Saturday, February 12, 2005

Postscript to Music to Camp By

"I rarely listen to music at home, but when I do it's blues, western (forget the "C") and a capella gospel," I said yesterday.

The crisp mountain air brings the music out of me. Saturdays often find my son and I eating a picnic lunch next to a campfire. In the background, the tunes from Mick Martin's Blues Party on KXJZ 88.9 FM Radio flow from the truck speakers. I catch up on my daily Bible reading, write in my camp-cooking notebook and tend the fire.

I listen to Mick because I take pleasure from the blues. Mick is the bandleader and vocalist for Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers, a cornerstone of the Sacramento blues scene. The show airs 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each Saturday from Sacramento to Truckee and Lake Tahoe to Reno.

Most music is unintelligible chatter to me. Nothing rhymes. It's just clanging cymbals. It flows through my brain without energizing a single circuit.

The blues is music that is, well, "music to my ears." That's the only way I can explain it. Synapses fire in unison as its toe-tapping rhythms filter through my brain.

A masterful guitar lick can soothe the mind, even if for a moment. While the feeling may be temporal -- like watching the red and orange hues of the evening sunset -- it relaxes me for the afternoon.

Few genres cause a reaction like the blues. Among those are a cappella psalms, spiritual songs and hymns. Add old western standards and bluegrass and you have a picture of my tastes in music.

Now onto cooking ...

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