My heroes have always been cowboy songsters. No, not them born again country pop stars in the tight jeans and polished smiles. My heroes are traveller's, hobos running from pain; crafting music from wandering miles. I too was a hobo, solo hopping on the fly; trying to outrun them demons. Just as the "Harlem River Blues" caught up with Justin as the reeper always will. I also have a temporary reprieve tethered to the salvation of being loved.
My pack sits dormant and deflated, still smelling of military surplus and sweat. My boots and bedroll beneath the spare bed. Our apartment is simple but filled with life; pets, plants, art and memories. Sometimes we gotta leave to truly appreciate what we have, so I do. Less and less as the lure ebbs and flows as my emotions get tumbled by the frolicking surf.
Today, I am as stationary as a houseplant who occasionally suns on the front porch. Listening to that frequency that only Benjamin Todd and Charley Crockett currently exalt. In it I hear rail cars brakes squealing on a turn or the air clicking to go when they sing but also know an agreement has been made.
Just as Justin Townes Earle sang about trudging that road and writing about it all to save his tattered soul. Without a loving woman to anchor and guide one's sad life; we are like a runaway rigs. I carry it all in my heart, heavier with time but easier to breathe.
Thankfully these few musicians can resonate and remind me of it all. You won't hear them on CMT or country radio as they are that which is authentic. An outlaw grit that exists in their marrow and only from poverty, addiction, crimes of life and loss. Such songs are not made from artificial facades of rodeo buckles, oil or ranching with Jesus. That ever present inner journey rolls through; past people, places and things. Sometimes all we can do is identify with that sentiment of such sad songs; knowing we are not alone.