I'm at the Saxon Pub (sexy pad for the super bad) witnessing Deadman, a young band of very serious young men who reference Springsteen, Van Morison and The Bad in the same song. Three guitars, Hammond B3, drums and bass ring out in the not half-filled club on a Tuesday night. I wonder if this is an Austin thing, but I have stumbled on to unexpected musical oases all over the world that never make the news, and I'm glad to be here. I have not been prowling the club crawl in the Texas capital very much of late and there is not a face on stage that I can put a name to, but the music is loud, heartfelt and strong and it makes me smile and breathe just a little bit deeper than when before I walked in.
Next week I travel to NYC to play a show honoring Levon Helm's lifetime of song and here is evidence that he has not spent it in vain. Here is evidence of his and the rest of The Band's footprint, not just in sound or even in elements of style that owe nothing to the era of MTV but rather to the same indefinable thrift store spirit that will never be about a big payday or glossy two page spread, but rather to a feeling of being on the border of something bigger than all of us. That thing is Spirit, the thing that Madison Ave has always chased, that every truck commercial or CMT video has aped, that Rumi chanted about, that Picasso tried to catch in thicker and thicker layers of paint.