Conversation with Kenny Hutson, guitarist for OtR (3)  

Posted by Denis Haack in , ,


The concert was a good one, with a pleasant smattering of older songs—including lovely ones from The Trumpet Child, Ohio, and Good Dog Bad Dog—as well as some new pieces slated for their new album to be recorded this summer. Karin was sporting a new tattoo on her left shoulder, a hummingbird with the words, “comparison is the thief of joy.” There was a nice pace to the evening, periods of reflection and songs, never hurried but not dragging, allowing the luxury of the beauty of music, poetry, and instrumentation to be embraced without the normal struggle we feel as creatures of time.

Classic OtR phrases still echo in my memory from the evening:
     “…need a love like Johnny and June’s…”
     “…if you’re looking for trouble…”
     “…slow down…”
     “…all I need is everything…”

Kenny has texted us that sound check was running long, then in a while said we shouldn’t wait for him since there was no knowing when all the pre-concert preparations would be completed. We found a little Brazilian restaurant, Samba, a block away from the Hopkins Center for the Arts and ordered dinner. Turns out the band ordered in food because sound check was taking so long—food from Sambas.

One time a few months ago my cell phone rang, and it was Kenny. He was in a van, traveling to some gig where he was to play that evening. I had asked him to help me learn to listen with discerning ears to country music, a genre I have not been naturally drawn to. Over the road noise he told me to go onto iTunes and download a song. “Perfect country lyrics,” he told me. “The chorus sums up all of life perfectly like only a country song can.”

There is something about live performance that makes the experience of the music different, somehow, and even albums recorded live can’t match it. The band was in synch this night, the musicians seemed to touch the music, and there was a quiet electricity in the air, a quality that makes you feel a bit more alive.

Kenny had several long solos, where his ease as an instrumentalist soared, carving his own mark on the song while never seeming to call attention to himself. Not being a musician, I’ve longed to know what an artist feels in moments like that, getting lost in the beauty but not losing control. In the creation work is part of our being made in God’s image, and so is part of who we are and is essential to our identity and our purpose. At the fall work has been perverted into toil, and so we struggle with failure, the perverse seduction of finding our ultimate significance in it, and the difficulties that often keep it boring and unsatisfying. Still, in moments at least, we catch brief glimpses of what work was originally intended to be. When we lose track of time, and even forget to eat, so swept up in the delight of doing some task, some work of creativity with hands, and heart, and imagination, and mind, and hard-won skill. Those moments are glimpses of grace, a foretaste of what work will be like in the new earth, world without end. I hope Kenny had one of those moments, one of those brief glimpses of glory as we listened to him play that night.

The song Kenny had me download, by the way, is “People are Crazy,” from Billy Currington’s CD, Little Bit of Everything (2008):

This old man and me, were at the bar and we
Were having us some beers and swappin' I dont cares
Talking politics, blonde and redhead chicks
Old dogs and new tricks, and habits we aint kicked

We talked about Gods grace, and all the hell we raised
Then I heard the ol' man say
God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy

He said I fought two wars, been married and divorced
What brings you to Ohio, he said damned if I know
We talked an hour or two, bout every girl we knew
What all we put them through, like two old boys will do

We pondered life and death, he lit a cigarette
Said these damn things will kill me yet
But God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy

Last call is two am, I said goodbye to him
I never talked to him again

Then one sunny day, I saw the old mans face
Front page obituary, he was a millionaree
He left his fortune to, some guy he barely knew
His kids were mad as hell, but me, Im doing well
And I dropped by today, to just say thanks and pray
And I left a six-pack right there on his grave
And i said, God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy

God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy

This entry was posted at Monday, May 17, 2010 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

5 comments

Denis - I've been reading the blog in google reader for awhile so I hadn't noticed the redesign here. LOVE it. It's lovely. Hope you and Margie are well.

May 17, 2010 at 7:51 PM

Thanks, Jake. I like the design too.
We are well. Looking forward to the summer, and a couple of days of rest this weekend just the two of us. Blessings, my friend. Hope our paths cross this summer.

May 18, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Want to understand country music? Ponder this song: "I was drunk the night my mom got out of prison, and I went down to meet her in the rain. But before I could get there in my pickup truck, she got run over by a d****d old train."

May 24, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Greg:
Ah yes, the broken side of life.
I like the one Kenny told me to download better.

May 24, 2010 at 6:02 PM

How did I miss this? So thoughtful, Denis. I think you and enjoy the same things about how Kenny shows us what God is doing. And you, you show me a bit of what God is doing and make me love Kenny more. Thank you.

May 27, 2010 at 1:13 PM

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