|Larry Sparks is the guy in the suit. That's the songwriter Michael Keith and his |
poor old wife June.
|Michael realizing his dreams at the Station Inn.|
A bluegrass band features acoustic instruments: mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitars and angelic harmonizing voices like you might think of hearing in Heaven. No drums. No synthesizers. Just microphones to make sure your hear the words to the songs that celebrate life’s plainer pleasures: the scent of honeysuckle, bluebirds on the mountain, sitting in a rocker on the porch. Love. Home. Mama. Papa. Barefoot babies. Twilight in the valley. The moon. The stars. The old dog sleeping by the door. Leaving home. Coming home. Wishing you were home when you're not.
After singing songs from the new album (the best part of the whole thing for me) Larry asked the crowd for requests. Several yelled out "City Folks Call Us Poor" -- obviously a Larry Sparks favorite. It's about country people enjoying watching the streaking colors of the sunset sky because they can't afford to buy "no fancy paintings." They love moonlight shining on grassy meadows 'cause it looks like diamonds. And people snack on "watermelon rinds Mama puts up in a jar." Like I said, a celebration of sweeter pleasures.
The next morning, back in the big, fast real world of our ritzy Nashville hotel where a bottle of water costs $6 and using the Internet sets you back $10 a day, we packed and dressed for the trip home. Michael told me that his feet had been cold at the concert the night before. He's not used to wearing socks under his loafers and he hadn't brought any on the trip. He doesn't need them in Paradise. But at the fancy Tennessee hotel, when he sat at the check-out desk, I noticed his naked ankles got a few odd glances from the prissy staff.
"You see that," I said. "These city folks are calling us poor."
|Available wherever you buy your music.|