On days like today, when I never do find the rhythm of the day and nothing seems to come together how I want it to, and I come home and it’s a little too warm in the house and smells like stale dog, I have one sure fire cure.
Bukka White’s “Shake ‘Em On Down.”
I’m going to share it with you. Go ahead. Download this puppy.
When I hear this, it reminds me of late nights out on the porch, the smell of pine hanging slightly in the air. You can almost hear the crickets and the squeak of a rocking chair in the guitar part.
This is a song for dancing around your house while you do the dishes, hoping for a cool breeze to come in the kitchen window. And this is a song that plays in the background of any party and entices heads to bob. And this is a song for a late night stop on a back road, with a couple of cold beers in you already and one in your hand that hangs slightly behind you and the other one is draped over the shoulder of the guy you’ve enticed out of the car. “Where are your shoes?” “Don’t worry. We’ll find them later.*” “You’re crazy.” “I hear that from people.” “How do you even dance to this?” “You’ve got to come closer.” “I hate this music. It’s so fucking weird.” “Then I’ll dance by myself.” “It’d be better if you were like other girls.”
Well, shit. That sucked. I forgot about that part. I was thinking about the dark trees and the moon and the feel of the gravel on my feet and how good and alive I felt. Fuck it. That’s how I feel when I hear this song, like there should be dancing and sly grins and good times.
I’ve got to stop taking shit like that personally and I’ve got to stop hauling it out like it deserves any space all this time later.
I’d be better off devoting my time to shakin’ ’em on down.
Anyway, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I was trying to convince him to dance to Bessie Smith and I should have known better than to expect him to be comfortable with any song called “Do Your Duty.”
So, yes, “Shake ‘Em On Down.” Good times.
*You will, too. Not the sock, that’s gone, but the shoes are in the back seat where you left them.