Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Rather be cruisin'...

"This is a day that was meant for cruisin'." That was my thought this morning as I drove to work, having stopped to pick up a 20oz Turtle and a peach muffin at The Sunrise Coffee Co. Maybe it's the fact that it's sunny, clear and supposed to hit 75 degrees. Maybe it's the fact that I'm ready for a bright day after a week of sorrow over having lost my companion of eleven years to old age. Maybe it was the familiar face at the coffee shop who always makes me smile. Or maybe it was the music in my tape player. How about all of the above?

I spent another four hours last night mudding and taping the drywall in our basement. Since our CD player has been put away during this dusty phase of the work, I dug out our old "boom box" and a recently discovered ancient case of cassettes. Most of it was junk, but I discovered two old friends inside that I hadn't dusted off and listened to in (shamefully) ages. Chris Rea's The Road To Hell and Missing, Presumed Having a Good Time by The Notting Hillbillies. Both were favorites of mine at the very start of the 1990s and finding them last night was like shaking hands with an old friend: comfortable and warm. The Road To Hell sounds like an album that Dire Straits may have made if they had recorded a bluesy album somewhere between recording Love Over Gold and Brothers In Arms, and contains songs so laden with melody and mood much like the smoke in a corner bar. From the two part title track, Texas, Your Warm And Tender Love, and Tell Me There's A Heaven, you are brought into the music and revel in it. Now, if I could just find my Simpatico cassette by Chet Atkins and Suzy Bogguss, I'd be set.

The Notting Hillbillies were a collection of four men, including Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, and is similarly an album that is perfect for a sunny cruise, or a lazy Sunday morning. Traditional songs, very understated, and mellow. Railroad Worksong, Your Own Sweet Way, Will You Miss Me, and Feel Like Going Home are among the many highlights. It just makes you feel good, and what can be better than that?

Naturally, I've ordered both on CD this morning. I don't want to lose these two every again. They have withstood the test of time perfectly.

So who wants me to pick them up in front of their office? Tell the boss your taking the day off.


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