(8.2) After Sonny

I’m sitting in my basement
On the first Sunday after Sonny
Trying to read about systems theory
And the ways we mess things up
With limited thinking and the same ole, same ole.
I can’t focus on the book
Even though I’ve read it a couple of times
Over the years
Because I can’t stop thinking about being at The Queen
And the musical gospel delivered to me last night.

Second, row, next to my son,
A whiskey or two down, and no expectation
For what was about to happen.


The drummer sat on a box, the bass player had a ukulele bass,
I never knew there was such a thing,
And Sonny played a hubcap guitar.
Everything I thought I knew about blues was about to change
For this new system was outside of
Anything I had experienced before.

He had the leverage,
Fast fingers, timely pats on the strings, and
The glass that brought a slide sound
From Louisiana way, Lafayette,
Where once my family stayed when returning from Texas.
If I’m not mistaken, our car broke down there, but
We would make it home all the
While listening to Men at Work or some other pop band
And I would get back to school at Lafayette in Williamsburg
And continue my self-imposed shallow musical education.
How I wish I had been different then…

He had the leverage,
Without the distraction of a big band,
Or a light show,
Or scantily clad dancers
As his particular brand of blues
Waltzed on my naked nerves,
Bathing them in a bright awareness
With just three pieces playing
A simple and complex sound
That left me in awe.

The leverage was obvious, really,
It was in his honesty,
His submission to hard work, talent, and his vision
To create his sound,
His system,
His way.

Oh yeah,
Then he went electric and
I could hear my mom
Telling me to close my mouth
Before the flies got in.

On the way home
My mind wrestled with categories:
Allman, but Sonny fit into none of what I knew,
My blues-guitar-music system is forever changed.
The book to my left says, “original thinking makes for a change.”
Well, now I have, Landreth,
A new sound, a new model,
Deeper crevices in that musical part of my brain
That can pump the endorphins
Making it okay to stop whenever I hear
The sound of Sonny.

My fingers were cold as I was writing.
I took a moment to warm them around a cup of coffee
Smiling all over as “Key To The Highway”
Spread joy around me like a good Sunday morning song should.
I looked over to the book on systems theory
When my bulb came on.
The reading, the concert, the reflection,
It’s all part of my being,
A need to find relationships, answers, and reasons
For the ways things are,
For the way I am.

I’m going to keep reading.
I’ll also keep listening to the blues and
Stay mindful of these experiences
Developing my system.

I love it all.

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