Thursday, April 8, 2010

U.S. Highway 65

I grew up in Clarks Grove, a block off of U.S. Highway 65. Clarks Grove is the highest point in Freeborn County. The slope is so long, so even, that all sense of hill vanishes. But don't tell that to the truckers. When I was growing up, 2-lane U.S. 65 was a main corridor from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. I fell asleep to the southbound sound of the big-rigs blowing black as they labored up to make the crest.

I have bludgeoned you poor people with the grim blues of Townes Van Zandt. Well, this is another Van Zandt tune, one that has become a bluegrass standard. And who better to knock it out than the New Grass Revival, a bunch of kids who 30 years ago injected real musicianship and drive into what was becoming a dead musical form. Sam Bush, Pat Flynn, John Cowan and Juilliard dropout Bela Fleck.

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