American Funk

My landlord taught me something the other day, “It’s all about the blues, Chris. America is about the blues.”

He was telling me this old truth and he was kicking his right foot back and forth, left and right toe taps on my driveway, with his hips and snaps just a hair-of-a-second behind.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I said.

And he picked up an air guitar and ripped this silent lick and the solo made me happy. Del looked like a real old-school maniac. He was wearing a windbreaker jacket and sweat pants and his old broken hips were cracking into a groove while a well-worn white sailor cap slid down the side of his head. Del was born in 1938. He’s 77 years old. He’s Del Casher – rock ‘n roll legend. He invented the wah pedal, which let Jimi Hendrix and the wind cry Mary. The wah-wah is like a plunger for brass instruments – the sound of Charlie Brown’s parents. Originally built by Vox, then bought by Dunlop and called the Cry Baby, the wah mimics the human voice by sweeping the tone up and down with the rock of your foot on a potentiometer pedal. The wah-wah effect. The sound. Spectral glide. Rock ‘n Roll. American Blues music.

“It’s all about the blues,” Del repeated again and I thought about it for a good hard minute. Del had been riffing for days about our presidential election and blues music and how it’ll all turn out alright, but for some reason, I couldn’t stop feeling dumpy about all this Donald Trump bullshit.

“Donald Trump – “

“Donald Trump,” Del repeated and he started strumming some old chorus.

“That fascist fucking blowhard’s ruining my god damn country.”

READ THE REST OF ‘AMERICAN FUNK’ IN – SN6: MAYDAY ON AMAZON

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