When we were growing up, my parents had a pretty top-notch record player. You could load several records at a time, and one by one they’d drop and scratch out the twang of Hank Williams, Hank Williams, Jr., Kenny Rogers, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton…
Once the entire stack had played, you’d flip the whole thing over, and the reverse side of each record would play.
Kind of like an early version of Pandora. OK, nothing really like Pandora.
On many evenings, we’d finger walk through the collection of records and, with a little bit of arguing and compromising, settle on a half a dozen albums to stack up.
Always, it included the “Wanted! The Outlaws” album, featuring Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jesse Colter and Tompall Glaser.
It started out easily enough, just listening to music as the evening settled into darkness. But soon enough, we were pushing the furniture to the edges of the living room.
Mom and Dad would dance. And Dad would take each of us, four daughters, on a two-step spin.
We’d sing along to “Good Hearted Woman,” “Honky Tonk Heroes” and “I’m Looking for Blue Eyes.”
And we were happy.
So when I heard Wake Eastman, a singer/songwriter from Austin was bringing old country to Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint last Friday, I gathered up some friends to go check him out.
At the last minute, I gave my sister, Casandra, a call. Recovering from having a baby less than a month earlier and an even more recent heart scare, I didn’t expect she’d be up for the effort. But to my surprise and delight, she jumped in.
Backed up by local musicians Chuck Mead, Bob Conrad and Tom Mille, Eastman performed the best of the classics.
Casandra and I made it through maybe one song before old habits kicked in. At some points, we may have drowned out the band with our own singing (if you can call it that). We also might have monopolized the dance floor.
Just more than a year after we lost our dad and with her recent medical scares, it was a cleansing of the soul.
And we were happy.
Eastman, along with Moser and Mead, will be playing at 8 p.m. today at the Genoa Bar and from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at the Ponderosa Saloon in Virginia City.
To learn more about Eastman and his music, go to wakeeastman.com.