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Through The Window Of A Train

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I see the Gulf Of Mexico from my hotel window here in Pensacola. Yesterday we were in Birmingham, the day before Cleveland and tomorrow Orlando. We don’t ride trains anymore in this country, but the windows of the bus frame an ever changing landscape of American life. Life at home seems to evolve by itself quite nicely without my intervention while I am gone and I marvel at that. It is quite apparent when I get back to the farm and have to re-orient myself in the world that is my wife and daughter’s… and so it goes. We speak on the phone and in this age of almost constant connection this seems to suffice in a minimal kind of way. On occasion, I will be joined by my wife and daughter and sometimes my son and we ride the interstate ribbon together for a while. I am reminded by the great song by Blue Highway, ‘Through The Window Of A Train,’ and there is a part of me that would like to be able to leave memories like this behind.

Through The Window Of A Train
Tim Stafford & Steve Gulley

Everybody drives the same old roads these days
Don’t see a thing but they know the way
Every mile’s a marker every town’s the same
And a place to stop is not the same

Daddy was a brakeman on the L & N
Sometimes he’d let me ride along with him
No matter where we’d stop along the way
Everybody knew his name

Different stories down every line
People working hard just to live and die
I saw it all once upon a time
Through the window of a train

And we started back the way we came
Like people moving through a picture frame
Seems the whole world’s further down the track
But I’m always looking back

I don’t expect you all to understand
Or see the country like a railroad man
So many things you’d never realize
Unless you saw them with these eyes

Birmingham to Jackson hear the whistle call
And the sun goes down like a big red ball
In my memory I still see it all
Through the window of a train

Unfortunately, busses just don’t seem quite as romantic as trains but perhaps my children will one day fondly remember the landscape of my world… through the window of their mind’s eye.

So much memory is lost in the space of a generation and that is indeed as it should be. The new ones have so much to do forging their own frontiers that it would almost be a waste of time to revisit the paths their parents and grandparents took and yet, as I have found in my life, their will be a time when they will wonder what it was like… back then.

Well, then is now for me right now and as I look out my window at the Gulf Of Mexico in the one hundred and fifteen degree summer day, I am thankful for the fragile convenience of air conditioning. The days are getting shorter and night is always falling somewhere and it is nice to take this moment to reflect a little before I go to the gig to play a show with my musical family.

And so it goes… and here is that show:

Hot Tuna 21, 2011
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Acoustic Trio
Vinyl Music Hall
Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Goodbye To The Blues
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Second Chances
5. 99 Year Blues
6. Come Back Baby
7. I See The Light
8. Children Of Zion
9. How Long Blues
10. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. Parchman Farm
2. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
3. Things That Might Have Been
4. That’ll Never Happen No More
5. Uncle Sam Blues
6. Serpent Of Dreams
7. I Am The Light Of This World
8. Vicksburg Stomp
9. Candy Man
10. River Of Time
11. Blue Railroad Train
12. Just Because
13. Encore: Mann’s Fate

Well friends are to be found everywhere and us old guys have to stick together. Brothers of the gold tooth!

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I really loved the old L & N train stuff… as you can see, the hotel in Pensacola was the old train stations.

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Well, nothing lasts forever… that’s for sure… we said goodbye to the bygone days of the Louisville And Nashville and drove off to Orlando, which may or may not be the happiest place in the world.

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Seven some hours later, and there we were. Two minutes at the hotel and off to the Plaza Live where we played another show. Dangermuffin opened for us and we like these guys a lot. Hope to see them down the road. Our show was as follows:

Hot Tuna 22, 2011
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Acoustic Trio
The Plaza Live
Orlando, Florida
Thursday, August 4, 2011

1. I See The Light
2. Children Of Zion
3. Bread Line Blues
4. How Long Blues
5. More Than My Old Guitar
6. Goodbye To The Blues
7. Come Back Baby
8. There’s A Bright Side Somewhere
9. I Know You Rider
10. Second Chances
11. 99 Year Blues
12. Uncle Sam Blues
13. God Shepherd
14. Parchman Farm
15. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
16. Encore: Embryonic Journey

Now we’re off to Ft. Lauderdale… Living the dream in Florida!

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Set Lists, Thoughts, Venues Tags:
  1. Steve Singer
    August 5th, 2011 at 13:46 | #1

    Jorma, have you heard the old bluegrass tune “The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore”? Great train song.

  2. Joe Moore
    August 5th, 2011 at 15:23 | #2

    Jorma , Your diary and reflections are wonderful to read . Thank you !

  3. Richard
    August 5th, 2011 at 20:08 | #3

    Good stuff Jorma..Thanks

  4. Cyndy Consentino
    August 6th, 2011 at 12:48 | #4

    Your words are beautifully written and mean so much!
    Lost a 45 year old friend this week suddenly. Life is so short.
    We all need to slow down and enjoy it.

    Thanks again for you special words

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