In tumultuous and confusing times, optimism and activism are the powerful antidotes for cynicism and fear. Two Bills share songs to assist in making this point.
First B/William Lenker plays a spontaneous Squatters in Zion from his Steamboat Island woodshop, then Dave spiels about courageous – and sadly deceased Olympian – Rachel Corrie, followed by Billy Bragg vehemently spieling on stage before a rollicking snippet of his Great Leap Forward from Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre.
My pal (and frequent collaborator) Wm. Lenker wrote this song but didn’t record it for his fine West of 101 album – i liked it so much that one cold January evening, i showed up at his house on Steamboat Island Road at the end of the Puget Sound and *demanded* that we go into the woodshop and record for my entertainment.
He kindly obliged and laid down various tracks, with guitar, vocals and banjo. I recorded and mixed down the rapidly recorded takes to suit my own old-timey taste, complete with heartfeltness, loquaciousness and longing – background noise of fire and beers included.
Billiam does all the instruments and most of the singing (little bit of my ghost vocals) and i’m on the hook for the recording, producing and mixing.
Alongside raging Lynn Creek, Dave remarks about boulders which are indeed interesting as the sign pointed out, then reads a haibun about books and statues on a curly maple shelf, and poems about buying hardware and fruit in Bucerias, mysterious curves and clouds, and solace for weary delirious travellers, while Wm. Lenker sings the traditional folksong Moonshiner (Rye Whiskey).
From a skunk-scented perch along Mosquito Creek, Dave spiels about feverish dreams in a Mexican clinic, personal archeology, mirages about the Wonder Hotel, and reads verse about late trains, dammed rivers, watching ships, and men in white coats walking past.
Starting at the Steamboat Island Woodshed, Dave rambles salty original freeverse with Wm. Lenker on banjo and traces personal poetic lineage winding through French impressionalist/symbolist and Brittany sea-coaster Tristan Corbière (prefaced by Victor Hugo).
Then – as sleet, slush and hail beats down on the Mosquito Creek studio skylight – rolls into the beat American 50s and 60s with John Sinclair‘s chronicle Brilliant Corners, Jack Kerouac riding trains from Atop an Underwood, and Gary Snyder arriving from sea from The Backcountry ~ fortified with jazz, joints and hot sake.