July – Cabin Pressure
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A half of a mile north of where I live is a small airport. It’s been operated by the University of North Carolina since 1940, and when I was in third grade, I went on a field trip to visit it. However, even though it’s a relatively large feature in my small town, it’s never been something I’ve given much thought. It’s always just been there. Small planes fly in and small planes fly out.
A month ago I ran into one of my favorite musicians, an old drummer friend of mine. He moved here from Illinois a few years ago and I’ve always thought of him as the scholar of drums. When he plays, he cites a source for everything that he does. He’d say, “I’m working my snare like you hear it in the Beatles’ ‘Abby Road’, I’ve got my ride cymbal going like in Coltraine’s ‘Giant Steps’, and I’m tying both together with a Sly and Robbie groove.” That sort of thing.
Anyway, this friend told me that he’d been going to the airport in the evenings and watching the sunset. There was a bench, he said, and you could sit there and watch the sun drop behind the trees in the distance.
“What a fantastic idea!”, I thought, and a few weeks later I went up the hill and sat on that bench and did just what he said. The view is spectacular. I can’t think of anywhere else in town with such a large clearing that allows you to see so far off into the distance.
The point of all this, is that for a long, long time, I’d taken this airport for granted. It was just there. Then someone who had not grown up with it opened my eyes and made it new.
This month’s song is just like that. It’s been floating around in my head for years and I never knew what to do with it. Like the airport, it was always just there. But then, at the start of the month, I was talking about music with another friend, and he offered some suggestions that suddenly made the song seem totally new to me. And just like the those sunsets inspired me to use my camera to capture the moment, this new twist on the old song inspired me to finally record it.
I hope you like this one. As always, if you enjoy it, please pass it on to your friends. They might like it too. And, if you’d like to play it at home, here’s the chart.