My dad used to say that he loved California because the sky was so big and you could see all the way to the horizon; that without mountains or forests to block your view, your mind was free to imagine the possibilities. He loved being living in the west and so do I. And though my affections are divided between California and Louisiana, I think of myself as having a western sensibility. I really do believe in the spirit of individualism and the possibilities of reinvention. I appreciate the west’s expansive, unforgiving landscapes and am passionate about the epic stories they inspire. I suppose it’s not a mystery, then, that some of my favorite fiction is set out here. Think Annie Proulx’s Close Range: Wyoming Stories, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, or Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. This morning, I stumbled upon this band, Balmorhea, who hail from Austin, Texas. One song, and I was hooked. Their music embodies that distinctly western “thing” as does this video. As one viewer commented, after watching the video they wanted to abandon big city life for good. Watch it, and maybe you’ll feel the same. I certainly did.
Just in case you’re interested, they’re playing at Cafe Istanbul in New Orleans on October, 2nd, and in San Francisco, at Bottom of the Hill, on October 29th. I’m ordering my tickets later today.