On the 2nd anniversary of Shakey Graves Day (there’s a fucking proclamation, man), we have been graced with a little album of perfect perfection from the man himself in honor of the occasion. You have three days to snag it. DO NOT LIE IN WAIT.
Last year and this, lovers of jams of the Shakey type were asked to upload (somewhere in the vastness of the internet) a photo of what they were doing to commemorate that day. I have no fucking clue what I did last year but this year, I am at home.
My child is away. I have beer and I am in my work space, a 50 square foot home office that occupies a small corner in the living room of our tiny, 850 square foot house. My desk is an old sewing machine table (from which the mechanical bits have been removed) and my chair was stolen from an abandoned house and repainted. Above me are concert photos I’ve taken and a bulletin board of my favorite things (my best friend’s wedding, my child, my friends, vintage trucker patches, and concert wristbands). There are hand-lettered song quotes. And up there to the left is a set of photos taken by Jarred (of Show Me Shows) from the night Shakey Graves played on my neighbor’s old porch. This is what I’m doing on Shakey Graves Day this year. I am writing for you. I am writing for me…
I was sad earlier. Life is tough sometimes and love is tougher. I did not get and have not gotten what I wanted, things I never realized I wanted and things that I have, at times, actively turned down. I am full of regret and dejected. I fucked it up again, love, because that is what I do and I cannot fix it because that is not what I do.
I was feeling all these feels and it’s been a week long battle set off by family outings and talk of the past. It’s been a seven day fight with what could have been.
And then. THEN. Then there was “Willow Garden”, with its rolling banjo and its stomp and I was in my seat and there was love. Who gives a shit about love that isn’t musically grounded for really, there is nothing more powerful and perfect than that. Who cares for that foolhardy enterprise that sets one to their bed with tears over what cannot be changed when there is a singalong waiting for you, if you’ll just dare venture to your old “office” chair to hear it?
Music is and always has been my love. I forget it sometimes. Leave it to Shakey Graves, on his very own day, to remind me.
For three days, in honor of the day that gifted me the song that currently has me pumping fists in the air and yelling “Holy shit, YESSSSSSSSSSS!”, Shakey’s albums are available for whatever you can give via Bandcamp.
The banjo is back, y’all. All is right with the world and now, nothing hurts.