There are some nights when Steve’s drums save me. When thinking tangles my feet and strangles my soul, when self doubt and all the infinite things that can go wrong leave me feeling lost and foolish, and a craven part of my spirit wishes I could live with choices less bold.
The notes fall off the staff and words lose their meaning. I’m stuck in cement and dancing is an impossible dream. That’s when I have to stop listening, let the lyrics go, fade the guitars (and the pipes, and whistles, and the organ) and just let my body find that beat.
Action shortcuts doubt and rhythm defies dissolution. With the drums paving the road of movement and time, harmony’s rising curves and the intricate possibilities of melody regain their pleasure. Adventure recaptures its thrill.
Which is a slightly clumsy segue to Ephipany #2:
There are a bunch of songs I haven’t written nearly enough about. It’s funny, when I ask Angus Mohr regulars about their favorites, they give me at least five and then name some more.
This summer, two of my fresh faves are formerly Hank Williams tunes, and while “Jambalaya” is easily recognizable even as it is reborn with the addition of bagpipes, “Alone and Forsaken” has been completely reinvented from tempo to tone. It also represents a style progression for the band– especially the pipe intro that sounds like nothing else they do.
And they do a lot, drifting the corners and crossing genre’s yellow line. They capture glam rock’s strut and slide with T. Rex’s, “Bang a Gong (Get It On),” and Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” before winding down southern back roads with Petty’s “Swinging” and “You Wreck Me.” Punk rock’s “Sorrow” cruises nicely into “Morning Dew” despite the song’s folk origins.
No matter where each song begins, when Angus Mohr plays it, it ends up sounding like Angus Mohr, which is why we all show up in the first place.