Song of the Day: “Moon Rise “
Lyrics, Music,Vocal, Rhythm Guitar, Slide/Country-Slack Key Guitar: Kay Buena (AKA) Caroline Abbitt Sauer:- Bass Guitar, Recording Engineer: Dr. Charles Sauer,(PHd.comp.sci.):- Drums: The Honerable Jerry Barnett.
Recorded back in 1986(?)
Oh, great swami of the computer Empire of the network here, please bring back the picture, or actually a photocopy of the painting I did of the Snoop Dogg, of whom I have great respect, however strange than may seem to some, but to other’s: probably not.
Portraits, especially paintings can take months to years to get done. At least for me. I thought about trying to do a portrait of Mance Lipscomb, the great Texas blues man, who died back in 1976 at the age of 80. Thing is, I was nodin’ friends with Mance, as I went to so many of his gig’s in Austin; and he could tell I was watching what he was doing on the guitar, and learned from him by doing that; When I sat down (usually early) he and I’d nod in recognition, and that he knew I really got into his music was no secret.
Snoop’s an abstraction to me: he wouldn’t recognize me, if I had a sign on. But Mance Lipscomb, though dead and long gone, is very real to me to this day, and those portraits of people you knew and truly loved, are much harder to face if they are done in the here and now, be they alive or not…I tryed but couldn’t. I think probably the next portrait i’ll try is Steve Jobs on drugs, or my husband (not on drugs) and he’d be a great model. ‘Hardly moves a muscle, and sits here like this for hours at a time. Only thing is, what else can he be doing, besides what you’re doing, in which he would be willing to participate? I mean that’s not assumming this pose in front of the computer and typing away like a mad crazed field mouse working on something vaguely eatable is perverse, or even a bad or wrong thing to do, but I just want to see a person,in person; not actively hooked up to and interacting within/to this damn thing. (? )Nothing. Well, So be it. Maybe if I tryed the lifesized sculpture sitting here, he would find a hobby.
But I am in digression again. ‘Hate when that happens. Actually, Charles Sauer (my husband ) has an extremely beautiful sculptural quality about him. I just wound’nt want him in my weight catagory in case we’re wrestling. So the Life sized Terra Cotta Portrait’s out. He’s a string bean. Looks like Alfalfa, of the Our Gang Comidies, but with way less hair, and a mustache. Actually, He’s a very handsome man now and when he was younger he was whopper; but if and when they’re young, all men are trouble. I’m glad we’re old together; he’s rational and realistic: I’m not quite sure how to discribe my virtues, but those are not mine. I like to think I’m sort of humerous and whitlessly clever, in a practiced way. I trained for this, guys. And it didn’t come easy, believe me.
When I was a freshman at the University Texas in 1965 (don’t drop dead, but some of us have had ‘extreme experiences’, within those extra years, and simply watching the music business in Austin, Texas could and can be enough to make a decent musician take up painting; Just becasue we’re talking about Social Security issues, doesn’t mean we will get them…((especially if the Democrats get in the White House, and keep the Congress busy doing nothing.) Sorry, no politics allowed. And Just because I rarely leave my home these days, or nights, doesn’t mean that was always the case). ) I’m used to being an outcast, not only was I a Military Brat (yeah, yeah…we heard about it -already…) but I also worked for the Internal Revenue Service,for four tax seasons, and then they treathened to promote me. This was after I graduated from college; my art degree came in handy as candy in those days around here. And who is less popular than a tax examiner for the Infernal Revenue Service ? Course the population was about 3/4 less than now at that time, and all the start-up jobs were held by college students or people who wouldn’t budge till they keeled over dead, kicked the bucket and later died. Oh, well, I lived through it.
I used to spend every night I could watching these great Texas Blues men,–And speaking of Lightnin Hopkins, (which I wasn’t) he and Mance had a real good relationship:they were not trying to put the other person down; and when Lightnin would say,”There’s Mance Lipscomb, he ain’t learned a new song since 1942.”, then Mance would top that by saying: “Theres Lightnin Hopkins, playing the blues…in E.” (for those non-musicians, that’s the easy key on the guitar for blues, no question about it.) Mance played blues in so many keys it was supernatural. He also played Texas “Slack Key” with his pocket knife. But Those Rilvalrys are good for business, and “giving them the business” as well, made both of them happy and competitive.
