Lead Me On

There are few things in the summer I love more than coming out to sit by the fire after the little man goes to bed. It’s pretty much the perfect way to end a busy day of DadOps.

Being musically inclined as I am, I submit to you that every evening fire requires a soundtrack. Sometimes it can be jazz. Sometimes blues. Perhaps an Mtv Unplugged album. Maybe even classical if you want to get fancy. Now, you could make a well reasoned argument that the crackling and popping of the burning wood is exactly the right music, and I can’t really argue that point. Over the winter during one of the heavier snow storms, I cleared out the fire pit and under no less than 36 layers, I carved out a seat and sat there listening to nothing more than the falling snow and the cracking of the fire. I’m not much of a fan of the winter, but it was one of the most tranquil moments I had experienced in a while. It almost makes me look forward to next winter. Almost.

On this early summer night, my choice is one of my favorite records of all time. If it were available on vinyl I would go to the very ends of the earth to find it. Alas, it’s not. So iTunes will have to do.

I remember stumbling on this album through Pandora several years ago. The Black Crow Keeps on Flying was my introduction to Kelly Joe Phelps and his particular flavor of folk/blues. The ninth track on this album, it was one of those moments in music where I stopped what I was doing, and just listened. I hung on every note, every vocal inflection, every word. Four minutes and seventeen seconds later my only thought was,”Where the hell has this been all my life?” I quickly downloaded the record from iTunes, and Lead Me On took a spot at the very top of my listening rotation. I’ve found over the years, that when I’m looking for music that brings peace, and quiets the seemingly endless noise of the outside world, I come back to this record again and again. If I had to make a list of records that have changed and enhanced my life, Lead Me On would easily make the top five. Maybe I should do that.

And so here I sit tonight, waiting for my wife to come sit next to me, listening quietly to the sounds of the fire, the wind in the trees, and The Black Crow, who keeps on flying.

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