DRAFT: Music in the DNA

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 Recently, I had in interaction with Pardero where I sent him a link to 

The Dude in a bowling alley  with Dead Flowers being played by Townes Van Zandt. He  responded with a link of Townes doing a live rendition  of his If I Needed You.  During the interaction Dave Volek expressed his appreciation of Townes.   I took a few minutes off of work to listen and enjoy and I realized my goosebumps were not just because of the music, but also because of a form of human communication, something that I treasure. Afterwards there were some interesting discussion of music on one of opher’s recent posts.


My father couldnt hear a teapot whistling on the stove due to too many artillary shells in the Army. Anyway, i never saw him tap his feet. But my mother was of Austrian descent, Austrian immigrants to the town of Leadville Colorado in the early 1900s . If you know of Baby Doe Tabor, my mother remembered  seeing that poor wretch as a child.

My Austrian grandmother played the accordian and knew how to have fun. When I was young we had an old Grundig console stereo and my mother would buy records for it. We had Tennessee Ernie Ford sings Songs of The North and also his Songs of the South. At the age of 6  was when my brother took a Lays potato chip can, the size of  5 gallon can, and started playing it with chopsticks.  He took a brass bowl and loaded it up with beebees for a cymbal. Later my mother brought home Marty Robbins Gunfighter Ballads and at the young age of 12 or 13 my brother and I were doing acapella from that album. I can sing Strawberry Roan today -it is embedded in my neuromuscular system.  She brought home Jonny Cash’s Ring of Fire and There was a Song. Later she brought home Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin. She took us to see Buddy Guy and Junior Wells at the Cherry Festival in DC when we were 12. Eventually,  we found other conspirators and started doing tunes acapella from Frank Zappa’s We’re Only In it for the Money album.  Funny, Michael B. just discovered Jazz and Zappa. Im sure I dont have the words right but here is what I recall from  Lets Make the Water Turn Black



Donald save his numies on a corner in the shelf, a marvel to be seen, dysentery green.

And Ronny’s in the Army and Kenny’s taking pills, oh how they yearn to see a bomber burn

and all of the while on a shelf in the shed, Kenny’s little creatures on display.

You see them after school in a world of their own, to some it might seem creepy what they do

The neighbors on the right sat and watched them ever night

I bet youd do the same if they were you!


Coming out of the  house of a battalion commander in the MeKong delta in 1967, this one made my mother grimace.


My brother grew up to be a professional drummer and I a non professional singer/guitar player. He got tired of rock and roll, he did not go for the drugs and alcohol thing, and while he was playing rock in San Francisco in the early 70 switched over to Conga Drums, in a big way. He has been to Haiti twice, the Congo, and to Ghana all to learn chops from the old teachers. Hearing him play is quite an experience. For those who are receptive has the ability to transport you and a magnificent way, and this is part of the subject of this post.  Recently he has started to learn Gaelic and has been reading Celtic history and other history of the Isles. He also plays drum in a local Scottish Drum and Fife group.

When I told him that  I found Turkish bagpipe players near the Black Sea, he told me that evidently, they come from Jordan.  Here  Kıazım Koyuncu a famous  ethnic Laz Kiazim Koyuncu with a fine example. Evidently,  Jordan highly prizes its bagpipe corps and its music. (While we are in Turkey, check out

kolbastı to watch those oppressed muslim women get down=


 He recently sent me a copy of  Saxon’s Vikings and Celts




by Bryan Sykes. It is about using DNA testing to do human archeology.  This started me to thinking about Celtic DNA and music.  I am quite aware of the influence of Irish immigrants on American music.


It is clear that we have many people that appreciate music on WB and even some who are professional musicians, so now to the punchline. Often  Mrs. Kemal and I  have a couple over to our little cabin in Northern New Mexico for a few drinks and some chit chat; my bird watching buddy for some 30 years now and his wife. She is of nothern new mexico spanish descent, through the Vigil line from northeastern NM near the town of Clayton. High, cold, windy. So cold it is one of the only places in NM you can see a rough legged hawk. However, she is a red head with the complexion to match. Where I live, the red headed spanish are often said to be crypto jews, of which there are many about.  Their existence here is well documented. And when they live on Shalom lane, well….


My buddy, like my father, could care less about music, but she likes it  and one time I went in to where the stereo was and put on 


Rox in the Box



She came running into the room, her face lit up and she started to do a jig.  The smile on her face and the rush to dance and move. She was in a rapture, especially when it came to the line


While were living here, lets get something clear

There’s plenty men to die, dont jump your turn


We danced together and it has had a lasting impression on me.

Ive known her some 30 years and Ive never seen her like that.


So, when Pardero and I had this Van Zandt moment it took me to this and other such experiences.  Another form of profound human communication, without words.


What is it with music that can send  some of us in time and space travel, connecting with the ancient struggles and joys of humans throughout time? A form of communication more profound than any words could ever facilitate. 


I asked my brother this question and he said 


“thats just the way it is bro, its in our genetic code”



Does anyone else here have similar experiences?