I always wondered why Lightnin had a problem with old songs? ‘Cause, frankly…that’s where I’m headed, and rightfully so… I’m the real deal. I learned how to play and sing from the real thing; my family, particularly from my Dad of Appomattox, Virginia: (check him out on ‘You Tube‘(“Col. Charlie Abbitt, live at the Wellington”, or something of that nature)…he’s great and still at it. And the songs were so musically delightful, varied, and complex that we all listened to in my home, as to keep any kid, young adult, or old geeze (such as myself) entranced. It was normal to go around doing your usual and singing to yourself. It was also normal to go around talking to yourself; which is a practice I still Keep, in these current times, as I am the most intelligent conversationalist in the house (the other one types, no talking permitted.) excluding my cats.
‘Thing about Mance Lipscomb was everything he played struck me in my home grown heart. His music, his graciousness, and his ability for self-expression, were like nothing I have every seen in my, then, short life. I had only experienced this other times that I ‘recollect”,up close and personal, was when my Dad played and sang for me, which he did all through my childhood. Or when Jerry Jeff Walker sang and played for me. We sang some together in my “yout.” He was (and probably still is) a marvelous entertainer and musician. I met him back then too (when I was in college). He was a fine guy, but not as sculptural. (Sorry Jerry, if you ever see this, which I doubt very much you would.) Also Ledward Ka’apana, of the Big Island of Hawaii, actually can capture anyone’s heart who listens. He still glows with joy, when we have seen him play in Hawaii. He is, in my humble opinion, one of, if not the greatest living guitar player I know of. (Also, Check skectch in “Art” section when you have logged out of the Blog; I’ve done a pretty fair sketch of Ledward Ka’apana, last time we saw him at the Royal Hawiian Hotel in Wakiaki. I hope he still has those Saturday evening gig’s.)
So, anywho, singing and playing guitar, etc. was and is a normal thing to do for me here…,But to do this so perfectly, as Mance did when I saw him playing the old time southern country music that I love so much, got to a place in my heart I didn’t know was there. My Uncle Georges’ licks on the fiddle, would get you just like Mance’s. But back then I was too young to appreciate my family’s musicality. What is it said, about “Youth being wasted on the young?” Hey, that’s it!
I’d found some Lightnin Hopkins records before I saw him in person, and although some think of him as the king of the Old Texas blues, like Mance said nearly every song he played was in the key of E, (which means his musical theory was limited in a big way, however inherited or learned or what ever it was). Not so with Mance; he could play blues in any key, and easily as well. Lightnin’s playing was never as full and inclusive as was Mance’s playing, but it wastruly cool, as was he then too. Also Lightnin’ either played with a band or at least a washboard player and those were entended on filling in, and widening the drone of his fingerpicking, to put the rhythm where it needed going. (And neither of them thought or wrote like Yoda from Star Wars (sorry)….Jeeeez,)
When I heard him or them play in their prime, that means they were about my age now. But back then, when I was a freshman in college, I’d find out where to go hear those cool dudes playing: and go there, I would (not Yoda again!). ‘Which is one explanation for my overall grade point average.
I play my Mance Lipscomb CD’s, especially when I’m alone in the car, some how that brings the experience all back to me. When I’m driving I’m usually alone, and the time/space continuem isn’t always in expected perameters then, either. (hmm)_ However, the only songs I ever play, that I learned from watching him play them is “Shine on Shine on Harvest Moon”, which I transposed to the piano and play to this day. And “If You Just Give Me Some of your Love, I’ll Buy You a V-8 Ford.” Every time I ever try to play “Mother-less Children” (which I also learned from him too) I can’t make it through the whole thing, and If you’ve lost your mother too, I’m sure you can relate to that.
Next time I might let youse guys hear me play those old songs, but why go there? Not Unless I get that lifesized terracotta portrait of my husband done anytime soon. What the heck, I threaten to play the piano and have Charles tape me, let’s see if I could do that. I can play these songs,but not in front of him, he’s too critical, you know the type? …But that would be different anyway–and since it’s just youse guys,me and Charles, and the bigger than life Snoop Poster ( copies for sale on the web site now, just in time for Mother’s Day, or father’s day or the 4th of July…) And I am thinking a bunch of youse guys are probably “Mothers'” for sure..(Digression again. )These are limited editions of 100, signed by this author, and artist. or not. But just to make it simple all are 18″ by 24″ . But That’s a different matter, commerce is not my most important product, or idea; frankly I stink at economics unless it’s ESP economics, Or ESPN economics: I’m great at figuring out which football team’s gona win and why. (It’s a secret talent.)
But if you get a chance, listen to Mance. You can’t buy that kind of experience anymore, but check his site. You can still hear him.
Don’t forget to click on the music “Moon Rise” at the top of this page and listen to me play guitar, rhythm and Slide-Country-Slack Key, with my learned Associates. (back when I could do that)
Kay Buena (AKA) Caroline Abbitt Sauer