Posts Tagged ‘Jason Isbell’

He went down, down, down

July 31, 2019

It’s all downhill from here.

Nope, I didn’t break the speed limit. I maxed out around 35 mph as I dropped from the top of Tramway to Roy, 4th, Guadalupe Trail, Alameda, and finally, the Paseo del Bosque.

As you know, I am a law-abiding fellow, and rarely in a hurry.

Last trip down I was on the Soma Saga (disc). This time I took the Soma Saga (canti), having finally toed the squeak out of the TRP RevoX brakes.

The TRP RevoX. You need a jillion Allen keys and a 13mm wrench to make this dog hunt. But hunt it does. I never had to Flintstone to a stop.

I’ve tried a bunch of brakes on this bike and hadn’t really liked any of ’em. Paul’s MiniMoto would be the shit, but cabling proved a little crowded with 38mm tires and fenders. And I was fresh out of my go-to stoppers, Paul’s Neo-Retro and Touring cantis, having shifted my last pair to the Voodoo Nakisi.

Happily, I had this set of TRPs idling around the garage, so on they went. A little fiddly for a half-assed mechanic to set up, and on our last outing they brayed like jackasses, but now they work and sound just fine. Still, when time and finance permit I’ll give some more money to my man Paul, just ’cause.

The bosque was nuts for a workday morning. Racer dudes and dudettes, recreational riders, e-bikers, recumbents, joggers, skaters, strollers, equestrians, even one grinning young woman aboard what I think was an ElliptiGO.

I had thought about doing the whole enchilada, continuing down past Rio Bravo and back around, but discretion proved the better part of valor. I hung a U at Interstate 40 and went back the way I came for a grand total of 47.8 miles, which felt about right.

As I rode up Roy toward the Tramway climb I saw a rara avis indeed — a triplet, barreling down toward the roundabout at 4th and Roy. I waved, and the dude in the middle waved back, but he looked like he’d rather have both hands on the bars and I can’t say I blame him. That was one crowded bike and like our “democracy” I imagine it demanded everyone’s attention and participation.

If you’re looking for them “Deep River Blues,” they’re off to the left, behind the cottonwoods, and they’re actually more of a brown.

This can’t go on forever

September 29, 2018

Back in August Friend of the Blog Carl Duelmann asked: “Do you ever listen to Jason Isbell? He might be too country for you but he is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard.”

The Guardian’s David Taylor caught up with the Grammy-winning Nashville musician and former Drive-By Trucker ahead of a gig today in Noo Yawk City and the interview is well worth your time.

Isbell is critical of our current “administration” without being shrill, and he doesn’t waste a lot of thought on the “shut up and sing” crowd. (Just how the hell are you supposed to shut up and sing at the same time, anyway?)

Isbell doesn’t even try, though he does prefer to let his music do the heavy lifting.

Asked if he intended to get political during an upcoming six-night run at the Ryman Auditorium, Isbell replied: “Well, my job is to write songs and if I feel like it is an emergency and I feel like I need to say something political between the songs, then I’ll do that.

“But normally, if it doesn’t rhyme and it doesn’t involve me introducing my band, I’m not gonna say it, because I’m not a standup comedian, I’m not a lecturer and I don’t give TED talks. If there’s not a melody and some rhyme there then you probably won’t hear it from me. But I think the songs speak enough.”

While we’re on the topic of songs that speak enough, FOTB Pat O’B. forwards an NPR note about a music video for John Prine’s song “Summer’s End,” the centerpiece to his latest release, “The Tree of Forgiveness.”

It must take a lot of practice to sing a song like this without bursting into tears.