I've been looking at various places we could go on a little before-spring road trip: I've sent for information from Omaha, the whole state of Kansas, and Memphis. Memphis sounds to me like the most interesting. I want to incorporate some of the tours around the city into our little getaway. We always learn more on group tours than we do on our own. Of course, they are pretty pricey, too. I will need to choose carefully.
Here's the unique problem Cliff and I have: Even with all the information to be found online, and even though there's a website for any place of interest you might want to visit, it's still awfully easy for those of us who just fell off the turnip truck into the middle of Memphis or any other metropolitan area to miss a connection... yeah, even in Kansas City; the stories I could tell! This is why I like pre-arranged bus trips; they are already planned for me. But the two of us are going to do this, by hook or by crook. I've been looking at hotels and watching the VRBO website. I found one really nice little place, very reasonable, with good reviews. The trouble is, on VRBO, if you need to cancel, most of them will only allow cancellation if you do it months ahead of time. As I told Cliff, if anything comes up in the few days before our trip so we can't go, we won't be able to get our money back. He says not to worry about it, the likelihood is we'll stay healthy. If not, we lose some money. It wouldn't be the first time.
I want to see Graceland, Sun Studios, and all the other historic spots. Honestly, it looks like you could spend a week in this town and find plenty to see.
In the world of books: Believe it or not, I'm getting very close to the end of "Kentucky Traveler", Ricky Skagg's autobiography. The fact I have an Amazon Echo, Alexa, really enhances any book I read by country music artists: The author will mention a song I'm not sure I've heard, and I'll stop reading and have Alexa play it. I'm still working on reading "The Man in Back" by Jimmy Kapps, one of the main session players in Nashville.
Here's what Jimmy said about the first #1 hit he played on: "One of the first huge hits I played on was "Easy Lovin'" by Freddie Hart. I was on that song because of Ray Edenton. Ray was a member of the A-team. He'd created the style of rhythm playing that became so popular in Nashville, and he'd get so many calls that he couldn't do it all... so he'd recommend me and another guy named Bobby Thompson to work the sessions. Ray was very busy. But he also liked to fish. One day, he called me and asked if I could play a session with Freddy Hart in place of him, so he could go fishing. Freddie Hart was making what would probably be his last album for Capitol Records."
Jimmy goes on to say the work he is proudest of is "The Gambler" with Kenny Rogers. "The coolest thing about "The Gambler", at least for me, is that everyone got to hear me and Ray Edenton before you got to hear Kenny sing anything! We start off the song. The acoustic guitar is not like a lead instrument. When a song leans itself to acoustic, you've really got to come up with something unique that will fit the song. It's not as easy on an acoustic guitar." "There we were, on Kenny's biggest record, and the acoustic guitars had four bars of just rhythm and finger pickin'."
So of course I told Alexa to play The Gambler, so I could hear the acoustic picking he's talking about. Once Kenny began singing, I told Alexa to stop. Cliff said, "Hey!!!" as though I'd insulted him by stopping the song. I explained to him I just wanted to hear the guitar-playing at the beginning.
Before spring actually arrives, I'm liable to be reading whole books to you on my blog, just to have something different to say! Ah well, if our road trip turns out well, that will give me something to talk about. If it turns out going wrong, it might still make a good story.
It's gently raining here today, and there will be more of the same tomorrow. I'm not sure whether we'll do the St. Patrick's Day parade in Lexington Saturday or not. It's usually too wet, too cold, or both. I would sort of like to see the Kansas City St. Patrick's Day parade just because Eric Stonestreet, from Modern Family, is the Grand Marshall. But I don't want to go badly enough to push somebody into take me. In fact, I imagine if somebody came to my house Sunday and said, "Get ready. I'm taking you to the parade," I'd realize I really don't want to go at all. Sometimes it's more fun talking about doing something than it is actually doing it.
Alrighty friends. I think I'm done. Spring is at hand. I feel it coming.