On Account Of You
It’s been a busy few weeks, during which I finished my IM4U teaching program pilot and sent it out to the graduate school of education instructors at the University of Hawaii. Graduate students will be studying and critiquing the program along with 20 teachers and 700 students testing it before we make it available to schools around the globe.
It has been a wonderful time! Interspersed with all the IM4U development have been some incredible musical experiences. Last Friday morning I got up early and packed my car for a road trip to Muscle Shoals Alabama. My travel companions were Lilabeth my upright bass and my Fender Precision Bass, wonderful travel partners but not much on conversation! No matter, they both did a lot of talking this past weekend when we hit the stage and the studio.
My destination was the Sam Phillips Festival where I joined Mac, Peter, Roger, Peter’s son Brendan and Coral Reeferette, Tina Gullickson coming all the way from sunny California. Working with these incredible musicians and great friends always fills me with gratitude!
With the car packed, and a perfect and clear Fall day, I cruised along U.S Highway 64 through the North Alabama cotton fields in full bloom waiting to be picked. Joni Mitchell serenaded me along with Brett Dennen and other favorites. Once I hit the two-lane highway on my way to Muscle Shoals, my mind immediately turned to thoughts of fine dining, Alabama style.
Traveling with Jimmy Buffett brings us to some of the very best eating experiences one could have, but Southern comfort food, well that’s another story. My favorite destination is the Southland Diner and the very best Coconut Cream pie that I have ever eaten. Mac, the consummate storyteller, shares a tale that the woman who created the recipe had several marriage proposals every month back in the day. Musician friends from Nashville tell of how they would visit Muscle Shoals to record and as they headed home, stopped at the diner and bought a whole pie to go. Rarely did any of them make it more than a few miles before dipping their fingers into this culinary masterpiece!
So, you can imagine my surprise and coconut cream disappointment, when I learned that a tornado had damaged the Southland and the elderly woman who ran the Café and guarded the pie recipe, all of these years, had decided to sell this Mecca of Southern Comfort Food and retire. Upon inquiry, I was assured that the new owner would soon be finished with the renovations and would be the new caretaker of the recipe.
We all gathered at Mac’s place and then headed downtown to Florence for concert supplies at the Alabama Music Store. This whole area is about music and Lannis Jones, the owner, made us feel right at home, even giving me the opportunity to jam on a Dr. Seuss inspired custom mega-horn! I might just stick to the bass.
The Sam Phillips Festival was a trip! Nestled right in the middle of Florence, AL. Mother Nature decided to spin some cold winds on us all! This did not deter one bit the dedicated fans dancing in the streets of Florence, literally. The Atlanta Rhythm Section rocked a show before us and played immediately afterwards. The show was a total blast, with Session Legend Steve Nathan on keys I am endlessly taken by Mac’s relaxed and easy going ways on these shows, and his rich repertoire came off like a warm fire in the cold winds.
We stayed over on Sunday to record some of Tina’s newest work. I can’t wait for you all to hear her tunes! Tina is rocking! She even jammed on my fretless bass a bit! I must say, it looks much better on her!
As we get closer to the end of October we are getting pumped about the next leg of the Buffett tour. Charleston Miles sent me a YouTube link to Bruce Springsteen doing “Human Touch,” which makes me antsy about getting back on the Big stage and playing for all of you. Here’s that link, thanks Charleston! (YouTube Link)
Can’t wait to see y’all soon!
Posted at 5:09 PM7:22 PM
October 14, 2012