Lillie Ruschell

Arts

Scene&Heard: Justin Wells at Soulful Space

I’m fascinated by space.  Not NASA space necessarily, although the cosmic unknown is certainly worth thinking about.  No, I’m talking about a more general space – our space.  The space around us and my favorite – the space between us.  The spaces we create say a lot about who we are, our values, our philosophies, and our experiences.  Some people like big, industrial, empty spaces and some like small, cozy and cluttered. Some cover the walls with a story while others prefer a blank canvas. Some choose color, some choose white. There are spaces filled with light and there are dark spaces. We each create our space and when we’re lucky enough, we get to share it with each other.

Some people prefer to keep their space to themselves, and that’s okay. Not me. I like the messy, unpredictable, often disappointing yet more often exhilarating experience of the other.  It’s the greatest mystery: your experience.  I’ll never be able to have it and therefor it makes me insatiably curious.  I want to know your story. I want to be there when you’re doing the thing you love, no matter what it is and I want to hear why you love it.  This is my favorite space to be in; watching someone do what they love and having the honor of getting to know the hows and whys behind the process.  It is endlessly exciting.

A space that is dripping in history, where sound echoes between the walls, where silence has a weight and clarity of thought is effortless – we can call that a soulful space.  This type of space re-minds the occupant. It brings the physical brain and body in contact with the celestial mind. It connects the self to the collective.  These spaces exist all around us of course, but they are often overlooked and under-appreciated.   Lexington is lucky for many reasons, one of which is that we have a man among us who has set out to cultivate and promote this kind of space.  Shawn Gannon has worked hard over the years to create the Soulful Space experience and his efforts have not been wasted. 

Justin Wells | Photo by Unsung Hero Media

Set to the backdrop of the charming and peaceful Good Shepherd church on Main Street, the Soulful Space experience brings the community together in a unique way. Part spiritual, part rock and roll (if you can separate the two), and wholly soulful, Gannon’s creation has a feel all it’s own.

On October 26, 2017 Gannon and his crew created a space that was both spellbinding and sobering.  The show featured Justin Wells, with an opening by some of Lexington’s most talented literary thinkers, Erik Reece among them. The evening was a benefit for the Kentucky Writers and Artists for Reforestation group.    

In pews we sat as the poets and then Wells filled the church with melody and contemplation. It was a sweet evening for me as my mother was in town, visiting from New Orleans.  So I sat next to my mom in a church – there’s a first for everything after all, and we shared a beautiful evening.  It was a beautiful evening for the obvious reasons, some of which I’ve come to expect from Soulful Space – the music, the company, the space – but the unexpected beauty came as I sat in a pew and cried, my feet tap-tap-tapping the whole time. The night, for whatever the reason, dissolved my defenses and made space for a profound sense of loss. 

Soulful Space founder Shawn Gannon | Photo by Unsung Hero Media

When Gannon stepped on to the stage and read the opening Wendell Berry poem, a tradition that has historically been carried out by Brian Cole, the beloved Good Shepherd rector who recently left his post for another calling, you could hear the quiver in his voice.  An entire community has had to grieve, accept and deal with Cole’s departure and, according to several accounts, it has not been easy.

The now Bishop Cole (Diocese of East Tennessee) is one of those rare people who allows you to be just as you are in his company.  No judgement, no pretense. He is cool and serious … mostly he’s cool. And he will be missed.  I recently heard a definition for compassion that I love: suffering together. The Good Shepherd community has suffered a loss. But they have done it together and they continue on together.

When the poets got up to read their selections, each one carried with it a knowledge and a loss.  A loss of physical space, a loss of the sacred. As good poetry does, some of the prose left me with more questions than answers.  Mainly, the questions lingered, what can I do? How can I help? Poetry – has a reduction effect on me.  It takes all my ingredients and boils out the unnecessary water and air, leaving me with a flavor only achieved by loss.  Not all losses are bad.  The loss of the unnecessary, for example. The loss of ego, of greed, of selfishness, in some moments – of self all together, loss of mine, loss of judgement and defiance – all positive losses.  The words spoken that night begged for a loss of apathy. The poets invited a resistance to my comfort and the space provided an assurance that it was a worth accepting. 

