RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Tuesday, June 7

SONG OF THE DAY: High Cost of Living (chopped & kudzu'd)

I’ve been chopping and screwing old country or country-adjacent songs off and on at my patreon, and actually released a 12-pack of these at my bandcamp when I had twelve old school jams done. This particular song has always felt like a theme song for my dad, and I was specifically picking songs I had some sort of relationship with to chop, because I feel you chop it different when you have that long-time relationship with a song. You dig in deeper than if you’re just jumping in to chop it (but no diss to that method at all). This song came out a few years after my dad had passed, but this one and Jamey Johnson’s “Can’t Cash My Checks” are just pure Charlie Tuna, and I know he would’ve loved this fuckin’ song so much had he been alive to hear it on the local country radio station that played in the small engine repair shop where he worked when he wasn’t too drunk or high to make it into work (usually Mondays, and often Fridays, because he got paid on Thursday evenings traditionally). I miss that fucker a lot of times, but also know if he had still been alive, man, it would’ve been hard all these years. The thing about death is you then get to slowly re-imagine a person in all their best attributes, and forgive their failures, because they ain’t failing nobody any more. And you hope they’ve found peace and comfort. I had a dream one time, which felt like a visit, but who knows for certain (metaphysical shit is far from certainty, by design), where I’d gone to the house he lived at when he died, in Victoria, not far from where a giant bustling train yard used to exist but had long been pulled out, vacating the town, which was essentially a railroad town for The Virginian line back in the days. Anyways, my dad had come up the outdoor steps from the basement, even though that house had no actual basement, and me and him were talking. He was all wired up from crank, like he often was the last few years whenever I saw him, and there was music bumping from the basement, so I knew there was folks in there and they were “partying” so to speak. He was asking about my kids, and we were shooting the shit, when I kinda realized he was stuck in that “party” mode which had sort of overtaken his ability to function in the end, and him being stuck in the basement felt like hell to me, for him. I thought this but didn’t say anything to him, because I didn’t wanna ruin the visit, but I could tell he could see what I was thinking. He was always very intuitive like that, even at his worst. Anyways, I woke up a bit shook by the dream, and it just made me hope even more so that whatever happens after one dies, it gave him some peace from the demons that had been fucking with his ability to enjoy life. It’s weird how “partying” is a way to enjoy life, but then gets in the way of enjoying life, and there’s no real definitive line of to where you went too far and got lost. You just kinda ended up on the wrong side of things, without planning, or even knowing precisely where that shit got fucked up. That’s why this is such a great fucking song, too, because it captures some unexplainable shit about as good as one can.

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