A GOOD READ. Woody's spirit was a busted dam. He flooded the world with songs, poetry, letters and doodles. He was radically obsessed with the road and the track, with the stopping in and the bouncing out. Woody was a dedicated wanderer and a Goodtimer which often bore turbulent fruit, nonetheless his writing never stopped. An observer of the highest form, Woody put all he saw, felt and heard onto paper. He was a man swept up by language, he played with it like a toy; he colored it, sang it, flipped it, questioned it, swapped it, cut it, dipped it in dirt and put a candle up to it and then left it out for us to play with. A couple of our favorite Woody songs are, "Pastures of Plenty" and "Deportees" -RW
This is blue-collar work, laboring entertainers, singing and picking for a flat fee. Every Wednesday for a straight year crooked, Corey and I played at that bar off Venice Blvd. We’d park in the back by the reeking dumpster, prop open the heavy door and push away the dirty velvet curtain. It was an establishment of Old fashionment and unfastened neckties, a neighborhood hole and a destination joint. We overflowed the ashtray in between sets and Clementine was always there, bent and jabbering, “Hi boys, hi gentlemen, play dat one song for me please, you know you know which one I’m dreaming on! ”The Wednesday night bouncer was our biggest fan, he was from Wisconsin or something.“Whatcha havin’ boys?” The free whiskey was nice and it kinda held our hand through some of those lonely weeks where rout-i-n-e and same ol’ th-i-n-g put us in a headlock. But right! we had a job and that paper President in our palms at midnight was worth it maybe. -RW
Born out of old train brains.
It's where the hitchhike meets the Ahhh! of gas prices.
It's the lonely tip jar beneath the alley sax.
It's the pawing of the window by the young tomcat.
It's the cheers of whiskey underneath the birch tree.
It's the wind whipped flag blessing suburban streets.
It's where the way gone drunk meets the AA dark roast.
It's where the God forsaken desert meets the God cut coast.
It's the scream of the infant, it's the knuckles of the old.
It's where the one's with money buy blankets for the cold.
It's where laughs are shared and the hurt are embraced.
It's where the power suit meets the prostitute's lace.
It's where the dodge of the matador meets the frustrated bull.
It's the shelter where the poor got a whole bowl full.
Meet us on that hill.
We'll write it in the dirt, MOONSVILLE.
The moon has sharp teeth. We're Downtown again in that bar. The city of "so far its been too soon to tell". That lonely junkie in us, claws. The band sets up. Oh no! I don’t mind you. We wave the bartender over and she pours us a story neat. Someone yells, "A nickle or a pickle." Willie , she’s got a boyfriend! He don't care and keeps at it. This Boulevard roars of pretty eyes and crooked pastimes. The music starts and everyone settles in, ordering another beer barely done with the first. Don’t forget to be grateful Baby! Make an effort everyday, you’re alive sweetheart!! Willie leave her alone, she ain't the one and she'll be the first to tell ya! You’re alive!!!!!! The band lays it out and has everyone's chin bouncing up on bar stool mountain. A white crane flies over Los Angeles alone and glowing, last call in 20. The moon wears a black hat.
Sean Rosenthal is the curator, inventor and main-man behind the Kings Inn, the Home and the mobile host of the best roots music shows in Southern California. Moonsville has been there from the beginning and feel honored to be an active part of this machine and family. There are always rooms in the Inn. The Kings Inn is this:
It's a Credence. you'll see from your corner spot.
The stanza and the solo, the limelight combo
The songs here are medicine.
Its no normal circus,
no slow-motions promenade.
The deserted run the show.
Offering are the tired minds,
the limping good and the tattooed throats.
Bartender please, stray hearts sing.
Its all a bullet to the chest.
A penny in the pot gets your prime rooftop,
pool chalk and gumbo.
From a vision to the heart
to the brain, to the hand,
to the paper, to the brain,
to the hand, to the tongue,
to you sittin’ in your corner spot.
The zigzagging sweat moves easy like a trolley car.
It’s a hearty party undone forever.
It’s the rough and tumble
It’s the high and humble
It’s the dig deep down, it’s the elevated nod,
It’s the mud from the moat,
it’s the drawbridge.
It’s the King’s Inn.
The songs inside are medicine.
It’s a Credence.
Like an angel in some sort of prison, he sang & played everyday in front of the Dunkin’ Donuts off Chaparral , across the street from the Community Service Center, he called it his “glazed days.” With a repertoire spanning the emotional gamut, it was not uncommon to see a man or woman in full sob or laughter, curb-side, one hand gripping a coffee and the other holding a white bag of Maples. The gritty capability of a guitar and a voice has been proven in the past but nonetheless it’s always the rapture, unity, everything and meaning when it hits right. His upside down cap tip jar, by the time the sun dropped, was filled with enough to get drunk. He’d get his brain to swimming and his heart real lonesome with a hole in it like a doughnut.
Moonsville Postcard #2
The night was an angry drunk, unpredictable and lightning, it was moving strange, the train windows were frozen. With a shaking hand, pouring cream into her steaming coffee, she took a deep breathe as he began humming the song, the song he always hummed to rest his heart. She knew it well, it was a lighthouse.
