Andy Dufresne had just spent two weeks in solitary confinement, better known as the hole, when he emerged bemused and seemingly even more confident than when he had gone in. His mess hall buddies were confused and still roaring with laughter about the stunt that put Andy in the hole in the first place. Andy had leveraged his position as prison librarian to obtain a shipment of LP’s and books. One of the records was an Italian opera. “Le Nozze di Figaro,” specifically the Duettino “Sull’aria to be exact. Andy barricaded himself in the wardens office and blared the recording over the prison PA. The opera stopped the entire facility down. As the guards and warden tried to get to Andy in the office to turn the music down and off, Andy grinned devilishly and turned the record up to max volume. The African-American celly affectionaly named Red narrated the scene as such, “I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it.”
Back in the cafeteria, a couple weeks after the incident, during the debriefing of the incident while catching grief for having not played “something good like Hank Williams”, Andy intones the beauty of music. He pointed to his heart and said “It lives in here.”
Andy: That’s the beauty of music. They can’t get that from you. Haven’t you ever felt that way about music? Red: I played a mean harmonica as a younger man. Lost interest in it though. Didn’t make much sense in here. Andy: Here’s where it makes the most sense. You need it so you don’t forget. Red: Forget? Andy: Forget that…there are places in this world that aren’t made out of stone. That there’s something inside…that they can’t get to, touch. That’s yours. Red: What are you talking about? Andy: Hope.
Why am I bringing up a scene from the middle of a 27 year old classic film on a roots music blog? Because, the challenges of the past 18 months have forced us all to lean on music to get through. To keep it ours. Music helps me make sense of the crazy world around me and I know it does the same for you. I hold on to songs, albums, and artists that help it all makes sense to me. I don’t forget that or take it lightly. The blessing that is always River Jam was especially poignant this year. It was a reminder that this music is ours. We let the world at large in, but the community that has sprung up around Texas Music over the past 25 years is largely insular. We have our own venues, festivals, fan sites, social media hubs, industry etc. It’s ours. The world at large can visit, but they can’t change it or touch it. It’s ours. It lives in here, (points to heart).
-Shawshank is a dated reference point, but still extremely poignant for multiple points of view.
-Football is finally back!
-The set that Bonnie Bishop, Jade Marie Patek and Nate Rodriguez had at River Jam was nothing short of spiritual.
-I’ve been to concerts recently where I had to show my vax card and some where there were no holds barred. Both have their place. Let people make their own choices.
-I need to finish my book projects.
-Mile 0 will be here before we know it.
-Mike and the Moonpies are a juggernaut.
-This month’s recommended album: Mike and the Moonpies – One to Grow On. Adam Odor is like Bill Belichik and the Moonpies are turning into the Patriots. Every play and draft Odor executes is carried out flawlessly. The band continues to evolve and grow, all while maintaining their Rusty Wier on acid vibe. It’s super fun to watch, and as always, super cool to listen to.
“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” – Mark Twain