My wife rocking out on guitar by a campfire on a cattle ranch

Everything She Needs

Several years ago I was invited by the Save The Waves Coalition to be a part of their Redgate Ranch Music Festival, to create event artwork and paint live at the event itself while enjoying live music from some great bands on the event’s single stage.⠀

My first night there, after the music finally ended, and after packing up my gear stepping over the passed out revelers who decided to pitch camp where they lay, and after fishing yet another jacket from the van, I heard something that caught my interest. More music. But not from the stage and not so loud. Softer. Zeppelin tunes on acoustic guitars. Neil Young songs like old church hymns in the night. Older folk tunes that have been sung for hundreds of years. Maybe a banjo or mandolin as well. Melodies seasoned by the flames of a roaring campfire beside an old ranch house. ⠀

I was drawn to this expression of life through song and sat mesmerized for the next few hours as this crew of musicians wove their songs into tapestries billowed upward by the smoke of the fire rising into the cold night sky. One would call out a tune for another, ranging from obscure Irish folk melodies to classic rock tunes I heard on the AM radio driving down the coast earlier that day. Without missing a beat, they’d all jump in and play these songs like they’d known them forever, and if they didn’t, they’d improvise so well I never knew it. ⠀

I’ve heard Jazz musicians play songs together without rehearsing and demonstrate that Jazz is a language, and if you speak the language it’s just a matter of keeping the conversation moving. This campfire session, hours into the night as it bled into morning was the closest I’ve ever seen non-jazz music come to that communal language. I could have sat there forever.⠀

I remember this campfire with tears right now. The end of musical gatherings that allow musicians like those to share their art and soul with non-musical chumps like me is a tragedy they can’t calculate into vital-sign statistics- but it is no less a loss of life in it’s own way. High time to pray. We’re gonna need a mighty Resurrection one day. 

Everything She Needs

Original Size: 16" x 20"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2019
Price of Original: $750

Additional Artwork Information:

Method: Other Studio Work

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