Undismayed is still alive. Trying to keep it in under a month since I last posted. Pathetic really...
Some of the time away has been spent thinking deeply about the forthcoming Unsullied and Undismayed Bible Questions & Answers. It is in the production stages.
I have been listening to a lot of Molly O'Day to get me in the proper state of mind to ask and seek such answers. Like--why did she and Wade Mainer so often try to fit too many syllables into most of the lines in a gospel tune like "Going to walk right in and make myself at home" or "Mother's Prayers Will Follow Me"?
Two incredibly great songs, by the way.
Earlier I had noted that theologically speaking it was important to use the text referred to by serpent handlers. I am further refining my approach to emphasize the kind of questions that a theology rooted in hilliblly gospel would ask and/or needs answered. Likelihood of survivability of the tribulation, for one. Wearing the armor/starry crown/"looking at these nail scars here in my hands," for two, and so one.
During this interlude I did spend some essential and very welcome time at Clifftop playing old time music. Hard to think of a better way to spend a week. I got home and played with a friend who had been at Clifftop and happened to be passing though here, and it wasn't quite the same absent the full experience of being there.
It didn't help that I took my fiddle out of the case and the neck had popped off of it, maybe helped by the torrential rain throughout the week. Or a sign from King Jesus that it is high time that my fiddling was brought to bear--or stoned to death or left for dead on a bed of snow, so cold, so cold. I'll put this question to him when I'm walking in the Crystal City. But the signs here on earth were pretty clear. Clifftop is good that way. Clarifying as well as purifying.
Even if Clifftop did give me the come to Jesus feeling on the fiddle, I did feel reasonably good with my banjo playing. Since I see the bajo and the banjo as filling a related space in some ways (this may be musicological bullshit but it is my feeling on the subject insofar as the styles operate and have developed) I think great attention to the bajo is due. Or as great as I can swing it while cranking out pages this fall.
Undismayed is heading to California, which you either do or do not know and either do or do not care about. The pickings are pretty good for conjunto/norteño music out there, as you can imagine, as they seem to be for about every kind of music, and likely more so.
But I'll be missing the Sacramento Conjunto festival (and as a result, tragically, I will be missing the Hometown Boys) because of prior commitments. Inauspicious, but so it goes. My feeling is that in a couple of months I will have some other opportunities.