Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blues Moon Radio playlist for April 28 2015

Tonight's show is a mix of emotions... we'll start out being festive with Papa out raisin' some chickens... Songs will have Papa, Farm or Chicken themes. My Daddy didn't ever raise a chicken that I know of, but I was taken as a young girl to a farm somewhere out in the countryside near Richmond to meet some "folks" of my Daddy's. They had a wooden house with a porch and some benches and chairs. We sat outside and not in the living room (or parlor, as they called it). I was asked to take a walk through the crops. I had no idea why. Well, we picked some food... and came back and shelled peas and cut up watermelon, snapped beans and shucked corn. When my "certified citified" hands were "lookin' purt'near plumb clean wo' out" as our hostess (some relation to Daddy, but I could not figure that part out so I will call her "Aunt Lady") I was put in charge of making the butter. I already knew how to "make butter" - go with Mom to the A&P and grab the box of LandO'Lakes and peel the paper off, put it on a porcelain butter dish and lay a silver butter knife next to it on the lace tablecloth. I know, right? We each have our ways. But I learned a new one. Oh. My. Goodness. Did I learn a new way.

We are not playing it tonight, but Wynonie Harris' "Keep On Churning 'til the Butter Comes" takes a whole lot less time to play than it takes to churn butter. My arms were achin' and my knees got weak. Uncle Somebody or other, whom I'll call "Uncle Man" came outside to take a turn at the churn and then laughed at my eagerness to give it over to him out of sheer exhaustion. Who knew it gets harder the longer you churn? Obvious now, sure, but... who knew then? He cackled as he sauntered back into the house snappin' the one side of his overalls that was buckled. I guess tricking little girls is pretty near the most entertainment that happened down on that farm. He kept on laughing about "getting my goat."

When I couldn't move the paddles at all, I stopped and went inside and they offered me something to drink. It was called "tea." We apparently were the only Southerners provided the rare "tea exemption" to the usual Southern requirement to serve iced tea at all meals except breakfast, when you get hot tea. My Mother didn't love tea so we never had it. Bitter bitter bitter taste compared to my palate's well-established (read as "spoiled brat") taste for Coca-Cola, which I thought the tea was until I "turned up my nose" at it after the first nasty sip.

"That's not Coca-Cola!" I said, realizing immediately I should not have.

"Co'Cola?" said Aunt Lady in a high shrieky voice, "Why that'd be something for a special occasion, wouldn't it, Uncle Man?" He grunted, "Ooooh yes'm. We got none of that elixir here."

I smiled and thanked them and drank every drop of the bitter tea while blisters raised on my palms from the handle off the wooden butter churn. The glass felt cool against the pain and it did quench my incredible thirst on that hot summer day.

We sat down with their very large, yet strangely quiet family, and ate. The vegetables were astonishing. Their taste bore no resemblance to the bland canned vegetables Mom picked up at the A&P. I'd never had anything quite so good as corn on the cob with the butter I'd suffered so in making. The salt and butter mixed with the corn juices, dripping down my hands. It stung incredibly as it seeped into my open blisters, but it was worth it because each bite was better than the last.

We finished, and I offered to help clear the table. I was told "No, you are the guest! You go out on the porch and rest up before y'all get on your way." Before a moment had passed, a wooden bucket was placed at my feet and I was instructed we were having ice cream for dessert and I was the designated paddler. I smiled, and wrapped some cloth from my shirt around my sore paws. Around and around I turned that paddle until we had ice cream that was a mix of heaven and pure bliss.

It was the best thing I'd ever tasted then and I doubt anything will ever displace it.

So, although my Daddy never farmed, he clearly came from a family of fine farmers. They taught me that working makes the food taste better. Now when I get farm-fresh food from farm stands (it did not take me long to get citified again) or from friends who have small farms, I appreciate the work it takes to make something so healthful and filled with juicy-goodness.

That day instilled a tiny bit of farm spirit in me. I even grow my own lettuce on my city deck. Imagine that!

Tonight's "farm-fresh" cuts are dedicated to my Daddy, and his family (whom I never saw again), with love:

The second set of songs are included because:
1) We had a request last week for Johnny Winter from a WUSC alum - so hey, Bob! (didn't have the song you wanted, but... this is a fave of mine and I hope you enjoy it!)
2) Everybody cries for one reason or another and I know some of you have good reason this week. Keep your hope alive but it is okay to cry, too. xoxo and much love to everyone going through an issue that is giving you cause to pause and have concerns. All the best to you all. Miracles happen.

Please note there is a great Blues Jam at Utopia on Saturday, May 2, featuring Johnny Few and Tommy Toglio, of the Brother Band of the '70s. It's going to rock!

Much love from RockyDawg, Blues Defender and Kee Kee the Wonder Horse and from me, your buttery-smooth Blues radio host,
Clair DeLune
Blues Moon Radio

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