I turned 70 on the 23rd of August. We dedicated a week to celebrate this milestone. I remember what 70 year old adults were like when I was a child. They looked ancient and moved slow. I am moving slower. My blonde hair has made an almost imperceptible shift to gray. Ok, maybe it’s only imperceptible to me. I am color blind. The week of celebration included a fishing trip off of Rockport, TX. We caught so many redfish that my arms were sore! From Rockport we went to New Orleans to finish the week. Two of my favorite pleasures in life are music and food. New Orleans was the perfect place to indulge my love of both. Every evening we went out, live music and amazing food were on the menu. My two favorite bands were Dr. Sick and the Late Greats and Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen. Besides being great players, both bands were tight with each other and they had a deep connection with us in the audience. I sure wasn’t feeling like the slow and stodgy old man that I remember watching as a child.
In our recent time off, we’ve been working in the studio recording new tunes. Keith has been playing fiddle with two bands up here in Fayetteville. You can hear his country fiddle with Jumpsuit Jamey and the Can’t Wait to Play Boys. He’s also honing his jazz concepts with the band Mood Swing. Here at TFIA world headquarters, “time off” doesn’t mean we’re not working. We’ve been writing songs and playing music together for 47 years. That’s a long time to be doing anything. We both are still fascinated by music and working on learning more about it. We still like driving around this country. Some roads are better than others but all roads lead to places we want to be.
Speaking of places we want to be...our friends Pam and James Johnson have started the Galveston Folk Family Concert series in Galveston, TX. We'll play that concert series on 9/16. Keith's birthday is 9/19 and we'll celebrate in Crowley, LA at the Grand Opera House of the South. On the 29th, we get to visit with our friends Doyle and Yvette Jeter in Monroe, LA where we’ll be playing Enoch’s Irish Pub and Cafe. It’s been a while since we’ve played the Red River Revel in Shreveport but that has been one of our favorite festivals to play. We’ll be there 9/30 and 10/1.
Years ago, we were driving to the Red River Revel from Arkansas and this song bubbled up to the surface. We never released it on an album but it captures the spirit of The Revel and you should hear it!
Here are a few random thoughts and memories that have come up since I’ve turned 70. I remember racing slot cars in Houston with a slot car my mom got me using S&H Green Stamps. She got stamps to fill a book for purchases made at certain stores. For my 13th birthday, she turned in the stamps and got me a slot car with a controller! My car wasn’t very fast. I pushed it as hard as it would go but usually finished way back. The last time I raced my car, it caught fire on the track. That was the end of my slot car racing. For another birthday, we went to the Houston Ship Channel to a Greek restaurant that had belly dancers and Greek music. The food was incredible. I had my first taste of baklava and heard my first bouzouki. When I was in high school, my transportation was my 10 speed bike. My friend Tom and I rode our bikes just a little over 64 miles to the beach. We spent the night literally on the sand of the beach. I was so sore when I got home, I felt like a 70 year old man! I feel lucky to have lived this life.
We hope to see you when we get back on the road. It’ll be good to get back into playing and seeing old friends.
Troutfully Yours, Keith and Ezra