Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The blues man painted houses

The blues man painted houses. He painted the one across the street from us, growing up.

I don't remember his name. It might have been John or James. He brought his bass guitar and a small amp with him. He wrote a song with my sister, who was six or seven at the time.

My name is Su-sie, I live across the street from here...

An old school blues bass line thumped along behind her.

A cosmic smile wore his face, black skin and beard.

You might try to argue that he was too happy to be a blues man. His rebuttal was his heart, which seemed to take in the human condition. He felt. He got it.

And he took the time to plug in and help a six-year-old write and play a song. I was 11. And I can hear the song, his fingers walking on the bass, the plaster walls and old windows rattling, my sister's voice, off key, with a hint of what it sounds like now.

I can hear his smile.

The blues man painted houses. He painted the one across the street. And a couple of kids who hung out to hear him.


basiltydings said...

My brother brought home a tape of Lightnin Hopkins' Greatest Hits Volume 1 from Price's Music(?) {music store where Joanne's Fabrics is now} back in early 1980 something. I was hooked. Instead of Led Zeppelin I listened to Jazz nights on WMAL AM63 which was right after Sportscall with Ken Beatrice...the stimuli of the outside world in little ol' Talbot County was amazing back in the day wasn't it? Great picture and good words (as always)!

Michael Valliant said...

Price's had the market cornered in the days before "Records Plus." Good for you--I can remember buying Judas Priest "Screaming for Vengeance" and Metallica "Master of Puppets" there, myself.

I came on to Hopkins and company a bit later. Many thanks for the memories and the props :)