traveled from Arkansas to come to our concert!) and then Adrian took it straight into a super soulful rendition of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” That’s a bit of a sentimental one for me, since that’s how we used to end our concerts back in the days of Trailerpark McShank (more on that later). Anyway…. I’m a doof because I failed to record the magic– the whole room was singing along together. We had dulcimer, dulcimer, guitar, and some of the sweetest harmony I’ve heard in a while. Ah! The best musical moments seem to occur when there’s no microphone on.
Well as a consolation prize, I’ve decided to re-share this video Philip made of Adrian last summer on the mound behind our house. So just imagine this very same guy, but instead of a mountain dulcimer he’s playing a guitar, and instead of sitting on a dirt mound in Chattanooga he’s standing in a living room in Memphis, and instead of having the pixie-like Jasmine floating around behind him he’s playing to about a dozen sweet folks who all came out for our house concert tonight and sang along like it was their job.
This is one from the archives. 2004 sometime, 3 Red Abbey Court, which was the last place I lived in in Cork City. I don’t really remember why I had Edel’s* cardboard mountain dulcimer, and I don’t really remember playing it–much less writing a tune on it–but I have this minidisc in my little treasure box, and it’s labeled “Christie muckin’ about on Edel’s MD”. Other than that, the only clue that this is actually me playing the mountain dulcimer (something I’ve rarely done) is the slowness of it all, and my obvious love for those major seconds. I wish I had a photo of that house to show where this music took place. The kitchen was yellow and had a table in it that folded up into a cutting board. My bedroom was a wild magenta color, and the window framed the church tower outside so poetically that I’ll probably never forget it.
A piece I wrote on Edel’s cardboard mountain dulcimer:
A little meditation on Amazing Grace…
*Edel Sullivan, by the way, isn’t a mountain dulcimer player at all. She’s one of Cork’s best fiddlers!