It’s always a good day when a new song gets written! And today has been a good day.
I’ve been riding the Amtrak Surfliner along the Southern Pacific rails that flow north and south between San Francisco and San Diego, travelling with everything that I need: two hats, my usual Akubra Stylemaster and a newly-acquired Stetson Panama for those days when California has been exactly what its Spanish name suggests, cali (hot) and fornia (oven or furnace); my Gibson LG-1 acoustic in its flight case; my lightweight Mac laptop and a library/office that fits into my courier bag; a Yoga mat and a compact preventative medicine department.
The porters on the Surfliner all dress in the old-style trainman uniform: dark blues ands stiff round caps with shiny silver badges, leather gloves and heavy watch chains hanging out of their pockets. They nod respectfully and they walk past and see me writing at my window seat, my hat slouched over my forehead. As if they understand how immensely useful this rolling workplace has been to me.
But back to the new song.
It’s gospel, straight-up. At least for now.
It’s entitled “It All Falls Down”.
It contains signs of warning, desperate times, destruction.
But at the end there is a hint of Revelation.
Does any of this sound familiar?
My thoughts pan over to Heath Cullen on Australia's Far South Coast, working his way toward mixing the material from our Los Angeles sessions in late May. The recording went magically - almost unbelievably so. We have gold to work with.
All thanks to Heath for putting the diverse pieces of this project into place, and for being always so strong and so sure. It is generally not helpful to hold on to expectations, and Mr Cullen is a man who certainly has a road of his own to travel. But if the prospect of collaborating with him ever rises up again, my gear will be packed and I will be ready.
I’m presently about a week away from my flight back to Australia. The Surfliner has carried me up and down the coast for visits with the matriarchs of our family: my mother Doris, 91years, in Carlsbad; my aunt Lee, her sister, 84 years, in Santa Barbara. Sharing stories which have illuminated the past, and which have brought the present into clear relief. Honouring my lineage, in my way. Using this time - which, like all time everywhere, is precious - to create a keepsake.
My hope is that this message will find you in the finest of health and spirits, participating as fully as possible in this gift we have which is called our life.
My very best wishes to you,