June 21. Mark it down on the calendar.  Madison is going to sound so good. If you’re a musician – maybe all you can do is hum – it’s time to do your thing. Watch and then sign up!


It started in a small oil town in Texas, where he was born into a family of Baptists who loved song. Daddy would come home drunk, wake up and beat him with a belt unless he sang tunes sufficiently pretty. What singing meant: acceptance, relief, punishment. His mature style was full of sudden pauses, like he’s stopping to kick a stone, and great upwelling swoops. Words get underscored with a shocking intake of air, as if these words had delivered a sudden gut punch. The world terrified and shocked this guy, and the shock was visceral, communicated without examination. The lines are constantly nuanced, not taken for granted, which in part you can attribute to having learned that holding a listener’s attention meant the difference between a beating and its opposite.