July 09, 2011


I had already landed in a parallel universe, with more archaic principles and values, one where actions and virtues were old style and judgmental things came falling out on their heads. A culture with outlaw women, super thugs, demon lovers and gospel truths, streets and valleys, rich peaty swamps with landowners and oilmen, Stagger Lees, Pretty Pollys and John Henrys--an invisible world that towered overhead with walls of gleaming corridors. It was all there and it was clear--ideal and god fearing-- but you had to go find it. It didn't come served on a paper plate. Folk music was a reality of a more brilliant dimension. It exceeded all human understanding and if it called out to you, you could disappear and be sucked into it. I felt right at home in this mythical realm made up not with individuals so much as archetypes, vividly drawn archetypes of humanity, metaphysical in shape, each rugged soul filled with natural knowing and inner wisdom. Each demanding a degree of respect. I could believe in the full spectrum of it and sing about it. It was so real, so more true to life than life itself. It was life magnified. Folk music was all I needed to exist. Trouble was, there wasn't enough of it. It was out of date, had no proper connection to the actualities, the trends of the time. It was a huge story but hard to come across. Once I'd slipped in beyond the fringes it was like my six string guitar became a crystal magic wand and I could move things like never before. I had no other cares or interests besides folk music. I scheduled my life around it. I had little in common with anyone not like minded.