Steve Madewell

Pedestrian Ramblings

Summer Abundance 

I'm sitting on the porch at the creek house with the occasional whirring sound of humming birds in my ears as they dart to and from the feeders.  After a breakfast topped off with biscuits from the oven, fresh honey and Irish butter I am nearly in a coma.  The roar of the 17 year cicadas has finally began to deminish and the tree branches where they have deposited there eggs have browned.  Other than that all of the vegitation is lush and green with the occassion patch of summer blossoms or early seed heads.   

Yesterday was the first day of a 10 day vacation and it was a big day.  It with a 7:30 am stop by the Toledo Farmers market to buy blueberries and sweet cherries grown by some friends in Michigan then across state to the NEO winery region.  At 12:00 I was performing at the Firehouse with the Next Best Thing.  Behinds us we had the spectacular blue sky, blue water backdrop of the Lake Erie Central Basin.  Got done at 4:00 and bolted over to Kosicek Winery for a second show and there was a smile on my face when I hit the bed.  

Although it has been extremely dry across the northern half of Ohio the temperature has been nearly perfect for the past few weeks with exceptional blue sky and remarkable sunsets.

Life is good here.

Before breakfast I was playing around with a Doc Watson inspired version of Columbus Stockade Blues.  This is a great old traditional tune that is often thought of as a bluegrass song.  Doc recorded it in a minor scale that is really engaging and with a little tinkering I came up with a suitable arrangement for me.  My mom and Aunt Pearl used to sing this and this has always been one of my favorite songs.  I am looking forward to performing this version.    

As I was driving over from Toledo yesterday I happen to listen to Rod Stewards Maggie May which always brings back a host of memories from when I first heard that song.  I was in the 8th grade.  For the first time I started to think about what was going on in England in the early '70s to inspire his album Every Picture Tells a story.  Mandolin's were not a common instrument in popular music at that time and is featured in both Maggie May and Mandolin Wind.  

Brits are often credited with re introducing American's to US blues, fascinating the think they might have played a role in re introducing this instrument into American popular music.