The People Who Slow Your Roll

It was a whirlwind weekend.  I drove down to North Carolina on Friday, played a show in the Burton Family holler on Saturday night, then drove home yesterday.  Today, I worked at my building all day.  Tonight, I'm so tired, I can barely keep my eyes open.  

Rather than groggily reflecting on my hectic week, I'm going to dedicate this blog to my old friend Gregg Ostrom.  Gregg and I have been playing music together now for the past 12 years.  We've traveled all over, from Austin to North Carolina, playing everything from big festival stages to small back porches, from zoos to racquetball courts.  He's been the most dependable and talented musician I've had the pleasure to know personally, and probably the closest thing I've got to a brother.

Gregg and I met at the Old Town School of Folk Music.  Then he picked up a recording gig with me in 2005, and I've been playing with him ever since.  We've played soul, rock, bluegrass, country, blues, jazz, and everything in between.  He mostly plays the guitar, but also excels at the trombone and the mandolin.   And he's a damn fine singer and a tremendous human being.  He's quirky, smart, soft-spoken, and big-hearted. This past weekend marks the 4th time that he has traveled all the way from Chicago to Greensboro to play with me in a farmfield in the middle of nowhere.

My scenery is changing very quickly these days.  I feel like I'm experiencing my life as a blurry flip book of snapshots.  Most images, my mind cannot summon.  But others are very easy to recall.  Below is a picture that my mind will never forget.  After our set on Saturday night, Gregg and I sat around this campfire, listening to music, watching the stars, and roasting pineapples on long forks.  As quickly as the night moved, I will not forget that scene.  I attribute that to my buddy Gregg. 

In a cellular world that makes it easy for us to scroll through pictures faster than ever, I have a growing appreciation for the very few people in my life that are able to slow me down, the ones who help me to savor the moment and create indelible memories.  Reader, I wish you these kinds of friends.  They are truly priceless.  

And so is sleep.  Off to bed. See you next Sunday. -Em


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