They can’t all be momentous

Have you ever had a day where nothing happens, and you still wonder where the day went? You might think that weird, I just think of it as Wednesday.

The building is all but empty. I don’t think I even said anything aloud to anyone today. And, yet, where did the day go? I did reply to an important email this morning, but that was trumped by my peanut butter sandwich, which might have been the highlight of the day.

There will be more to my Thursday, I am sure of it.

Can’t be much less, really.

The highlight of the day was the weather, which was just about perfect. Sunny and mild, it was 74 at the warmest point of the day, but was a warm mid-60s experience on my way out of the office. It was perfect for a bike ride.

The Yankee is fighting off a sinus infection, and so she contented herself sitting on the deck reading, while I set out to turn the pedals by myself. It was just me and my shadow.

The other day I rode down one of my favorite roads in the area. It’s an uppity country road, pretending to be an overly ambitious private drive. Except there are a lot of driveways on that road, but there’s a great downhill and one incredible stand of woods you ride through. I recorded the woodsy part, because everything was so green and perfect.

Today, I rode down another of my favorite roads. It’s a dead-end street off one of our regular routes. I’ve ridden it twice, both times in the fall, and on some of the most spectacular autumn days. This 2019 shot, you may note, sometimes appears as a header on the blog.

I’ve made videos of the ride back out from the bottom of the road. This one was from last fall.

Same road, but from my first trip on it, in October of 2019 — and, yes, YouTube did a terrible job on the compression here. Trust me when I say the video looks much better in its raw form. So much so that I kept it on my phone. Give me a shout, I’ll show it to you sometime …

But, I thought, I should try this road in the springtime. Today was the day.

I overcooked it on the first curve today, so I had to abort the video. (Oh no! I’ll have to go back!) But here’s a photo from approximately the same view as the photo above.

It’s almost as pretty in green as it is in the yellows and reds and oranges of October.

We’re playing catch-up on the Re-Listening project, and today is all about the late 1990s blues. And for late 1990s mainstream blues, we’re talking about Johnny Lang. We’re going to address two albums at once, since they show up back-to-back in my CD books. I think I’m in a mini-stretch of CDs that were part of a bulk purchase. (Did I have to complete a Columbia House contract or something?)

Anyway, these are are out-of-order in my book. “Wander This World” is Lang’s third studio album. It came out in late 1998. He was an unbelievable 17 years old.

Is there a live acoustic version of the title track? There is a live acoustic version of the title track.

Really, if you think about it, Johnny Lang might be the key to the ultimate demise of AOL’s social cachet. What else could they do after that?

There’s a lot of great stuff on this 17-year-old’s record. (I drove listening to this and I still shake my head at that.) This might be one of my favorite tracks, and classic twelve-bar blues.

A blues musician named Luther Allison wrote that song. People called him the Jimi Hendrix of blues, and that’s as good a reason as you need to play the original.

Allison died a year earlier, in August of 1997. In January of that year Lang released “Lie to Me,” his second studio album. This thing hit shelves and, the next day, he turned 16. The title track is the first track.

There’s a fair amount of covers, blues standards I guess we should say by now, on this record. Here’s Lang’s live performance of an Albert Collins classic.

“Good Morning, School Girl” is definitely a standard. You can’t have blues as a genre without it. John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson first recorded it in 1937. Here’s another live performance from Lang.

I included the live performances because, under every video there’s a comment raving about his live shows. Never had the chance to see him live. And, sadly, he doesn’t tour any more. He put out five more albums after this pair, three of them going right to the top of one chart or another. He’s been dealing with some sort of vocal cord problem since the very beginning of 2020. Perhaps the last thing he was able to do is play in the house band for this concert.

It seems he’s gone silent online since then. (Maybe he’s got the whole thing figured out.) Hopefully he’s cashing steep royalty checks.

These are great records, for ears both fresh or experienced, and some of these tracks are probably going to take on some importance in a historical sense. I picked them up for atmosphere — some things just seem like the soundtrack for a party or some other event, but never figured out what that event might be. That has more to do with my imagination than the work, because these two discs are still powerfully strong.

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