Memphis Earlene says she’s been part of my life since High School, when Ann Mintz left her Dave van Ronk at the Folklore Center album at my house. The first time I heard Cocaine Blues I could feel it in my fingertips. There are times when the right piece of music can save your soul.
I couldn’t sing, still can’t, but I could play guitar in a primitive way. Cocaine Blues felt like something I could learn to play if I worked at it.
“It was me,” says Memphis Earlene. “My spirit was in your fingers. You were in sore need.”
Mozart gives me a headache. Opera puts me to sleep. Only in recent years have I been able to appreciate classical music. I don’t worship at the house of blues on a steady basis but I derive comfort from knowing they’re available when I need them.
You can grow old with the blues. They’ll keep you company.