Friday, July 8, 2011

Deal With The Devil: A Boulder Story

A few years ago, I published a spoof on Robert Johnson’s deal-with-the-devil. Many laughed, and many emailed me to see if I was alright. I repost it here, but if you don’t know the story of the Robert Johnson myth, this won’t makes sense. Any readers falling into that category, I suggest you read this first. 

I wanted to share a recent experience with you (for those of you not familiar with Boulder, we used to have an eyesore known as the Crossroads Mall).

Ok, something happened to me on my way home on the night of October’s full moon. I couldn’t be sure if what I think happened actually happened. I needed some time to process. Well, now I think I can let you in on it, freaky and unbelievable though it is.

I’d been at the Outlook listening to some great, soulful blues and decided to walk home. I was Walking up the road with my laptop in my bag propped up on my shoulder on an October cool night, a full moon filling up the dark sky. I was thinking about the blues preaching to me, when I heard, "Put that laptop down, girl, you drivin' people nuts." It was a quiet, dark and lonesome road, with a crazed, poisoned dog howling and moaning in a ditch alongside the road sending electrified chills up and down my spine, as I was coming up on the ghost of the demolished Crossroads Mall just south of home. Then I saw a man sitting off to the side of the road on a log at the heart if the old Crossroads Mall, and he says, "You're late, Honey Sepeda." I dropped to my knees and said, "Maybe not."

The man stood up, tall, barrel-chested, and black as forever, and walked out to the middle of the old Crossroads Mall where I kneeled down. He says, "Stand up, Honey Sepeda. You want to throw that laptop over there in that ditch with that hairless dog and go on back to the Outlook and just listen, because you just another blues reviewer like all the rest, or you want to write about the blues like nobody ever wrote about it before? Turn phrases nobody ever heard before? You want to be the Queen of the Blues Writers and have all the whiskey and men you want?"

Tear Drop Collector

As I am moving next month, I spent much of today organizing and packing CDs.  Lots, and lots, and lots of CDs.  I do believe I could open my own CD kiosk if I were of the mind to sell them, which I’m not.  Anywho, I put on Teresa Lynne and the Dreamboats’ latest CD, Tear Drop Collector, to keep me company while I pack, and I’m glad I did.  I have to get back to packing, but here’s what I think about this fantastic CD (I initially wrote this a couple of months ago):

I’d like to tell you about Teresa Lynne’s new band, Teresa Lynne and the Dreamboats.  They played the Outlook recently, and it was my first time hearing this new lineup, and they are dreamy!  Along with Ms. T. are Jimmy Lange, Rick Ross, Richie Foelsch and Jerry Alan.  I’ve always loved Teresa’s music no matter who’s backing her, but this band was born to play with her.  I swear her voice is even better with these guys, and she’s kicked her harp mastery up a few notches.
Now color me biased, but her latest record, Tear Drop Collector has become one of the top ten played here at Chez Honey Bee, and she’s in some heavy company.  Ok, yes she has both Bob Margolin and Chris Cain as guests on this release, and ok, yes she mentions me in the liner notes, but I’d love it even if she had forgotten me.  Teresa knows how to turn a phrase, and as good as she is on covers (although there is only one cover on this CD), making them her own, it’s her facility with innuendo and phraseology with her originals that knocks out the listener.  She’s wry, droll, and clever, turning common terms upside down and shaking the hell out of them.  She’s a wordsmith, pure and simple, not to mention a Colorado treasure.  I’m honored to have my name associated with this favorite record of mine.  This is one purchase immune to buyer’s remorse. 

Congratulations, Teresa!  It’s one hell of a record! 

~Honey Bee Sepeda~

Winter Park, Summer Blues Parts #1, #2 and #3


I’m having another one of my William Wordsworth days. Perhaps I should explain. Wordsworth’s I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud has been my favorite poem for decades. Certainly the imagery is beautiful and spot on, but it’s that last stanza that hooked me the first time I read it. And every time since. I even made a refrigerator magnet with that stanza to remind me of the benefits of daily reflection.

I can tell when I’m going to have a Wordsworth day the moment I open my eyes. Like this morning. That last stanza is about reflection, and this morning I’m in full-on reflection mode from this past weekend’s 9th Annual Blues From the Top festival. The daffodils and my heart are dancing to the Blues (read the poem at the conclusion, and that will make sense).

This is the first year I’ve made the journey to Winter Park, CO, on Saturday morning instead of Friday evening. There were logistical concerns that prompted that decision, and although I missed the Friday night jam at Smokin’ Moe’s, I still heard about a week’s worth of great Blues in an awe inspiring Rocky Mountain setting. It’s just so damn beautiful! And, had I gone up Friday evening, I wouldn’t have had an EXHILARATING wildlife sighting. My good friend Bill was driving, and as we rounded a corner, I noticed what I thought were three small deer having a little nosh by the side of the road. Just as we got parallel to them, I noticed they were in fact rams. I’ve been in Colorado for twelve and a half years and these were my first rams! I’m still pretty excited about it. The last two on my list for sightings are mountain lion and bobcat. If anyone has any good sighting areas, hit me back.

We entered the park just as Michaela Rae was getting started, the teenager’s third consecutive year opening the festival, and she did us proud. I was carrying a boxed kid’s electric guitar for signatures. It’s a beautiful small, fire-engine red electric that I’m hauling around the planet for signatures so we can auction it at my Blue Star Connection Birthday Benefit in December. What better place than festivals to maximize signature value? The front is now almost completely covered. And guitarists only on this one.