Gatsby’s Fall Run Oct 2012
GGL Fall Run
I hadn’t expected the tour to end in Long Island but here I was at the Eastern tip of New York State strumming my guitar for thirty people around a fire pit, including the bride and groom. OK so maybe it wasn’t a gig in the traditional sense but for me it may have been the most important one. Moments ago, the crowd had been restless and in full assault of the single bartender attempting to keep their hands full of shots of tequila and vodka. The bar was loud even though the music was not and I couldn’t help thinking that for the attendees it was a Pavlov response to being in one too many loud bars where they try to pummel you into rhythmic submission with canned and emotion-less music. The crowd was boisterous full of kind but very tough men. Due to the frequency of emotionalism I am often emitting it was the type of crowd I would have to be careful with.
“Yeah, go man! That’s it.” said the man to my left as I bounced through Neil Young and Johnny Cash. I was exhausted, playing and traveling for a forth day, and the colors and faces around the fire pit were blending and blurring. I got the feeling that many of the folks had not been exposed to true vibrations in awhile. The effect my guitar had on them was similar to what I’ve seen happen often to children when the music happens. They must receive it, it is too important to ignore. Similarly, these men and women who came together in celebration were called to the fire pit almost subconsciously. They left the discord of the bar for the harmony and emotion of the guitar. True vibrations, filled with emotion, are powerful and the live format is scientifically different to various recorded formats. Additionally, when recording have been made purely with commercial intention, that can be felt and they don’t last as long as those made to effect large social change, both light and dark. Men who had been defensive softened and thanked me; I in turn thanked them and went to bed.
A day ago, we had been on my buddy Dean Carlson’s Wyebrook Farms in Pennsylvania. It was an incredible day for GGL and myself to play for sustainability surrounded by so much of it in practice. We played on a stage powered by the sun and Dean has various other examples of sustainability in his farming, market, vehicles, and energy supplies. We met many farmers and their neighbors well versed in our food challenges and many of these folks will be partners in the near future. It is always special to see a large age range when music is occurring and this is what we got at Wyebrook. The conversation was inclusive and the participation of most in attendance heightened the educational and therapeutic effects of the music. There too, I was breathing in the smoke from a fire pit but, support by the circle, I hardly noticed. Warmed by the sun, the tremendous energy of fresh, humanely treated local food, and kind folks we played on through the afternoon before thanking Dean for having us and letting the Ghost of Soul shuttle us back to Connecticut, at sometimes warp speeds.
@ Wyebrook Farms
Catwalk of Life
Heart of Gold
The night before we had been in Harrisburg PA, home to many friends and relatives including Dennis on the percussion and vocals for GGL. The whole crew stayed with my family, whom we see and play music with often. We have invested in a special bond that allows one day together to feel like five. Slowing our selves and our time down has allowed us to capture more of it and I am thankful for the kindness I am often surrounded by. We were playing at the Midtown Scholar, a rare and used bookstore in downtown Harrisburg. It is a spectacular place with wonderful acoustics and a quirky design perfect for sparking revelations of the imagination. Did I mention the coffee? Its probably one of the more important things for me. Strong coffee made with clean water will become more rare, so appreciate it and thank the purveyor the next time one is placed in your hand. Especially if its’ you. More about water later. The show was great and we connected with many engaged and aware folks young and old. This is why the bookstore and the farm are natural venues for me. We are coming together to exchange information and emotion in a positive way. Removed are much of the competition and distraction embedded in clubs and bars and among musicians. When that changes, the music scene will thrive once again but that is all I will say about that. Invigorated with powerful coffee, made with love, we played on. Many children came and danced; it was all I needed.
@ Midtown Scholar
I added the Philadelphia date last minute to extend our trip and play more music together. We would be a four piece before being joined by Dennis in Harrisburg. Common Grounds is a non-profit coffee shop put together to being people together. It is a great and true idea. Earlier that day, the GPS device had taken Primetime, on its’ inaugural voyage, through an area of Philadelphia called Nicetown. It is a largely black neighborhood and extremely poor and resource deprived. It felt like a totally different world and I know that everyone in the van was deeply affected by it. These jobless and heart breaking ghettos exist all over our country. People are starving and dying in them each day. It is a function of poor access to resources, food, water, and education over a multi decade period. It is not a necessary part of our society and not one taken up by choice or lack of effort. It is a condition created over time by poor economic formula and ill intent. Like the shantytowns of South Africa, it is an image that will burn with me and drive my action. One only needs to travel to know the truth.
Back at Common Ground, we were jumbling our start times. Hari had realized he had forgotten his kick pedal and would have to devise a solution that only he was capable of. In the end he angled his kick like a Tom to the left of his hi hat and played it with both hands depending on the song. I’ve got the video to prove it. We love playing music and the band GGL has been a beautiful part of my life. It is beginning to encompass all I believe and hold close. The emotions in each vibration carry our hope and knowledge and desire for kindness and honest action.
@ Common Grounds
Three days, well four depend on whom you ask and I was back at the barn trying to figure out how to do it again and for longer. GGL has a few winter dates and a January Tour of VT shaping up with sights on Berlin in March. We’ve got the videos for Annalee and the single and story to release. We’re happy to have the support we have and look forward to returning it when possible. We play for a sustainable way of life; we play for the truth. To our friends old and new we say thanks and may love remind us all that it is all there is.
Gatsby’s Green Light
Posted on October 23, 2012, in Gatsby's Green Light, Ken Coulson Poetry & Song Lyric, Modern Philosophy, Sonic Bomb, Sustainability and tagged Common Grounds, Dennis McLaughlin, Gatsby's, Gatsby's Green Light, GGL, Hari Ganglberger, Ken Coulson, ken Coulson tour, Kenneth Coulson, Lucas Gould, Midtown Scholar, William Earley, Wyebrook Farms. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.