I was talking to a musician today about the concept of Mohave and how it's rooted in this little dusty town called Nowhere. Another bit of mud came off of the crystal ball as I rubbed it.
Some folks look at the desert and think "gad, who'd want to live there?" Dusty, hot, miles and miles of empty spaces. But the people of Nowhere don't think so, else they'd leave. Because as desolate as their town might be, it seems a lot better than moving into a bigger city like Reno or Las Vegas with all its glitz and glimmer, concrete and hoardes of people. The simpler life seems...well, simpler.
Besides, the denizens of Nowhere don't have to go Anywhere. The road that passes by the town serves as a two-lane conveyor belt that brings the world to them. All sorts of people from all walks of life with all kinds of stories to tell. They pop in, have a drink or two, get directions or make a phone call, then go along their merry way. The folks of Nowhere, Nevada live vicariously through these Travelers, and after the door slams and the wheels crunch in the dirt and dust as vehicles take their leave, they say to themselves. "Wouldn't want to be them." Luckily, Nowhere is so uninviting that no-one arrives, takes a look at the place and says "I'd like to live here." So, the population stays pretty much the same, give or take a few deaths and births.
This guitarist and I and also talked about the concept of Knowledge and what it means to humanity. If you're a believer in the story of Adam and Eve, they had it all in the Garden of Eden, everything they could possibly want was there within their reach, including the Tree of Knowledge, which was forbidden fruit. But mankind had to go there, just had to know what it didn't know already. Typical, ain't it?
And with that desire to know more, our eyes were opened to things that we probably could have done without, but nevertheless - here we are. And that's just one side of the story.
Nowhere is a dusty eden of sorts. Its locals don't have to eat any apples. The apples speed up in shiny cars and then leave again. They describe how they taste. What it's like to be an apple, they reveal. And then they go away, with the folks behind them simply taking their word for it. If only it were that simple. One doesn't have to put a finger in the fire to discover that fire burns. You can watch someone else put a finger in the fire and watch as they draw back quickly in pain. But yet, there's something about mankind that just has to know firsthand (or first finger) the sensation that they've witnessed..
Thank God this isn't the case with all such phenomena!
The Jams Begin
With our eyes upon the Festival Curacao in May of this year, the process of auditioning musicians has begun. We're in contact with players from as far away as Nashville, folks who have tour experience and are making music for a living. Not wanting to duplicate our most recent instrumentation, I've taken the music back to its most basic structure. Starting with the drone of the dulcimer and the simple arrangements. With that as a foundation, I've opened the door to one instrument that I had previously said wouldn't be a part of our sound: the guitar.
In a battle of sound between a dulcimer and a guitar, the guitar would own - simply because there's a bigger voice box (in the case of acoustic) and more strings. But if the guitar is played in a certain way, the two elements blend together with each one shining through the arrangements. I'm not certain that guitar will end up in the mix, but I'll be jamming with a guy this Thursday who's opened for the likes of Pat Travers and Iron Butterfly; someone who's seen the band, knows what we're about and loves the concept.
I'm also talking to 2005 SSA Pianist/Keyboardist Of The Year Ed McCurdy, whose soulful blues stylings on piano and organ are quite simply tasty.
The focus will be on getting a supporting ensemble together for this show, while also making plans to play out regionally in the state and elsewhere. Each show may feature different people, and that's how it sometimes is with blues music. With cats staying so busy, sometimes you can't always get who you want (but you can try to get who you need. Sorry, just had to say that.)
It's a very exciting time as we move forward, with every indication that the next time Mohave performs, it will be a powerfully positive experience that'll clear the way for what's to come. And I'll keep you posted on how that's going.
In the meantime, dreaming of Curacao and the exciting destinations that are just over the horizon. Hell, I already bit into the apple. And this Black Indian is ready to finally go on walkabout, in search of the big blue ocean.