I must start by offering a brief apology for the most recent hiatus. The past six months have brought quite a bit of change and I am just now adjusting. I have been doing less touring and more film scoring and I have been getting acquainted with my newest future fishing buddy: Miss Story Jane Hutson. She is almost 6 months old and sweet as sugar. Oh yah, did I mention that she is my daughter?
Anyway, excuses aside, I am hoping to arrange my life so that I can post a little more regularly. For now, I hope you enjoy this little diddy about a recent trip to Alabama.
My old friend Jon Black recently gave me a call to play a little benefit concert in northern Alabama. Oddly enough, the benefit had nothing to do with the recent tornadoes that wreaked havoc on the state. However, it did have something to do with environmentally responsible property development along Smith Lake in northern Alabama. Though I wasn’t sure if a bunch of rich good ole’ boys were trying to garner some politically-correct publicity or if they in fact suddenly developed a conscience after reading a Wendell Berry essay or two, I figured I would do it in the hopes of catching a fish or two between sound check and show-time.
I lit out from Nashville around 11 A.M. and had a pleasant trip down I-65. The vibrant green canopy of spring had spread across the rolling hills of southern Tennessee and northern Alabama and though my youth rarely brought me in contact with this part of the world, I couldn’t help but remember the spring turkey-hunting trips I took with my father in Georgia. The recent arrival of my first-born amplified my emotions and before long, I had a tearful eye as I imagined future trips into the wild with my daughter. I kinda’ felt like I was in the middle of cheesy country song.
Anyway, after a beautiful 2 and a half hour drive, I arrived at Smith Lake and met up with Jon. We enjoyed a little bbq and ran over a few songs at sound check. Then, I hit the water. Jon joined me just to have a little conversation and catch up on life. After a little bit of squirrel fishing (code for a mis-cast into a nearby tree), I settled into an easy rhythm of casting a Texas-rigged plastic worm around some docks. Jon and I kvetched about the music business a little and then I switched to a light tackle rod and reel with my ol’ favorite, a #2 Mepp’s spinner. Before long, I snagged a nice little ½ pound bass along a rocky bank. He wasn’t a monster by any means, but he did put up a good little fight.
I managed to pull out another little one before a bunch of raucous teenagers decided to have a rock-skipping contest right on top of my fishing hole. A bit annoyed, I considered modeling one of my late father’s reactions to such a situation by brandishing a bowie knife; but, after a moment of reflection, I decided to give the young bucks a pass. After all, they could have been potential Jon Black fans. Anyway, it was about time to tune up for the gig.
Well, in the end, we folk-rocked a few environmentally conscience Alabama good ol’ boys, drank a coupla’ beers, ate a bite or two of swine, and snagged a coupla’ bass. All in all, it was a pretty great day. As I drove off site and pointed the nose of my minivan toward Nashville, I popped the radio knob and happened upon the nearest country music station. Now, if I didn’t already feel like I was living in a cheesy country music song when I started the trip, I certainly couldn’t deny this feeling as I headed home. The first song that I happened upon was the new Trace Adkins single called “Just Fishin’.”
To be completely honest, I really don’t have a lot of good things to say about Trace Adkins’ music. I will concede that he does have a great baritone country voice and he does command it well. However, I have never been a fan of his song selection or his choices with regards to producers. But in the case of this song, I have to admit that he chose a song that hit me where it hurts right now. I never thought I would ever do something like this on this blog, but…go to youtube and check out a homemade video that someone made to his song. It kinda’ tied a bow on the day for me.
In closing, father’s day is upon us. Call your dad if he’s still around. Also dads, take your kids fishing every chance you get. It’s more than just fishin’ and sometimes you get to brandish a bowie knife.