If I Were A Carpenter

Lets go to Luckenback Texas…

A couple of years ago we made it down to Willies 4th of July Picnic in Luckenbach, TX…

Willie Glancing at us Picnic in Luckenbach


Recently a recording of The Willie Nelson Blues Band surfaced and it reminded me of when we saw that formation at Willies 4th July Picnic in Lukenbach, TX.

It was a scorching hot day summers day and we were staying at a ranch somewhere near Austin.   As we headed into the show The Falc made an unannounced appearance, coming down from Colorado for a short but intense sojourn.

That was the first of many surprises in an very pivotally formational experience.

It was my first encounter with a bratwurst wrapped in a tortilla.   Something so simple and yet so brilliant.   It opened me up to a whole new understanding of what’s possible.

So here is a little gallery of the pictures that I have. Click on the images for a larger version…

Some cowgirl wanted to party with Christian and wear his hat.   Before long the chicks boyfriend ended up wearing the hat.

There are a couple things I remember from the day.   Cans of Shiner Bock and singing Happy Birthday to America.

There was a lot of boob flashing going on too.   I tried to get a picture and remember thinking no one back home is going to believe this.   But I couldn’t time it right, so the last picture is kind of random.

One Year Anniversary

Luke Harris, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi

That's me on the left, photographed with Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi. Unnamed Packers fan on the right.


Today marks the one year anniversary of meeting Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi back stage at a show.

I was on a trip in Omaha Nebraska for work.   I won the tickets in a contest on Twitter and they included before the show back stage passes.   It was a real treat getting to to meet the President and First Lady of the Blues, couldn’t have happened to a better guy!

Thankfully there was a professional photographer on hand to record the encounter. The ones taken with my phone turned out to be pictures of the floor.

Derek and his guitar tech

We were the last ones to come through, so we got some extra time to hang with them.   Even though this was the second time I met Derek and I had a good idea of what I wanted to tell them, I didn’t make much sense.

I tried to tell him something meaningful about how good he is and how I was blown away when I fist saw him 12 years ago and about how much better he is getting. But, you know…

The first time I met Derek was in 1997 I think at the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins.   I followed him in to the bath room after the show.   Captive audience for a convo!   His dad was waiting at the door for him because he was still only 17 or 18.

That show was incredible and the club was half full.   I’ve been a huge fan of Derek’s even since.

I burned a bunch of CD’s for them. Some old Coltrane gigs, Taj Mahal and some others I thought he would be into.   He was looking forward to playing them in the bus.   Unfortunately I didn’t have much for Susan.   She said she was into Freddie King and Johnny “Guitar” Watson.

I met the Packers fan at the bar when I was waiting to go back stage.   I knew he deserved my extra back stage pass when he said something like “When I meet Derek I’m going to tell him to come play in Wisconsin”.

He had driven 9 hours to see the band.   And it blew his mind to go back stage.   I’m not sure how I found out that he was a Packers fan.   It might of been when I asked him who had done more for America, John Elway or Derek Trucks.   I think he said he was at that Super Bowl, the pinnacle moment in the NFL when John Elway hoisted the trophy.   Pretty sure he didn’t remember it that way though…

Midnight In Harlem

The show was really different as both Derek and Susan had just formed the band after breaking their separate solo groups.   Nearly every song was a either a new one for them or a new cover tune.   And it’s a band of all stars, plain and simple.    In every regard.

Susan Tedeschi sang A Woman’s Gotta Have It by Bobby Womack.   Not the greatest recording, but here it is:

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Derek Trucks played the most beautiful solo at the end of it.   Typically when he solos he just goes crazy and wails and it makes your jaw drop.

But on this one he was restrained and held back.   I don’t know what it was, the string of notes or how expressive he was but it just took my breath away.   And I still can’t get it out of my mind, even a year later.

Mostly because Derek was making it very clear to me that I needed to be taking better care of my wife!   She is the finest girl in North America, but after almost 10 year of marriage I wasn’t really showing her.

Our relationship is looking more like something out of a Neil Diamond & Barbara Streisand song:

So one year on things are in a much better place.   Really glad I thought it over before it was too late. I’m glad Derek convinced me, now let Bobby convince you:


My bag is sinking low, and I do believe its time…

Recently I was subjected to a prolonged experience that resulted in some mild self-loathing.

A song came along and did me a favor, rearranged a few things.   I invite you to assume a contemplative posture and mediate on this:

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The Allman Brothers Band doing The Weight with Susan Tedeschi and Chuck Leavell sitting in.   The brothers have covered this number a couple times.   This one is from the Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana on 5-5-2007.

Their treatment here resembles the Aretha Franklin cover, which featured Duane.   I like the laid back feel, it’s real greasy.   Chuck greasing the pocket like Barry Beckett and Derek sliding around like Duane Allaman.   Duane and Barry, may their souls rest in peace.

I love how they take it down and bring it back with the follow through.

Sending regards for everyone.

A Matter for Public Debate

I work in a high-rise office building.  The workers on my floor are mostly women; only a handful of men.  Despite the fact there is a restroom on every floor, men from other floors come to my floor to use the restroom.  They come straight from the stairwell with their newspapers, go into the men’s room, spend at least twenty minutes in there, and then leave directly the way they came.  They have no other business on my floor.  It’s always the same group of four or five old, fat guys. 

A couple weeks ago, I go in there and the fattest one, I think he’s the ringleader, he’s camped out in there.  He comes out of the stall and our eyes meet.  This isn’t the first time.  He knows that I know that he doesn’t work on my floor.  He knows I’m on to him.  He feels compelled to offer an unsolicited explanation.  He says, “The bathroom is so much nicer on your floor.”  Nicer?  What the hell does that mean?

You know they don’t walk multiple flights of stairs to take a piss.  They visit my floor for one reason only: taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.  How much “nicer” would my restroom be without daily performances by the Traveling Dingleberries?

This guy acts like he’s discovered an oasis in the desert.  And the fat ass just couldn’t keep it to himself.  He had to tell four other nasty fat guys where the best the place to go is.  I picture him chastising some dude for using the toilet on his own floor: “What are you doing man??  Go to the 10th floor for that.  It’s much nicer.”

Can I get a ruling on this?  Is any restroom in a 30-floor building fair game?  Shouldn’t people have to use the closest bathroom to their desk like they use the nearest exit during a fire drill?

Very Important Meeting

“We’ve got a packed agenda today guys, so why don’t we try to move along as quickly as we can…”

Jeff Austin on Beef

Ronnie McCoury, Drew Emmitt & Jeff Austin

At a recent show Jeff Austin, the world famous mandolin player, announced that he fed Ronnie McCoury his first beef sandwich.   At Portillo’s.

From where I stand in life I was completely overjoyed by the announcement.   But from where I stood in the crowd, in Chicago no less, it wasn’t too well received.   People booed, saying it should have been Al’s #1.

Personally, I’ve never been to Al’s #1.   Shocking, I know, but it’s the truth.   Cunn Toddingham swears by it and I respect his opinions.

Jeff was kind enough to weigh in on this age old debate, posted here without his permission:


And for further pleasure, here is Sam Bush sitting in with Yonder Mountain Strin Band at Teluride 2008.

“No Expectations”

The Whole Shit is on Pause, Every-Cot-Dam-Thing, Until I See This

Bob Falcon is Better at Karaoke Than This Guy

One Bad Motherfucker