Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Ray Moment...

There may come a time, a time in everyone's life
Where nothing seems to go your way,
Where nothing seems to turn out right
There may come a time, you just can't seem to find your place
For every door you open, seems like you get two slammed in your face
That's when you need someone, someone that you can call.
And when all your faith is gone
Feels like you can't go on
Let it be me
Let it be me
If it's a friend that you need
Let it be me
Let it be me.

It's a Ray LaMontagne kind of Thursday. And I cannot find any of my CDs.

I confess: I saw someone sing "Trouble" on American Idol, and that rekindled my Ray rush. We'd been on a hiatus for a while. But this "kind of Thursday" truly hit me when I saw that Ray is appearing at the very hip Hangout Beach festival in Alabama along the Gulf Shore in May. And I can't go. Can I? I didn't ask.

But as I secretly pine my getaway tonight, I think back to a sweet-sounding sojourn at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, which I attended with The Man and another couple back in 2001, nine years ago. It was a wonderful experience, especially since we saw B.B. King open for Van Morrison, who we caught two nights in a row. The first concert, in particular, blew my mind because Van has stage fright, sometimes performing with his back to the house. What a gift this was to us, for we had what most people would think were the worst seats in any house: behind the stage.

Well, eat that thought, doubters. For instead, Van faced the four of us, and a handful of others, and sang beautifully, soulfully, deeply--all while turning his back to the rest of the arena. Of course, he pitched a fit that night, chewing out the sound crew for some bobbles. He is a temperamental artist, we learned then and later at a Philadelphia show (which was one of the most frustratingly short and overpriced performances I have ever seen).

So as an escape, I started my dream getaway: back to Nola and her intoxicating hurricanes, back to days of carefree moments and fresh discoveries. The line-up that beckons me? A harmonious brew for the ears: Better Than Ezra, Simon & Garfunkel, George Clinton, Elvis Costello, Pearl Jam, Jeff Beck, B.B. King and, of course, Van. If only, if only. If only I had the blithe spirit that seems to float beyond my grasp, the one that thought nothing of just picking up and leaving. I guess age makes us hesitant to take risks, to leave caution on the couch, to stop running up the Visa to sate our euphonious impulses.

Fortunately, he has found some Ray to assuage my appetite, and thus my dream will stop--if just for tonight.

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