• Dave Monterey

Why the Music Won't Go Away

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

Whether you are a partaker or maker of music, this time of isolation and social distancing has really done a number on us, hasn't it? Hey, I mask in public and have a 90 year-old pa to protect. I get all the reasons why we must keep the virus at bay. But I also know in my heart that music is a most essential element of the good life. And I miss the live playing, the listening and dancing, the social exchanges, the choice of cold beers - right to the very fiber of my being!

So then, what has Heartwood Crossing been up to this summer? Our last gig played out in early February before much was known about Covid-19. We had a marvelous "send off" if you will, performing for the day at the Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival. But since that time we have seen one play date after another get cancelled such that our full lineup of summer gigs has evaporated in the heat of the pandemic. The six of HWC bandmembers understand the dilemma. Still, it hurts not to be able to make joyful noise in pubic places, especially now.

Our percussionist, Dan Ransford, bemoans seeing his drum kit languish and has picked up the banjo to drown his sorrows. Bassist Daniel McGee is thrilled to see that some of his construction jobs are coming back and making do to pay bills.

Fiddler sublime, Jon Berger, is willing to rehearse while not parting with a double masked rigging for himself. (We recently planned a small-scale, outdoor live rehearsal initially to include spouses and a few friends - all socially distanced - but cancelled the date when the number of County active cases began to spike.) Jon was particularly jazzed about approaching the song "White Bird" by It's A Beautiful Day. He's known and loved the violin part in that piece for many years. Ultimately, it must wait for another day. We mused over the irony in the line, "...white bird must fly or she will die..." as a siren cry for all who shelter in place.

It may feel at times like we are but desert toads, burrowed deep in estivation (summer hibernation) during this strange warm-season pandemic period. Spring has a way of making life resilient, however. Conditions change, streams flow (even in the desert!) and tadpoles appear beside saguaro cactus. Believe it! Heartwood Crossing is counting on life after we all weather the hardship. And we count on sharing the music and joys of life with you!

Heartwood Crossing Trio, consisting of Emily, Tim and myself, are making some headway with new music during this long hiatus. Emily has a Black Lives Matter-related tune she calls "Yes I Am." Tim's come up with a beautiful ballad, "Lessons." And Dave's turned the corner on a piece called "Timber Cove Drifter Blues."

We've made a music video of Robbie Robertson's classic song "The Weight" which can be accessed directly by scrolling to marker 1:57 of the you tube clip on Occidental Center for the Arts site www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org There are numerous performers that lent their performances to support OCA's virtual variety show. And check back on the site beginning August 8th for a new line-up of music to include "What's The Truth (American Eyes)" co-written and performed by Heartwood Crossing Trio!

Music is a primal beat within us all. Keep a light of confidence burning that rock & roll (or folk Americana for that matter) will never die. It's just not possible for music to go away.


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