Homeward Bound

20 Jan

If you ever change your mind
About leavin’, leavin’ me behind
Oh, oh, bring it to me
Bring your sweet lovin’
Bring it on home to me, yeah

Okay, lets talk about the blues and let’s do it honestly.

What it do to a passionate woman?

I’ll keep this civilian and as delicate as I can, but if you don’t really want to know about my first experience with the blues ala Eli Cook, stop now…because I’m going there. Let me preface this by saying that the day’s travels were not as astounding as I had imagined. Dinner at Wild Wolf Brewing Company in Nellysford was entirely forgettable, wretched even (little better than Buffalo Wild Wings), and if I could have left without paying the check I would have. Honestly, it was the lowest tip I’ve ever left for service and I wondered how stoned all the wait staff actually was, and that was at the bar. So, I was looking for the blue lining in the coffin of the day, so at least I could rest the day’s end in respectable comfort.

Upon entering Rapunzel’s Coffee and Books in Lovingston, the atmosphere was quiet and well, a bit on the reserved side. It’s a coffee shop that has wine and a good beer selection. I immediately began to think, hmmmm.. blues in here? Must be the slow, sort of folksy blues…maybe a little James Taylorish type of blues.

The atmosphere is really rather interesting.Walton’s Mountain meets antique shop meets bookstore. It’s hushed, really hushed. To my left there were two older gentlemen asleep at their tables. Asleep, sitting up. So I wasn’t really sure how the evening was going to go, but I had come this far; I might as well go for it. When Eli took the stage, he reminded me of the grunge guys I loved so well from the 90’s, mixed with a bit of modern mountain man. Entirely alluring, handsome, masculine and entirely young, too. When he began to play and sing, this Nelson County white boy meets Texas bluesman meets reincarnated “down at the crossroads” black man had enough salt and gravel in his voice to keep a woman from freezing up for miles and miles and miles. Last night was cold in Nelson County, until I got to Rapunzel’s. Part of me giggled and the other part of me said shame on you for giggling.

The style of his blues definitely has a Texas twist,  raw and electrified with a slide up and down the distortion scale. Its hillbilly meets Hendrix all barreling down a dusty hot road. But it connects to that side of a gal, that side that men might do well to pay closer attention to. Someone once told me a long long time ago, that if you wanted to know a woman’s true nature, watch her on the dance floor when they’re playing the blues; you’ll know right quick where her intentions lie. By the fifth song, I began to think,  Wonder if they’ll think I’m entirely too much if I just get up and dance? Then I began to wonder, Why isn’t everyone else moving? The gal sitting in front of me was catching the wiggles, but she and I were definitely the only ones on the same wavelength.

Listening to Eli play his own tunes interspersed with Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray, Muddy Waters and other blues giants was raw and real. Several tunes stood out such as Anything You Say, Don’t Ride My Pony, and his Miss Blues’es Child. When he launched into a rendition of Sam Cooke’s Bring It on Home to Me, my hand went to my heart. Jimi’s Bold as Love, and his finale of Lennon’s A Day in the Life blended into She’s Got a Ticket to Ride shows his musical versatility and talent. This guy is ah—mazing. After two hours, I was still wondering, Why is no one dancing? Clapping along at least? How much can I wiggle in my antique wooden folding chair and not break it?

In that sort of venue, up close and personal, I began to think about the troubadours of old, the wandering minstrels who sang of love and romance to ladies of court. How could they not fall under the spell? I sat dead center stage, maybe twenty feet from Eli’s one man combo in perfect view of that left foot on the beat box, right foot on the tambourine and both hands making a gorgeous acoustic electric sing her heart out. Music like that sends an imaginative mind into overdrive. His music and persona has a kind of broody moody charm that makes a woman feel well, to quote Aretha, like a natural woman. Like cooking collards and pork barefoot in the kitchen on a August afternoon so hot the only solution is a cotton sundress with no knickers and a beloved waiting in an old creakin’ cherry post bed in Me’mie’s well worn and ironed hundred year old French linen sheets. And the song to come? Practiced, played for the hundredth time, but honest to heart as the first time through.

That’s as far as the blues will take a wandering lass. And regrettably last night, takin’ it on home was a solo adventure.  😉

You know I’ll always be your slave
Till I’m dead and buried in my grave
Oh, oh, bring it to me
Bring your sweet lovin’
Bring it on home to me, yeah ….


One Response to “Homeward Bound”

  1. lolavera January 23, 2013 at 2:49 PM #

    I would have held your hand and danced… “Baby. .. oh baby. you’re the one…..”

    Sent from my iPhone

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