Author: Compton, Cliff


And we’re like seeds planted in the dessert, those of us who play music. A little life in the desolation. And I was thinking about that this weekend in Bakersfield, in the middle of the dusty oilfields. One big old hotel full of energy and life. People from all over this great state gathering there with guitars and mandolins and fiddles and smiles big enough to start a charity.

And I’m thinking about the people who don’t play music, walking around in the gray, making calculations, playing scrabble, eating peanut butter sandwiches, shaving, doing whatever it is they do, never knowing how it feels to open that guitar case, strap on the Martin, adjust the capo and to let her rip.
And have you ever heard Jeanie Ramos sing a Jimmy Rodgers song? Or heard a Randy Morton original? How about Jonathon Blumehl playing “Dougs tune” on the banjo? Or Craig Townsend playing a mandolin break (goosebumps running up and down your back…Whew!) How about an acappela chorus of “angel band” with “Highway 65” in some little room at the doubletree hotel in Bakersfield California on a gray night in January while the rest of the world watches reruns of “that 70’s show”, while eating beanie weinies and drinking strawberry koolaid.

And I’m thinking we’re like seeds planted in the dessert, making life better, wherever we bloom.
And sometimes I think we were sent here for some purpose beyond ourseves. Have you ever played or sang in a convelescent hospital, or a jail, or a homeless shelter. Those are some miserable places, but music makes them more bearable. Ever set down on the street and pick with some guitar strumming street person. Kind of fun watching the lights come back on in dead eyes.

Down here at the double tree, Sunday morning, a few of us were gathered in the presidential suiete, with Rich and Debra Ferguson playing a little gospel music. Most of us were about a half a block from total exhaustion after driving across the state, and picking into the night for a couple of nights, and I’m thinking how good this makes me feel, and how good this makes the rest of us feel, and how thankful I am for the people I play music with and for, and for this precious gift I’ve been given.
And we’re like seeds planted in the dessert, those of us who play music. A little life in the desolation. Making things better for everybody.

Bloom where you’re planted. It’s a dessert out there.
Posted:  1/13/2012

Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email