I have an obsession with two things – food and music. When I’m dead and gone my life’s work will have been dedicated to the incredibly visceral combination of the two. This is the kind of thing where level of intelligence is absolutely moot. It’s about that deep inward feeling that consumes us when we’re experiencing it. They are truly original forms of therapy. The heart is made up of four chambers and I’m apt to say that music and food are two of them.
Every Sunday, a tiny “Rustic American Eatery & Bakery” known as Salt of the Earth hosts incredibly talented guests for their music series. This restaurant is located in Fennville, MI which has an approximate population of only 1,400 people. You could miss driving through it if you sneezed and you certainly would regret it. This tiny town is the buckle to West Michigan’s agricultural belt. To quote their website, “Salt of the Earth celebrates the bounty of the Michigan farm, beverage, and roots music community.”. They actually partner with farmers, growers, brewers and distillers within a fifty-mile radius to provide a long forgotten quality of freshness in today’s food and it’s perfect partner-in-crime… music.
Last night we experienced, local to West Michigan indie-folk sensation, The Crane Wives for an unexpected feeling of euphoria (at seemingly the world’s best venue). They usually play to much larger crowds, but Salt of the Earth is a very special place. Their genre is outside of my go-to-music, however their enthusiastic passion still invoked something in me. They introduced The Diving Bell as their only “happy” song and then laughed because it starts off by referencing drowning. Their metaphors were raw and perfect as if they were lovingly ripened and picked from the garden of life.
I don’t mean to misquote one of their singers, but she said something to which I directly related. I wish I had it recorded, but I believe it was along these lines, “These songs are from our own personal experiences and anxieties. We interpret our emotions through our music. And that’s hard to do when you’re happy because when you’re happy…you know…you’re distracted.”. I’m telling you a huge gong crashed in my brain after she said that and life made just a little bit more sense right then.
Here we were in this perfect sized room with probably less than seventy-five people. On the table sat a bottle of Bordeaux, handmade aged cheddar pierogies with buttered red cabbage, a sweet-smoky wood-fired pizza and the best damn s’more on the planet. The timelessly enchanting melodies of The Crane Wives brought the whole experience full circle, making our toes tingle. Our server said they were “just the cutest band in the whole world”. She may have been right, but they reminded me more of a wolf-pack howling at the moon in perfect three-part harmony. Maybe a cute wolf-pack, though.
The Crane Wives @ Salt of the Earth – 10/26/14 (photo credit: ShantsBySchantz)
The truth is our food came from the surrounding fields and our music came from our neighbors. This was more than the essence of Americana. This was more than a campaign known as Pure Michigan. This was more than West Michigan, even. This was the pioneering spirit of our home and all of us there accepted that we were a part of it together. Which reminds me, those other two chambers of our heart are exactly that – home and acceptance. Damn, that was delicious.
Scotty J ~ “If we can focus on living and loving locally, we can lead by example globally.”
Check ‘em out here on the web…
…and find your way to ‘em in person!!
(This post was originally published at http://brassknucklelovebutter.blogspot.com/2014/10/food-music-home-and-acceptance.html)