...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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November 07, 2004 || 4:38 am

My frog-jeep got a lot of action today, under a crisp clear blue sky, exactly how autumn should be. It was warm, too, t-shirt weather despite the chill last night. In the morning we went visiting some RS projects that I still hadn't managed to get time to see, and getting pleasantly semi-lost in the back roads of Hale County along the way. This place can be the most astonishingly beautiful - breathtaking quiet in the woods and gently rolling hollows, and the odd expansive view across a shallow valley. And after lunch it was off to the grounds of Kenan's Mill in Selma, where a small bluegrass festival was taking place, for learning more old-time fiddle tunes and jamming until the sun went down and our fingers got cold.

Playing this music with a group of people, even with my meagre skill and lack of knowledge ('You don't know Dixie?' a woman asked in disbelief) makes me smile so much. Picking up the chords and rhythms, especially the old modal tunes, feels like the best mental exercise and when it all comes together and banjos, mandolins, guitars and voices combine in a circle, nothing is more joyful, with no sins attached. And I managed to get one up on them all by playing a modal Scottish reel whose chord patterns none of them could follow...



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