Monday, October 10, 2011

Bard of the South

It doesn't matter where our journey takes us, there's always something new to discover or someone new to meet.

I met Rickey Pittman for the first time at the Ozark Creative Writers conference in Eureka Springs Arkansas. An author, he signed in to the event on Thursday night and was told about an Open Mic planned for the evening but they hadn’t set the mic up yet. He jumped right in to volunteer to help out. He just happened to have one in his car. That's the type of guy he is. Ready to help out where he can. He truly enjoys what he does and gives back when given the opportunity. And the journey for us began. He emceed the event on Thursday evening, treating us to the Irish brogue of a home he’s never been, and capturing us all with his songs and storytelling. Throughout the course of the weekend I would have several opportunities to talk with Rickey, as well as enjoy his musical talent.

As I write this, I’m enjoying his current CD – Bard of the South. Along with some Civil War classics, he shares originals like Arkansas Gypsy and Cry, Little Artillery Man. Each song will pull you in a different direction. One minute you’re laughing at the lyrics while hearing the pain many experienced in the war between the States.

Rickey entertains at many children's programs and Celtic festivals. If you want talent at your next event, I recommend you contact Rickey Pittman. You will be blessed.


Monday, October 3, 2011

The Drum

For the past 3 or 4 years, I've been in search of a drum. I wasn't sure what style I wanted, but I knew the sound had to be rich, like the sound of horse's hooves pounding across the hard, packed earth. Whenever I came across drums in stores or vendor booths, I'd touch one or two but nothing pulled to me... until Saturday.

After all the craziness around here I decided to take the day off and head for a pow wow being held in Hardy AR, about an hour south of me. I hadn't been to one in several years. Just the thought of making contact with Mother Earth and feeling the vibrations of the host drum around me was all the incentive I needed. Pow wow's are also a great place to pick up supplies such as sage, cedar and sweet grass. All three items came home with me as well as 2 pairs of earrings. But my most precious purchase of the day was my drum.

At first I thought it was part of a display at the vendor booth for the only thing the gentleman had was a wide variety of cases with silver and turquoise jewelry. But I kept going back and forth until I noticed a young man tapping one of them... this one... so I stopped to talk with him. He told me the top was bull skin and had a richer tone than the other one he had, which was made of elk. As he made contact with the drumstick to the head of the drum, I felt the pull and asked how much.

When a vendor smiles and tells you the price is dependent on the type of mood he is in, you know you're going to buy something. He told me what the drum sold for, but the price he shot me was lower. He also included the drumstick and gave me choice of any of the three he had on hand. I chose the dark purple and chocolate cowhide braid. He was also kind enough to accept a check - something vendors seldom do because the cash is their travel money for the weekend.

As soon as I touched the instrument, I felt the electricity travel through my body, bringing me to tears. The drum had come home.

I look forward to many hours honoring the God and Goddess with it's beautiful music, for I know however I play it, it will sing with love.

Many Blessings