Yee-haw! It’s time to drink me a bourbon sittin’ ’round the campfire! Hoooo-eeeeey, it’s been a long day, an’ I finally got mah boots up, butt on a bumpy log: what could be better while waitin’ for mah maple sugar bacon, tabouleh, and brook trout almondine? I got a tinge o’ corn on the nose, and a whisper o’ rye, and…what the hell! Did some un’ go a-pourin’ a scotch into mah bourbon and rye flask? It’s there, mighty lak Winston Churchill’s admonition about vermouth vis-à-vis the dry martini: yer s’posed to jes’ whisper it. Dang, Stephen, y’all been whisperin’ in mah flask again? Wuz it you, John? Shoot, this is like burnin’ bay leaves in the fire; gilded bay leaves by a moonlightin’ bronco-bustin’ that was gilt by a guild-belongin’ gelder. It’s bringin’ tha funk, kinda lak Pegasus’ saddle after a long day flyin’ after griffins and chimeras, lassoin’ ’em up for Hercules’ last round-up.
Sheee-it! That mouth is assertive as the gol-durned bootmaker back in Abilene, who done prick my tongue with his awl—and sometime’s prickin’ a tongue with an awl is ONLY prickin’ a tongue with an awl, so says Sigmund Freud—and poured sumpin’ lak Creole spice scraped off a blackened rump roast in the hole. It’s well-harmonized, lak if Bach and Beethoven done picked up a banjo and harmonica, and done writ a Fugue to Desolate Magnificence of the Starry Nights in the Rarefied Air of the High Country. I’d include John Denver, but that might jes’ bring everything down a bit, y’all know what I mean? It’s harmonious like a prog rock song, born and bred in an urban studio, but still singing the essential loneliness of the soul and triumph of the human spirit when confronted with surmountable adversity.
Finishing lak Milt Jackson’s mallets crazy bangin’ his vibraphone as mellifluous as any ol’ breeze-kissed pond brimmin’ with large- and small-mouthed bass and long-sunk Comanche silver. It’s lak pistons on a new-fangled auto-mobile or churnin’ legs o’ mah horse runnin’ for a stable.
Addin’ some water opens up everythang, kinda lak Miz Ellen’s Cat House on a Saturday night; got me a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smudge_stick bein’ waved ’round by a crystal-kissin’ chakra-chantin’ New-Age hippie. Dang, but there’s the rye! I’m catchin’ it lak runnin’ thro the field on mah two legs! It’s dessicatin’ an’ fiery on the mouth! Shouldn’t it be diluted? Naw, that’s not High West rolls. Mah saliva done been mistaken for cattle and rustled! Gimme my saliva back, ya hear? Jes’ in time to get the wintergreen so mah breath’ll be all purty when I kiss Miz Ellen the way she laks it.
The High West Campfire…what the hell are you talkin’ ’bout, John?! Geez, boy, yer lak a dogie done been in th’ sun too long missin’ his mama and water ’til he’s clean out of his head. I am substitutin’ mah own ratin’ here, dawg:
–On the scale of comin’ of age tales set in the West–
The High West Campfire is the book—not the movie, gol-durnit!—Shane. Ain’t nuthin’ better, no sir. Judith Butlerian parodic subversion??? Where d’ya s’pose John comes up wit’ that? Shane: It’s all ya need.
Our thanks to David Perkins, Troy Karnes, and the great people at High West for the sample!