I was hoping to spend the next day somewhere in mid-Mississippi, since it would be on the way north. But the only person who contacted me was a fellow from Gulfport, which I guessed from the name is on the gulf coast.
But then I remembered places like Rhode Island (not an island) and Martha’s Vineyard (not Martha’s, also not a vineyard) and checked a map to make sure. But down south, people call things like they see them, and Gulfport is a port on the gulf. Nice.
I had my choice of two highways going back towards Gulfport: 1) the same major interstate I took going to New Orleans from Mobile, or 2) a different highway which runs right along the coast. So guess which one I took.
“Were you disappointed that your only contact was so far south?” asks AG perceptively.
I was, originally. Then I met the dude who had contacted me, a happening peep by the name of Brooks Hubberts, and a whole slew of other fantastic people, including my host Maggie, who had not contacted me. She’s a CS member but had instead passed along my info to Brooks since he is a musician. But I ended up staying at her place anyway. Yeah, details, details. Let’s get to the music.
Brooks knew some people over at a brand new recording studio (as yet unnamed) so we headed over there to record, where I discovered that Brooks is a fantastically talented multi-instrumentalist. He has a very unassuming air about him so I honestly didn’t expect him to be as awesome as he was.
We started with some lins.
That’s a mandolin laying upside-down next to him, which was the first instrument we recorded. Brooks was all over some jazzy gypsy-style stuff I asked him to do for this one song, and then we moved on to violin. He put down some country fiddlin’ on another tune.
Then he mentioned there was a cello around.
You may not be aware of my love affair with cellos. In fact, it is a problem. I could easily be led astray by any cellist. A girl that plays cello is one concerto away from winning my heart. I might even go so far as to say I swoon. (But I won’t. I would, though, if swooning were even a little bit manly.) So, of course, I insisted that we record some cello.
Brooks is probably less familiar with the cello than he is with any of the other instruments we recorded — he’s not the smoothest cellist around. Not to say he’s bad, because it sounded great. His cello playing is just not as polished, certainly not in the way that a classically trained cellist’s would be. But I found that it had a delightful raw sound that was equally emotional, albeit in a different way.
Brooks amazed me with his consummate musicianship, and he was willing to buckle down and get stuff done until the wee hours of the morning. Thanks a lot Brooks!
Another day, another city, another terrific musician, another great host. I left the next day with no disappointment about Mississippi whatsoever.
NEXT: Troubles are afoot! (And I nearly am too.)