Singin’ the Blues

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Over the past week, I have experienced the nightmare of losing my oldest and dearest friend, my former sister-in-law, the “Sarah” after whom I named my own daughter, Sarah-Lynda, and a person I watched slowly deteriorate via an abusive marriage and the use of drugs to numb her pain.  I tried and tried to get her to leave him.  That is what a good friend does when she sees someone she loves being abused.  I tried to get her into rehab, but her pain was simply too great. I failed on both counts.  Now she is gone.

The specific details of her death are still under investigation, and the event weighs heavily on my heart.  I am grieving.  Today would have been her 56th birthday.

People express their grief in different ways.  Some cry.  Some go into isolation.  I try to stay as busy as I possibly can, cramming every minute of my day with work, play, music and activities. I may write a new song…or poetry.  I may start a new art project, or I may go out dancing.  It’s what I need to do to take my mind off of what has happened.  I have never been the type to sit around and feel sorry for myself.

I abhor bowling, but my husband loves it….so we’ve been going every single day at around noon, just for the exercise, and for me, the diversion.  I’m a terrible bowler, but that isn’t the point.  Live music is also very comforting to me, so last night, we went to see old timer, Terry Evans, at the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland’s Alberta Arts District.

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The Alberta Rose is a small venue compared to the other giant venues located here and elsewhere, but I love an intimate setting for music.  We had several similar venues when I lived in Houston, and those were the ones that attracted me over the big ticket venues.  Last week, we went to see, “Vandaveer” in Seattle at my friend’s studio.  This week, it was Terry Evans at what used to be a Pentecostal church.  The seats are old and funky, and the entire atmosphere is retro…but I love it there….and the blues we heard last night made things better by measures.

Born in 1937, Terry Evans is an African American, R&B, Blues and sould singer, guitarist and songwriter.  He has worked with the likes of Bobby King, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker, Joan Armatrading, Boz Scaggs, Hans Theessink, Maria Muldaur, and my personal favorite, Ry Cooder.  Cooder once stated that he always thought that Evans made a better  frontman than he did.   Here is his discography:

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Evans comes from Mississippi, and you can really hear that influence in his long, low refrains and soulful lyrics.  I feel grateful that he spoke so directly to my aching heart last night.  I am grateful to my husband and to my bestie for being so kind and loving toward me during this sad time.  I hope you will enjoy Terry Evans’ music now.  This video is not recent….but he still does this tune.  I loved it last night.

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