Monday, May 8, 2023


Throughout my life art has been a salve, medicine for soothing harsh reality. I turn to art in bad times, like when health suddenly dives off a high cliff. As one waits to hit water, wondering if it'll be deep and free of rocks, art calms down flailing emotion. Or, if that isn't possible, at least it gives context for acceptance.

My current visual incapacity renders painting, sculpture and film unhelpful, indistinct blurs. I had two foreign movies lined up but couldn't read their subtitles and don't speak French so they were a bust.

Fortunately music has no visual component. Music can portray wide range of emotion. And skilled performance can elevate a listener's mood. I'm searching my catalog of vinyl for some solace. One song in particular speaks to me right now.

The Allman Brothers Band, at their artistic peak, was popular and accomplished. The band broke through with "At Filmore East," a concert recorded live in New York (1971). The album is considered one of the finest live records of all time. Sadly Duane Allman died later that year in a motorcycle accident and bassist Berry Oakley died the following year in another motorcycle accident. Their performances are now irreplaceable.

During the concert the band does a 23-minute version of "Whipping Post," a classic song with amazing stretches of instrumental play. The band explores exotic places in the sonic realm; you never expect them to travel there. Riffs, as wild as jazz flights, are tight: the whole band plays together, making sharp, cohesive turns. As you listen, you lose yourself in the surreal excursions. Guitar and drums magically conjure up imaginative land where hearts can grow.

On "Whipping Post" Duane sings plaintively with palpable feeling. The song resonates with me right now, voicing my anguish.

Sometimes I feel

Sometimes I feel

Like I've been tied to the whippin' post

Tied to the whippin' post

Good Lord, I feel like I'm dyin'


  1. These words are very powerful and it has a picture of pain and suffering beautiful said. Thank you for sharing this it is definitely inspiring.

    1. Thank you. I wasn't sure about writing this but it's honest.

  2. That's a great song, agreed. You can hear the hurt in his voice. I'm glad that music has been a solace for you, hon.