In Moonsville's short history we've packed in many different kinds of shows: weddings, funerals, hospital birth parties, festivals, bars, a Tequila soiree, restaurant openings, Fly-fishing bashes, brewery anniversaries, adoption parties, retirement celebrations, a Zoo re-opening, meditation retreats, Lincolns birthday memorial and more. The particular story below took place at an Orange County Country Club members only, exclusive and expensive Cowboy themed event:
The Chalk-white Shetland, obviously tired of being ridden, tricked out, paraded and photographed, completely lost it. She spit out her bit and bucked off her heavy saddle. She galloped behind the stage as the crowd rose to their feet. At first, all of us in the band thought, 'Wow, everyone really loves this tune we're playing' but soon realized that their dropped jaws and ghost gasps were due to the rogue pony. We kept playing like the band on the Titanic and knew that at any point one of us could get back-sacked by that 300lbs, cracked-out, wanna-be stallion. The Country Club staff put themselves between the children and the beast hoping they could use their courage as leverage in future pay raise conversations. Everyone's phones were raised and videoing. After several quick 10 yard dashes, the rogue pony stopped, spun and cranked its head vertically signalling surrender. Her mane swayed like a waved white flag as she posed proud in the middle of the driving range. We finished our song as calmness returned. Everyone sat back down, revisited their meat and gravy and the rented mechanical bull creaked on. The Shetland, we nicknamed, "White Lightning", was escorted off the grass and tied to the metal fence of the pig and goat petting zoo. She stood, her pony chin high, panting and knowing she reminded us all that even a short vacation feels good.
MOONSVILLE POSTCARD #1
Seth & Dobro Dan Richardson, the father and son duo in our band, share in a family heirloom, a cabin that perches over the Merced river. The run-down, vacant building in the picture below is a rock's throw away from that perch. Although empty, it's history is pregnant. Like a miner sifts for gold, a storyteller also lets the dull slide away and pockets the shiny. The tale of this old Hotel differs depending on the teller, sometimes varying versions get combined, turned hybrid, exaggerated and shuffled but one piece of the story never changes: Her worried song.
Salamander Cabin. Mariposa, CA. A Mid-Winter Month.
Outside the Gold Coin, Uncle Jonas negotiated with the Tavern’s owner.
From across the street we could feel the waves of Jonas’ big charm and carnival magic; holdin’ up numbers, gesturing wildly, pointing to us, jigging, signaling and slapping the some-what shocked, unprepared Proprietor on the shoulder like old friends do . Next came the handshake, the deal sealer and the “come on in” wave.
Uncle Jonas held the bar door open while chatting “Bartering, trading and bargaining are alive up here in the mountains boys! We’ll play songs for burgers and beers! Man! You guys need a manager like me to do some deal making! We’ll play thirty minutes for two pitchers of beer or an hour for four pitchers and food!”
The evening took off its training wheels.
The Mayor of Mariposa bought us whiskey and almost gave us a key to the Post Office.
The dark, dank Saloon bar kindly served us the coldest beer in the Universe.
An old Trapper wrapped in a raccoon cap and blue skin sat smoking a pipe with ancient eyes.
Some local kids showed up with banjos and Cowboy hats.
A stranger wanted to show us his new truck.
An old man with a wizard beard kept whispering something none of us could translate.
A woman wearing a Metallica T-shirt with cut off sleeves kept petting Crutchfield’s boots.
We played and sang and stomped and bobbed, swung and drank.
We snowballed electric, gaining momentum and good-timey joy with each stop. Epiphanies were becoming common, our hearts were aflame and our cheeks sore with laughter. We raged until it all became impossible. We finally returned to the cabin and the Moon rolled its eyes. We all found pillows. The windmill spun and creaked.
The morning mountains found the Sun and threw Her over their shoulders.
The a.m. offered a chilled dew and a deer family.
The trees were February bare and the clouds mayonnaise white.
Supposedly, the neighbors donkey, Eddie Murphy, survived some Summer fire by hiding in a miner’s cavern.
The Sun pored into the Valley like syrup.
The black, dirt coffee, a defibrillator in a cup, cranked our tails back to wagging.
We sat in a circle and played music for us and for them: for the Ballad-makers, for the all-Aloners, for our families and future wombs, for the gentle drunkards & the forgotten outlaws, for the Nancy & Court, for the can't-help-it Poets and the humble No-Grumblers, for all those who wrestle and sit at the table of Awe .
Evening and morning, Salamander seeps a magic wonder, a crisp mystery, a barter, a trade and a bargain.
We’re all itching for transcendence. For that Big and beyond. For the phone call, the particular pathway, the treasure train, the High day, the cigarette, the show, the nostalgia, the good stuff, the embrace, the whatever kind of thing that makes you feel OK and sometimes while scraping for that prime cut of meat we forget about that humongous vat of grace in the sky… tipping and pouring out over our geography, our lives, our California….. From here to Sunday to Memphis and Eastward we’re all kicking up dust and lobbing midnight darts. There’s clowns and wolves out there and you don’t need either to rave about you. Just sit in a circle and learn each other’s songs , the ups and downs of em’, the sweet places to put a lick and the good spots to stay quiet…