Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Last weekend we took the near 300 mile trip north to see our friends Kevin & Julie in Whitby, it’s a very long drive. An American colleague of Orynthia’s commented that she loved road trips, then again she is from the wide open spaces of Texas, so the delights of a busy Friday afternoon on the M1 may not have figured too much in her life on the road, if they did she may have a rather different tale to tell.

We were actually reasonably fortunate and only had problems for about forty-five minutes of our outbound trip, however it’s not a journey I’d like to take too often. The welcome was warm and it was good to see the latest addition to their family in such good health. We only really had the Saturday to explore the local area but managed to use the time well, enjoying a leisurely ride on a steam train to Pickering and back, followed by a quick dash around Whitby itself.

Small as it is, at least Whitby does have an interesting little record shop tucked away between all the chipies and pubs, it’s call Folk Devils and I managed to pick up a great Sun Ra album called Some Blues But Not The Kind’s that Blue. I always enjoy a bit of Sun Ra madness, this album is reasonably restrained by his standards and does feature some great takes on a few “standards”. My favourite is a wonderfully eccentric version of Nature Boy where his piano playing is almost as much Les Dawson as it is Thelonious Monk.

In a change from my usual reading diet of fiction, I have just started reading the book White Bicycles by Joe Boyd. It’s an account of his time in the musical world of the 1960’s both in the States and here in the UK. It sounds as though he managed to keep a reasonably clear head, whilst those around him were losing theirs, as was almost compulsory in that world at that time. He does ask why the English are so embarrassed about their folk music compared to everyone else in the world. Daft question really, who wants to hear lots of middle class people singing in daft accents about the life of a medieval farm worker?

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