Two Dogs

Ok, I’ve tampered around with this idea on a couple of other posts but don’t think I got it. There’s probably an easy and concise way to say it, as I’m sure many of you readers can, but it isn’t easy for me.
Maybe the question boils down to this. Do we live a life following what we intrinsically feel in our spirit (ha if we even know what that is) or if it’s different do we live our lives governed by what we’ve been taught and experienced?
I was riding home the other day listening to Jack Johnson’s song “Sleeping Through The Static”. I’ve heard this song many times, but it hit me enough to strike the thought I’m trying so hard to flesh out. Here is the part of the lyric that I’m speaking of:

Who needs sleep when we’ve got love?
Who needs keys when we’ve got clubs?
Who needs please when we’ve got guns?
Who needs peace when we’ve gone above
But beyond where we should have gone?
We went beyond where we should have gone

…..and then it goes into this part……
Shock and awful thing to make somebody think
That they have to choose pushing for peace supporting the troops
And either you’re weak or you’ll use brut force-feed the truth
The truth is we say not as we do

Now it is obvious that Jack is speaking to the Iraq war, but that isn’t the part I’m interested in. When I heard this and when I hear other personal truths, they just feel right way deep down in my soul or DNA or physic memory or whatever you want to label it as, but it says “this is who I am”. Even if isn’t something that I consciously, socially or morally agree with. Maybe the tension comes from not feeling like I can stand up for what I feel when I’m in a crowd that sees the world differently.

When fear is spoke, I understand it, and part of me wants to cover my ass and err on the side of me and mine. Forget everyone else.
These really are complex issues and I would like to think that in the quiet conversations we’d find most folk lean a little this way on one issue and a little the other way on another issue. Maybe we shouldn’t care what others think about where we stand, but hey this is the land and age of telling everyone in the world every thought we have !!

I like Abraham Lincolns quote “I’d rather be fooled a thousand times than develop the heart of a cynic”. So maybe I’ll be fooled, taken advantage of from time to time. Maybe I won’t win or climb the ladder to wherever they think it goes. But maybe, just maybe I’ll journey on with a smile and look at the people I met as a friend. We’ll see. Does this make sense at all? Still not sure I have the question right, but I think I’m closer. Liberal might not be the worst description of me; I’m liberal in love and gentleness; liberal in forgiveness and patience. That’s not a bad start.
Kind of like the old story of two dogs living inside a person. One is liberal and one is conservative (adjectives mine). Which one grows the strongest?- answer of course is the one we feed..


Shine A Light: The Adventres Of The Big Boy

As they last days of 2012 dwindled and the leaves had blown across the streets of Nashville, two really good records were released by Nashville artist and writer, Davis Raines. Always a local favorite and among the writers of this town, Davis is acknowledged as a writing force to be reckoned with! Davis Raines is the insider’s favorite, everywhere he goes.

Santa Maria Hotel was a Shine The Light post in December 2012. Now listening to the second record, The Adventures Of The Big Boy, produced by Don Kerce, the most obvious commonality is the love for Davis Raines music. The approach to the songs is different, and the set list is different all but for Santa Maria Hotel. I’ve you dream of living of the hard driving honky-tonk sounds of Country Music reminiscent of Waylon, Willie, Don Williams or even Marty Robbins, then Milan Miller produced Santa Maria Hotel will hit you right between the eyes.

big boy cover
The Adventures of The Big Boy stretches the bag towards the hippie side of Davis Raines, and believe me the Autauga County Alabama native has a big hippie side, full of love, openness, and a sincere wish for all to live in harmony and happiness! What a great bag of tunes with stories dripping with Cajun juices, to the Blues, Country, and even the Beatles-ish “You Lied”. But every influence and every Sunday -morning -saved- again, is in every Davis Raines song. While he has been gone from Autauga County for a long time it has never left him. Davis has a way of always walking away with only the good stuff !

davis live

Give the rollicking track Big Boy a listen, man the opening lines hit me right off, “I got a roll of fifties, I got a .45 / I been to Mississippi, I been on a airplane ride- baby girl you sure smell good / Lordy-mercy Mama treat the Big Boy like you should……..This is high caliber Hillbilly ya’ll, with subtle brush strokes of the Old South. But if you think Santa Maria Hotel stays in the past then buckle up for Methamphetamine, where the listener hears a story with all of the confusion, paranoia, and fear of addiction and that is just coming from the music and the track, but then the words step in….I’m just a country boy, never had much / Never had much interest in notes and such, I never had much focus never had much drive- never had much reason for being alive…..

Nobody is asking, but I guess I’m telling, go get a copy of The Adventures Of The Big Boy, but I must warn you that if you like what you hear then that stuff they are calling Country Music these day will no taste so good to ya! I’ve you’ve been looking for the real stuff with the craft of writing still intact, then go get em! And you can thank me later! By the Way as luck would have it, Davis Raines will be appearing at Kimbros in Franklin Tennessee this Thursday night, May 23 !! See Ya there !

Shine A Light: American Limehouse

limeThere is a lot of music out there these days and finding stuff you’ve never heard of is actually easier now than it has ever been. On itunes of course you can preview songs and then buy only the ones you like. A far cry from the days when you’d buy an album and find that you only liked the songs they played on the radio !!

Now with all that music at our fingertips, the down side seems to be that it opens the floodgates for anyone with a guitar and garage band. So finding the good stuff gets a little trickier. Music should be made for the love of it; for the passion that a type of music evokes in a person. Sometimes that has commercial appeal and sometimes not. But when the two come together the result is an awesome listening experience. This is the case for Nashville based American Limehouse, which is made of up of veteran musicians that have shared the stage and played for the best artists in music.

American Limehouse has a bit of a throwback sound. If you like deep grooves, RB, with some Steely Dan vibe thrown in, then this bands for you. Make no mistake they are not a cover band or stuck in a time warp. This a tight band of excellent players pushing the limits, but you won’t be disappointed if those old grooves still move you.


These are good guys playing a style of music that they love, and it is infectious. They are currently playing local in Nashville and I’m sure will be hitting the road soon. Do yourselves a favor and see them live, check them out on itunes and visit their site

Give It Up For The Turtle

untitledIt’s a fast world, and getting faster. We are a culture of more, bigger, first and strongest. We are taught to believe that these are the only keys to success. We are taught that there is little value in second place and then of course when second place happens we are consoled by someone telling us that at least we tried our best. Still the message rings clear. We would have taken the prize if we only finished first.

We spend so much time concerning ourselves with this image that we miss the true, valuable things that the Creator wants us to see. If we choose the Christian path, we are taught that the meek inherit the earth and that the last shall be first. But I don’t see many folks actually living out this path. Instead we live in a kind of contradiction, saying we believe in one thing, but actually pursuing another. No wonder we’ve got issues.

Enter the Turtle ! Moving slowly of course, checking out his surroundings a little at a time, choosing his path. There are a lot of reasons to like a turtle and many folklore stories, but here is the one thing that I see in the turtle. When trouble or craziness of life comes around; when the big winds come and threaten our lives, does the turtle stand and fight. Does he go head to head and toe to toe with all the madness? No, I see him slipping his head inside the protective shell the Creator gave him and just let all of the insanity blow right by him. He isn’t afraid, he just knows this is how life is and he is better off not trying to fight against those forces. And he doesn’t get thrown off course. I think maybe, he goes into that shell, listens to a little Bob Marley, drinks a cold Kona beer and eats some really good enchiladas. Everything is cool. He’s easy to get along with, a good listener and is comfortable both on land as well as water! I got nothing against the Lion or Tiger or Bear, but I dig the ole turtle. How about you?