The River

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Famous quotes of legendary music critics

“As a well-known blog music critic once said, you can achieve Zen enlightenment through lead guitar.”

Haha. I was driving into work, as often happens Monday through Friday, and had decided to tune into Good Morning Blues, the 6-10 a.m. every weekday blues show on WRFG, radio free Georgia. Blackjack, a great DJ with a mellow mid-west baritone, was on, talking about this certain critic. Me. I’d written about him and his wife – they tag-team it for four hours every Tuesday morning – on my former blog and on the site. That's when I'd made the enlightenment comment.

Back then, many months ago now, someone who knew Blackjack had seen my little piece and had alerted him, and he thought enough of it to give me a call, although he found my brother in the phone book, rather than me. The message was relayed and I called him back at the radio station one Tuesday morning a couple of weeks later.

So happens that very morning he had dedicated one of his early sets to me, and he’d read part of my piece on the air, including the Zen enlightenment bit. I was probably in the shower when he did, so I had no idea. Blogs and synchronicity, what can I say?

And here we were again. I hadn’t listened to his show in weeks. My commuting radio habits are sporadic. I bounce between CDs (jazz, classical, rock, pop, folk, blues), NPR, WRFG, and nothing, which is itself rather Zen.

Blackjack had just played two songs by Omar and the Howlers and was commenting on the fine slide guitar. The songs were classic electrified crunchy swamp blues, somewhat reminiscent of Dr. John and CCR.

I’d had just about all I could of the sonorous, serious NPR and their tepid reporting. I thought, “it’s Tuesday. I wonder how my buddy Blackjack is doing” and hit the second pre-programmed button from the left. Ah, I was reminded, electric guitar, bass and drums can help produce a little clarity in the morning fog. Helps redeem us poor souls marching down the highway too.

The two Omar songs ended. “As a well-known blog music critic once said, you can achieve Zen enlightenment through lead guitar.”

Ha. Yeah, hey Blackjack. I’m doing alright, ‘n you?

Heh, "well-known." Good one.

Blackjack and I had chatted on the phone that one time. We’ve exchanged e-mails. We’re supposed to get together for a favorite beverage one of these days. Still haven’t. But the WRFG 19th Annual Labor Day Blues BBQ is coming up. I’ll be there, most likely with Leigh, Eleanor and Audrey. Blackjack will be there, so I will get a chance to say hello in person. Have a beverage or two.

Enlightenment? No problem. There should be a few folks there handy with the electric guitar.

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