Last week was a train wreck schedule wise, nor did the weather cooperate when I wanted it to. Mostly, I was just feeling lazy. What I’m trying to say is that it’s been a whole week since I’ve run so I’m getting out today on my lunch break for this quick and easy 6.25k drill run. I’m also still working though the stack of forgotten CD’s I rediscovered a week or two ago, and this afternoon’s run is with the ‘In These Parts‘ album by the Hot Buttered Rum String Band.
Essentially, the Hot Buttered Rum String Band is a five-piece progressive bluegrass act based in the San Francisco Bay Area, although the band member’s themselves prefer to call what they do “high altitude California bluegrass”.
They originally made their mark at music festivals back in 2003-2004, including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Newport Folk Festival, South by Southwest, High Sierra Music Festival, Bonnaroo Music Festival, and the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival – which is where I essentially saw them for the first time, became a fan and, ultimately, picked up this album as a keep-sake.
‘In These Parts‘ was released in 2004, while still traveling around in their vegetable oil powered “Veggie Bus”. I distinctly remember the smell of a deep fat fryer as they pulled into the parking lot at Milestones in Rochester, NY.
Seriously, check it out:
The majority of the album was actually recorded between shows in the hills of Fairfax by veteran sound engineer Decibel Dave Dennison of Garcia/Grisman projects. The musical influences on the album range from blues, rock and jazz to Celtic and old-time string band music from the Appalachians; the group could almost be termed “bluegrass fusion” if yon really want to dig for a label. I mean, how often to do you hear flute and accordion solos in traditional bluegrass?
The big number from this album was ‘Flask, Alas!‘, about the character from Moby Dick who, for whatever reason, isn’t permitted to get any butter for his bread. Hard times, I suppose. The follow up ditty ‘Evolution‘ is also a rocking little number with a ripping flute sole because, hey, why not? ‘Old Dangerfield‘, ‘Lighten Up Your Load‘ and ‘Reckless Tex‘ are also all good number in and of themselves. So, yeah, it’s a bluegrass album with lots of flute about hungry whalers and lonely ranch hands.
The run, however, was not awesome. It’s clear it’s been seven days since my last run as nothing seemed to be turning over very well until near the end. Of course, it hot as fuck out, made even worse that I decided to run at high noon and give Old Man Summer the proverbial finger by dressing head to toe all in black. after my warm up and drills, I managed to suffer through just the 3 x 1k build intervals (6:00min/km > 4:30min/km) before I was all ‘fuck this‘, and limped home up Point Pleasant with my tail between my legs.
Onward and forward.