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Hello, I miss you...

Hello, I miss you...

I really do.  Hello, I miss you...When you get the chance, tell me how you are doing in your part of the world. In my own covid isoloation I've been wondering how everyone else is holding up. Crazy isn't it? It's like we are in some kind of Orwellian nightmare. Seemed like just yesterday I was announcing an upcoming show at a vintage trailer park with a string section... man, life was simple then.

 

The River - new song download


 

I wrote you a song...  I hope it will make you smile and pass the time a little.  It's a Covid-19 ballad, a song for our times. I recorded it at home using a simple mic, some old tube gear and a laptop. I probably wont distribute it beyond my elist,  download it on bandcamp.

Last week I also compiled some  film footage for a video of The River - watch it here.
 

The River (video) is now on Facebook and Instagram



 

"Justice is what love
looks like in public"

- Dr. Cornell West

My friend Kate Tucker reminded me of this quote from Dr. Cornell West. I had the chance to hear Dr. West speak a few years back. I never forgot it, it changed me. Dr. West's passion for people is truly remarkable and his understanding of Jesus as one who defends the oppressed is a beautiful reminder of what spirituality should look like.

The tragic death of George Floyd and the years of injustice behind it have stirred a lot in me lately. As a white male it is easy for me to simply close my eyes in privilege and make the chaos go away. But when I reopen my eyes I see my daughter - and she reminds me that I can not be complacent. Naturally her life matters, and given that she is a person of color, I worry more about the world she will inherit. I worry for her future as a young adult when she will encounter law enforcement (as I did, and most of us have); speeding tickets, youthful indiscretion and so. I worry whether her life will matter as much as mine did in those situations when I was given mutual respect and “benefit of doubt” by authority alongside "appropriate" consequences.

Over the years I have listened to persons of color describe their experience of encountering excessive force by authority for small infractions or nothing at all. I have paid attention to those killed in police custody despite being unarmed (Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd to name a few). It has only been since the introduction of the smart phone that many of their last moments have been captured on video for the world to see. For me it is not an issue of a few bad cops or a few good ones… but rather a culture that has not required greater accountability and consequence to those entrusted with authority. In the beginning when these videos began to surface I admit that I viewed them with a “benefit of the doubt” for authority (as that is what I received myself). But as more and more videos surfaced, and the number of deaths continued to rise - alongside a lack of consequence for officers who used excessive force, I began to shift my position. I began to see my own experience of receiving mutual respect by authority as an unconscious privilege.  And that is a part of what Black Lives Matter is about. To pay attention to the different and often unequal types experiences we have had. Naturally as a parent I teach my daughter to respect others - including those in authority, but I am not naive to think that this will always protect her. My wife and I stand in solidarity with the BLM movement in demanding systematic changes in policing. We also want to kneel in a humble posture of listening and learning from the movement in how our own privilege and silence has affected others. Robin DiAngelo’s book “White Fragility” and “What Does It Mean To Be White?” are two very excellent resources on this topic that have been informative to us.
 

 


 
The last four years have been a shit show. In that time the US went from being a worldwide beacon on a hill to a hole in the ground. For the first time in my history of this country we elected someone who openly divided us instead of unifying us. I hope and pray that this November we will collectively aspire to elect new leadership that leads by example and that represents the good in us. A leader who can keep actually keep a staff together without a litany of firings, resignations and tell all books, someone that brokers peace not division, someone who can tell the truth, someone who can hold complexity in difficult issues,  someone who can own his own mistakes instead of gas lighting. Someone who submits to our constitution instead of bending it to his own will.

Democracy does not happen on its own. If you share these values as I do then don't just vote - but work for change between now and then. This election is the most important election of our lifetime, with consequences that will last long beyond November 3rd. Find out where you can volunteer, donate, and get involved where you're needed most. The Save America Organization is a great way to get started.

-Robert

 


AVAILABLE NOW FROM THE STORE



THE BOX SET (TWO copies left)
Almost extinct - includes ALL CD's (including out-of-print releases).
  

 


Beloved (CD & Vinyl)

12" Vinyl ($20), CD ($10), & Download ($10)





7" Vinyl : "Boots of Spanish Leather" $7
Almost extinct... "Boots of Spanish Leather" on vinyl.





7" Vinyl Combo $10
Almost extinct... "Boots of Spanish Leather" & "Bad Time for Love."


Heart Like Feathers (CD/DVD/Book) $10
This Limited Edition BOOK/CD/DVD is the most beautiful record we ever made.
 

Thirteen Stories (CD) $10 (30 copies left)
Limited Edition digi-pack & letterpress book designed by Grady McFerrin.



This Bar Has No One Left (CD)
SOLD OUT (out of print except in box sets).


EarthSide Down (CD)
SOLD OUT (out of print except in box sets).


Days Like These (CD)
SOLD OUT (out of print except in box sets).

 
      

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