Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Banjos and Rotor Blades

Me and Old Man Luedecke.

Old Man Luedecke is possibly the greatest banjo player Chester Nova Scotia has ever produced. I say ‘probably’ because I don’t think I have met them all. I will say however, that he is so good, that I once jeopardized a 12 year marriage and half my government pension to see him. I wouldn’t have done that for the second best banjo player from Chester.
It isn’t just me that thinks so highly of him. He has won several Juno Awards for Folk and Singer Song Writer of the Year. Mind you awards are not always very impressive. I won four Junos in the mid eighties for producing some of Glass Tiger’s greatest hits, and Justin Bieber just won Universal Artist of the Year (which, if you ask me is terribly wrong on several levels).
I’m not sure where or how I heard his music because I’m not connected to the indie-folk-banjo-arts scene in Nova Scotia. About a year and a half ago I tried to illegally download his work, I mean find someone to share his music with me. Nobody on the internet was willing to admit that they had his albums. Surprising, considering what people are willing to show on the web.
My kids sing his songs. There is something special about hearing a seven year old stomp and sing:
Don’t fuss, don’t fight it no
Take that wrong and right it ho
Can always live on rice and potatoes
Take your heart’s candle and relight it
I quit my Job,
I’m free today
I don’t have a lot in common with Old Man Luedecke. His real name is Chris, mine is not. He isn’t old. He plays the banjo, I fly a helicopter. Still, there is something about the simple truths in his songs that hits me like a rotor blade. 
Should be proud of where I am
All my friends work their dreams with their hands
And truly this is the promised land
All my closest friends work their dreams with their hands. Although not all of them quit their jobs to do what they do (some of them were fired), they all sacrificed to get where they are. Some sacrificed more than others and unfortunately, some may give the ultimate sacrifice.

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