I had THE most vivid music dream last night.
In the dream, I was down in the mountains of Tennessee and somehow I ended up at an old cabin where they were recording a country music radio show, featuring Johnny Cash. And the radio show's producers were asking for volunteers to play three songs each with The Man in Black. You had to perform one of Johnny's songs. Then sing a cover song of your choice by another artist. Then you had to sing one of your OWN songs.
There were about a dozen other people there, all musicians, and they were struggling to come up with their three songs. The next thing I knew I was up there on the creaky stage, standing next to Mr. Cash (who smelled of beer) grinning like a fool, trying to remember what songs I wanted to do. We played a passable version of "Ring of Fire," my fave Johnny C. song. Then I pulled out a song I just learned, called "Blue Northern Lights" by Ollabelle. It's a lovely ballad with pedal steel guitar moaning in the background. Johnny Cash raved about it and wanted to play it over again.
Lastly I played him one of my up-tempo mountain-music tunes, called "I Don't Want to Be A Soldier Boy" about a reluctant participant in the American Civil War. He liked that one, too, but he LOVED the Ollabelle song. And I can see why, since it's been the Song in My Head for two weeks.
Too bad Johnny Cash is gone. In my dream he was a prince of a nice guy--very supportive of the younger artists trying to impress him. I have no idea what the dream meant, or what it portends, but it was vivid as heck. I can still smell the old cabin!
Ollabelle is a relatively new band with a great musical lineage. One of the female members of the band, Amy Helm, is the daughter of Levon Helm, drummer for The Band. Ollabelle has a very old-timey musical sensibility, without getting boringly repetitive. And since so many band members sing and play instruments, they put out a lot of different sounds. You can hear some of these songs and sounds here:
Blue Northern Lights
from their recent album