Friday, February 13, 2009

Got Me So Blind

I have still not yet resolved my technical difficulties. I am struggling to make my system fit into “the” system--and you know it ain’t easy. Add to that about three changes in programs. There’s so much.

Most Wednesday nights for the last three years of Scot's life, he would toddle up the road to Bethal Lane and the home of Jerry and Judy Farnsworth. Much could be said about these two beautiful people, but for these purposes, Jerry was hosting a weekly musical laboratory. At this laboratory’s core were Jerry, Scot and a guy called Kenny Wright.

Both Jerry and Kenny had played for ages around town, in all sorts of outfits. This trio came together at a time when they all had some time. Scot and Kenny bonded big-time as a rhythm section. I’ll say it here; Scot took Kenny under his wing. Kenny had been used to playing a great big, heavy-duty rock and roll rig. Scot got Kenny to strip down to a snare and a high hat, and promptly taught him how to swing.

I wanted to find a classic Jerry song, like Low Rider or 16 Tons (we’ll get to these things), but because it’s Friday 13th, I couldn’t resist this live recording of Scot, singing Carlos Santana’s silky, “Black Magic Woman.” It’s not exactly Scot’s key, but anyway, you’ll get the idea of his sweet Irish tenor voice. He is also playing some of his lyrical signature bass.

Each week, Jerry would invite other musicians to come to the studio, and Jerry/Kenny/Scot would back them up. Jerry recorded all these sessions, and really got to know his room. There are hundreds of recordings (Jerry knows how many). Joining the guys the night of this recording, April 5, 2006, was Mike Stiglitz on space guitar. Scot always enjoyed playing with Mike, who has a very cool rock demeanor, and almost as many boxes as his friend Paul Thomas.

Sadly, Kenny Wright followed Scot into the great-unknown four months later, leaving us bereft by this swift and untimely surprise. Kenny was as charming and loving and positive as a guy you could be. When he died, he was playing with six bands here in Bloomington; his playing was so much in demand.

I haven’t been talking that much about the artwork. Like the music, I am relying on things that are already digital. I’m still working out the digitization process. All the artwork I’ve been showing comes from a body of work Scot created in the last four years of his life. The basis for all the pieces so far, was a ballpoint pen drawing on a sheet of typing paper. He would then scan the drawings and then begin layering the piece with digital information. He did these drawings by the ream.

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