It’s an ancient practice. I will bet anyone who wants to bet. I bet that in 200 years, long after governments who band smoking fade away, people will still smoke.Image

 Tobacco has been around and through so much persecution, most would have thought by now it would have disappeared. From the time smoking was stumbled upon in Egypt 6000 years ago, to the tobacco of the Native peoples of the Six Nations, to when it was taken back to Europe by Columbus, tobacco has been a part of human experience. All these anti-smokers of our day think they are winning some heroic battle against the evil weed, but they are just one more buzz kill in the long history of smoking. Long after corporations like Phillip Morris are gone, long after conservatives and liberals are gone, long after the lobbyist and special interests are gone, somebody somewhere will roll a cigarette, fill a pipe, or light a cigar. 



Steveston, British Columbia

I am a Bruce Cockburn student. His music, thought, lyrics, poems, all have been a big inspiration in my life. Not just musical life, but life-life. And I’m not really sure why.But his sound, his pathos impacted me. I have read about a tone, a sound for each ear. Even the ones making the sound know nothing of this. It’s nothing explainable. A good thing. If you think of a harp, you will understand. The strings are connected and arranged for the beauty they convey.  The harp is a mysterious thing. Like a piano, but not even close. Like a stringed instrument, but far from. It is something beautiful, but all it’s own. 

I went to Steveston, British Columbia years ago,  which isn’t even past, to paraphrase Faulkner. Went there to record songs with a friend. A producer of many great Canadian artist. But why me? A guy from Mississippi, living in Nashville, trying to figure it out. But every time I got close to figuring it out, I felt like Judas.

The laughter of music and friends isn’t controllable.

As a lover of music, and having an understanding the effort  displayed in writing a song, a mysterious and humbling thing…  

I remember those days in the sea side town. The gulls, the sunlight on the water.

Roy, the producer, wanted beauty, pure sound, and truth. He reminded me of my opinion of Bruce Cockburn. Bruce is from Canada. Being in Canada, recording these songs, spiritually intense, mystically familiar. 

I ended up doing a version of the classic, “All The Diamonds” for my SOUL album. I was there, in Canada, in Steveston, British Columbia, lying on a couch with my eyes closed. It was around 2:00 in the morning. Roy, the producer, asked which Cockburn song was my favorite. At that point it was “All The Diamonds”. All went quiet. I fell asleep, only to be awoken by Roy’s Schnauzer licking my limp hand hanging over the side of the couch. When I opened my eyes there was a Telefunkin u47 suspended above my mouth. I heard a beautiful, silky Stratocaster. Roy said, “Start singing when you feel it.”