January 30, Day 12 of 30 Day Music Challenge
In December, Jared treated himself to a resonator guitar. When playing acoustic, he's long played "my" acoustic guitar, which is about 30 years old and is rightfully "his" guitar. He is the only one who plays it. He is the only one strong enough to play it. And, I gave it to him.
The action on the Alvarez acoustic is high despite adjustments. It is just hard to play, he tells me. I agree. I do not like to play it. It just sounds better than most guitars I pick up, he tells me. I agree. I love to hear him play. The resonator is easier to play, not that I have tried.
Inspired by the resonator's ease, he resumed working on slide guitar. He has been through a few glass slides and has a metal one that he doesn't seem to prefer.
Shortly after we met, I accompanied him to Sam Ash in Edison, NJ. He wanted to buy a hard shell guitar case. He had been wrapping his hollow body electric guitar in a blanket, balancing it atop his band mates' amps and drums in the back of his van.
Eighty bucks for the case. Seemed like so very much money. A disdainful guitar store jack/ss rang him up. Now, the case is in the attic, or maybe the office closet.
He rarely travels with his guitar these days. He just pulls up a chair beside the wood stove and plays.
Last night, he was working on one of my favorites, the R.L. Burnside version of "Rollin' and Tumblin'", a classic blues song. Jared found a live version online with R.L. Burnside on guitar and his grandson, Cedric, on drums.
Repetitive, catchy, hip swingin' rock. My favorite type of music.
Jared reminded me that we had played the song long ago. "See if you can find the lyrics in your folder," he encouraged.
I had transcribed the lyrics by ear from the Muddy Waters version, as best I could anyway, while Jared played guitar with Alex. Alex was a Princeton student. He was an intern where Jared was working at the time. He was the President of the Terrace Club, a Princeton University dining club, student residence, and music venue. Princeton students seem busy.
"I coulda had religion, but I got this bad old thing instead." No contest, my favorite line.
This was nearly ten years ago. Before motherhood.
I found the lyrics, and we got right into it. Beren wandered by during a break in the playing. Jared explained some of the lyrics. "If the river was whiskey, and I was a divin' duck, I'd dive to the bottom and never come up."
They agreed that Captain Haddock, a sometimes drunkard and once ship captain in The Adventures of Tintin comics that Beren adores, would indeed like the song.