Intro Rebecca Marx
Photo Credit Dani Adelman
After a mad dash across the U.S. on his spring tour, Luke Redfield recaps the last part of his journey in his third, and final Tour Diary entry. Welcome him home as he is joined by guitar virtuoso Sam Moss onstage at The Warming House on Friday, May 27th. Let him remind you that stories and songs are forever, the language of eternity.
He has a big grey beard, shiny eyes, and a dusty cowboy hat which bends at the brim a thousand times. He uses just one pedal: a tuner — calling card for cowboy, a brother on the spiritual path. He looks as if he’s driven the highways of Texas for a billion lifetimes. I knew I could trust this guy.
He’s known in Dallas as Red, the troubadour-in-purgatory who has held weekly residency at Adair’s Saloon for 25 years. I was packing up my gear from a lackluster early set, making way for Red to take the stage when he and I got to chatting. “It was 1988 and I was sitting right over there playin’ ‘Pancho and Lefty’ on my guitar,” Red explained, while pointing to a neon sign-lit corner of the bar. “And in walked this tall Native American and right behind him, it was Townes. I said holy shit, that’s Townes Van Zandt.”
Stories only dingy Texas bars can deliver.
Guy Clark had just passed. I had just played a 3 hour set to dead ears. It was the last and most lackluster show of my spring tour. I was sleep deprived, hungry, and weary. Needless to say, spirits were low.
But then, all of the sudden, it was like a rebirth. I was as close to the late, great Townes Van Zandt as I’ll ever be, living vicariously through a cowboy’s 25 year old story. I felt shivers down my spine as Red looked me square in the eyes and continued: “I was playing his goddamn song when he walked through the doors. I just couldn’t believe it.”
Red and Townes and the Native American (who was most certainly Roxy Gordon) spent that evening in 1988 sharing songs, cracking open cans of beer, and living the Texas high life. In some strange way, I felt like I was there with them — in the moment, all wrapped in timelessness. The experience had been so lucidly conveyed to me in the form of a story that it felt palpable, real, as real as anything.
Stories are very powerful. They can live on forever. I was reminded then and there why I, or anyone, takes the stage with a guitar and a song — it’s to tell a story, to connect with others, to feel a part of something bigger, and to possibly make a positive impact on another’s life.
I was fixin’ to leave that venue very frustrated and disappointed, as the show was truly not my best and the crowd was barely responsive. Instead, I walked out into the rainy Dallas night with a jump in my step, knowing I’d just walked out the same door that some 25 years earlier one of my heroes had walked in. Red was a few cuts into his set by now, playin’ “Pancho and Lefty” as I made my exit.
He winked. I waved. We were all smiles.
I felt Townes, Guy, and the spirit of Texas music permeating the building. I knew then that the song is bigger, much bigger, than the artist.
Luke Redfield & Sam Moss Warming House show 5/27 details: