Judging by the number of “What is that thing? Are you trying to give me nightmares?” emails I received, I thought it was an appropriate moment to consider the lowly crawdad. Here’s what I know about crawdads–no matter how much you might intellectually know that a tiny lobster-like thing can live in your yard, it is always startling to see them; people use them as bait; and people eat them. They are also known as crayfish.
Why this one was wandering around the yard? Who knows? But, hopefully, he will find a spot in the creek more to his liking and eventually make his way down to Dry Fork Creek, which has water in it year-round, where as our creek does not.
And a consideration of crawdads can bring us interesting music. From the distinct sounds of Jessie Mae Hemphill’s Mississippi hill country blues stylings (here), to Doc Watson’s country take (here), to Joe Turners R&B version (here), followed by a little Tennessee Rockabilly from Jack Earls (here).
I always think it’s informative to listen to a bunch of different takes on a song, especially when you have four really different genres, like here. It’s like, because everyone knows what the base song is, you can listen for what each artist brings to it, for the distinctions. There is no “that’s not how the song goes” because these are all how the song goes.
I don’t know. It’s one of those things that makes me feel like this is the possibility of America, each of us doing our own thing, learning from each other, then doing something new. Over and over and over again.
There’s some weird ugly thing in the creek. What should we do with it? Leave it or eat it or fish with it or sing about it.
It just makes me feel like, yeah, that’s right.