This is a terrific compilation however there are no timestamps for the music. The track starting at 31.58 I find most beguiling. I have no idea what it is though unfortunately.

Penguin, Depressed

In January last year, I headed out to I knew not where to walk until I could walk no more, to find a tree to hang myself from. I took no water, no food. I would walk until my legs buckled and there would be my final resting place. I sang Blues songs and became delirious along the way.

I was eventually picked up having been found walking aimlessly down a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. Until today with this short piece of film appearing in my YouTube feed I felt no one really understood what was going on for me internally. Then I saw the penguin. He/she understood.

I hope this forlorn creature found the great peace so many of us struggle to find.

Great Backing Track

I discovered a terrific backing track the other day which I’m going to link to in this post.

I decided to jam along with it this morning and it was pretty good except when I played it back, I realised the guitar had detuned enough for it to be unusable.

So I did another and another and another and they were all awful because I was anxious and forcing something good to result.

In the end, I decided to post this resultant jam because although it’s not great, the audio of the backing track cut out midway through for a split second and the recorder decided to stop working at 3 minutes and 33 seconds even though it had plenty of memory left. I took it as a sign that this is the one to go with, however I have opted for a slightly shorter version with fade out as I started to meander towards the end.

I am playing along to a segment of the aforementioned backing track. I kept pretty much to the B Minor Pentatonic guitar scale.

Day In The Garden #1

Today, I saw my first butterfly for 2023. The image is below. It’s called a Holly Blue butterfly. To the best of my knowledge I’ve not seen one in the garden before. They’re quite common in the South of England. When sat on the Laurel bush, it was a pale blue colour however when it was flying, it looked a more vivid hue. Beautiful creature.

I had a nightmare transferring my images from yesterday to my Chromebook, so today I just took a handful of photographs and instead, concentrated on just being in the moment. Both cats were with me, The Handsome Prince and The Radiant Queen. For music, I played the 2022 album by Charlie Musselwhite – Mississippi Son. It was the perfect soundtrack. Laid-back, pared down Blues. Once again, it seemed to attract the birds. It wasn’t loud. I walked 25 feet and it could barely be heard however the birds in earshot of it, kept moving their heads to see where the sounds were coming from and alighted on branches I’d never seen them on before.

There is a beautiful Collared Dove who sits in the tree at the foot of the garden. Earlier, I felt compelled to move a little closer and talk to her. She moved closer along the branch and I was surprised when she began ‘talking’ back. I am of the belief that non-domesticated animals should remain largely wild as they may view all humans as kind and sadly, far too many aren’t. That and the fact I have cats who would tear her apart without a second’s thought.

I cut down the tops of the Buddleia bush as without doing that, there won’t be any new flowers for the Summer. It grows very easily and quickly. They self-seed and they frequently grow next to railway lines. Beautiful purple and white varieties.

I also trimmed the Pampas grass next to the pond so there’s now a secret path leading from the patio area through to the bottom of the garden. While there, I found the perfect place to hang another Wild Bird suet and seed coconut feeder. I have been fine-tuning where I have located all the feeders in the garden and I seem to have struck gold. This past week the garden has attracted Blue Tit, Long-Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Dunnock, Wren, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Red Kite, Blackbird, Starling and Robin (pictured below). I even saw a Buzzard circling overhead which was a joyous sight.

I mowed the lawn yesterday and that makes a world of difference to how everything looks and how I feel within myself. I always keep an area of the garden wild. I’m going to plant Wild Meadow flowers there. I heard some rustling in the garden earlier this evening which are likely hedgehogs. I will ensure tomorrow evening that hedgehog food is placed outside for them. Last year, I used a dry cat food which they loved. This year I’m going to try them on dedicated tinned hedgehog food and see how they like that.

It’s been a lovely day in the garden..

“Real” Blues

Around the time Eric Clapton released his album “From The Cradle” I came into contact with a guy who was seriously into the Blues. He asked if I wanted to go to The 100 Club and see ‘real’ Blues. Not the commercial stuff. I said that “Yes I would like to, very much. ”

He drove across town to pick me up and we made our way to London. The music on the journey was terrific. It was a mix-tape of non-mainstream Blues artists such as Smokey Wilson, Jimmy Dawkins, Phillip Walker, Lonnie Mack, Tinsley Ellis, Roy Buchanan, Kenny Neal, Michael Coleman, Joe Louis Walker, Earl King, Robert Ward, Kinsey Report etc I was blown away. Absolutely amazing music.

We arrived in London, parked in a side street and made our way to the venue. Walking through the narrow doorway and down the stairs, we spoke to the cloakroom attendant, and made our way into the main performance area. Smoke billowing around the ceiling fans overhead. The bar was to the right, the toilets around the corner to the left and the stage upfront and centre.

We had come to see Otis Grand.

The atmosphere was electric. Earl Green was on vocals and I believe Chico Lopez on bass. Chico was a seriously cool Blues cat.

I think Otis was playing Tokai guitars that night. The band was killer and Otis was absolutely amazing. He walked into the crowd, playing as he went and at one point, stood just inches away from me. He was absolutely solid gone. He was in that place great musicians go. He was looking into infinity, channelling amazing Blues guitar playing. His tone and feel was incredible.

I am getting cold chills just thinking back to that night and that performance.

I went on to see Otis many times and he was always ‘in the zone.’ It was also my introduction to, if you like, ‘authentic’ (non-commercial) Blues.

Over the next few years I saw many musicians at The 100 Club, and other Blues venues across London. It was like being privy to another world, another space and time entirely, especially gigs which took place in basement clubs such as The 100 Club. I remember on one occasion, a chap had been walking past, heard the sweet music being played and ventured down to see what it was all about. We all knew he was being introduced not just to Blues music but ‘the real thing’ within that. He stood there mesmerised by what he was seeing and hearing. A good night.

Anyhow, here is the electrifying Blues guitar of Otis Grand performing Your Love Pulls No Punches with the magnificent Earl Green on vocals.

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