I crossed over The Great Divide in New Mexico this morning and it had me thinking about so many things. America is what I came to see, not the America I had known before but the one that we are living in now. We all have found ways of learning or at the very least coping with these unprecedented times. I thought a lot about my life and the lives of others as I stood there. Our many commonalities that too many of us have chosen to overlook on all sides of every line.
We’ve been through so much these past few years but we somehow continue to wake up and find reasons to move forward in this time of great change. If you’re reading this I hope you are heading in a direction you want to head in and not too terribly sidelined by the directions we are constantly being pulled into.
In Arizona, the water from the sky moves down the mountains into the Pacific Ocean and just a short distance across into New Mexico at the Continental Divide that same water starts its slow roll into the Atlantic.
There, a hand-painted sign reads:
RAINFALL DIVIDES AT THIS POINT
WEST DRAINS INTO THE PACIFIC
EAST DRAINS INTO THE ATLANTIC
There are probably about a million and a half metaphors in there that lead to all sorts of big ideas and important ones too. I stood there this morning and thought about some of them and saw my reflection in some too.
Flying out of Philadelphia I didn’t feel much like I should be taking this trip at all but I told myself that “it is possible to have good times in hard times.” A much less necessary concept in the years that preceded these but an important one now. For as much as I strive to acknowledge hardship head on I’ve still found myself, like so many others, trying to find ways to not accept the reality of these last few years.
So I came out here to look for the ghost of Woody Guthrie, my first folk singing hero, and for America. Whatever that is. Backwards down the road Steinbeck once called, “the path of a people in flight.” Route 66 From Needles, California to Tulsa, Oklahoma and all the in between. I’ve always wanted to see it this way.
I’m back home in Pennsylvania for now & looking through these journals. I thought I’d share this one with you here. I ended my trip in Fort Worth, Texas where I recorded a 10-song album, with my friend Simon Flory, of some of our favorite folk songs. I can’t wait to share them with you. Some songs, for both better and worse, never go out of style.
On the subject of change, I’m going to be reformatting our ever-evolving experience here. I talked with my friend Laura Jane Grace recently about our experience here as she worked on starting her own Patreon. It helped me to clarify the kind of space I’d like to continue to curate and hold.
I have begun working with a new custom 7” vinyl producer, called For The Record, started by a friend of mine here in Philadelphia! With confidence, I will be restarting the RECORD CLUB here for all $25/mo Patrons, In turn, $12/mo Patrons will get the same benefits just in digital form and $4.20/mo Patrons will receive these monthly newsletters, I’m calling ROG SEZ, & all tiers will continue to get early access to new formal releases, which I’m happy to report that so far this year I’ve been harvesting a great many.
Your contributions here & of all those who have passed through this space have prepared me to do things with my music I could only have ever dream of doing before. Thank you all for being apart of this community & helping me move forward.
Don’t forget to write,
June 10th, 2022
***Somewhere between Blue Ball & Paradise, Pennsylvania