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'Blues is the anthem of the working class, the unemployed, the hustlers, and there's no attempt to deny the obvious misery of being a Negro. [The shrines] are places of honesty personified.' So it's where you go to hear and begin to understand through the blues your fellowman."
– Chicago, an Extraordinary Guide (1967) by Jory Graham
The album recalls the old Blue Monday, where Guy was a regular, at Theresa’s Blues Bar on Chicago’s Southside.
In October 1963, Bukowski recounted in a letter to John William Corrington how someone once asked him, “What do you do? How do you write, create?” To which, he replied: “You don’t try. That’s very important: ‘not’ to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It’s like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it.”
Prince was able to just know how far to push an artist. He used to tell me sometimes, “Morris, it is very difficult for people to produce themselves. You really have to take yourself outside of yourself.” Because what you do is you set these limits for how hard you can hit it or how high you go. Most people don’t go the extra mile. You have to have that pushed out of you.
In truth, Jesus Freak was a Nashville pop-rock record: impeccably performed and results-oriented. As with so many Music City productions, the collective CV of its players is boggling: Shania Twain, Reba McEntire, Jerry Jeff Walker, Scritti Politti. They employed the drummer from “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and the teenage guitarist from Johnny Q. Public.
And it seems to confirm something Tumor hinted at in a 2016 interview about their musical aspirations: “I only want to make hits. What else would I want to make?”
Lines of Flight are creative and liberatory escapes from standardization, oppression, and stratification of society. Lines of flight, big or small, are available to us at any time and can lead in any direction. They are instances of thinking and acting ‘outside the box’ with a greater understanding of what the box is, how it works, and how we can break it open and perhaps transform it for the better.
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Live rock doesn’t get much better than when the last chord of “Cowboy Song” crashes into the first chord of “The Boys Are Back In Town.”