As Wells got up and began to tune his guitar, I was brought back to a few weeks ago at The Burl when he and a handful of some of Kentucky’s most treasured local talent performed a tribute to the late Tom Petty. It was a special night with tears and sing alongs and shouting and dancing.  At one point I was head banging to a Petty cover performed by Mojothunder, a fairly new, albeit unfairly talented group of young and handsome musicians. Losing our heroes can be a difficult undertaking.  We take them for granted, don’t you think? And although their talents or wisdom or words will always live in our hearts and through our speakers, it is a small comfort. 

When the world is busy sanding us down, the distraction of music, especially music that reminds us of simpler times, is sometimes the only thing that reminds us who we are. The only thing that can bring us right back to the space we live in. It takes us out of our minds with the right mixture of sound and feeling just long enough to remind us that we are here. Right here. In this space.  Tom Petty was one of my heroes and Justin Wells and the other musicians did an amazing job honoring his life that night at The Burl.

Justin Wells | Photo by Unsung Hero Media

If you’ve ever heard Justin sing, you can imagine that hearing him in church is quite a powerful experience.  He is, himself a powerful experience.  His presence is equal parts intimidating and soothing. Standing at well over 6 feet and some considerable amount of inches, he is a giant man with a giant talent. Wells wails. He does so with a power that summons both the angels and the demons on to the dance floor. And on this night, he did it in a church.  His a cappella song brought tears to my eyes as I thought about how much he must have been enjoying the experience.  During his finale, the women in his life – his two daughters and his wife, made their way up to the stage and were dancing and holding hands.

On a night when Wells provided what he does every time he performs – a talent born from truth, a passion pulled from pain and an honesty honed by loss, it was clear where his heart lives. With twirly dresses and ribbons, the loss of a fast and furious rock star lifestyle gave birth to a gentle and beautiful family.  A family filled with laughter, love and lyrics.  All eyes, including his, turned to these three women and he smiled as he sang the last notes of the evening.

Justin Wells | Photo by Unsung Hero Media

During every loss in my life, music has been there to help and heal me. It has put words to things my experience prevents me from saying.  It has literally saved my life.  It is the best and the bravest thing. My mom taught me how to appreciate music.  Listening to The Bee Gees or Fats Domino on her record player in New Orleans, she used to scoop me up, twirl me around and belt the lyrics into the night.  Music has always been the way my soul communicates.  An on this night, sitting next to the woman who taught me how to do that, in a soulful space, I cried.  I cried over all that I have lost and I cried over all that I have gained as a result. Sometimes life is so damn confusing and beautiful, tears and music are the only responses I have.  And for them, I am grateful.

I go to many shows and I love them all, but there is only one Soulful Space experience in Lexington.  I encourage you to check it out as soon and as often as you can.  On November 11th, the Soulful Space community enjoyed the much anticipated Leonard Cohen tribute. Veteran’s day was a fitting date to celebrate the freedom that Cohen’s songs have brought to so many.

Follow the Soulful Space Facebook page for upcoming performances. This is not an event. It’s an experience. It’s the best kind of experience: an organic one that allows you to feel deeply, listen without distraction and be still in knowing that you are right where you need to be.

After all, what feels better than the loss of wanting things to be different?

Justin Wells | Photo by Unsung Hero Media

original works

It Was Never a Dress

“How was the march?”

It was a simple text message from a friend who knew I had joined the Women’s March in downtown Lexington on Saturday, January 21. It caught me in the midst of a moment. 

So beautiful,” my response started. “So many interesting (because they were interested) and diverse people. The small minority of people that were there because they were angry gave way to the overwhelming majority of people that were hopeful and excited about the future.”

The signs were clever, I noted. “It was inspirational to see so many people empowered and free.  Every conversation I had was around the beauty of the experience, not the anger that was a small part of its impetus.”

After some reflection, I realized that my words to a friend are true.  They are truer than any words I could have purposely thought of.  True in a way that only stream-of-consciousness can be.  What at first was the effusion of an average, mid-thirties, white girl in Lexington proved to be the unadulterated language of the heart.

I’ve been concerned about our world for some time now.  From what I gather, most of us have been. There’s so much anger being spewed, so much hate cultivated and recycled and 24-hour cycled.  The fear in our culture has reached a boiling point and many of us don’t know what to do with it except to channel it into hate and anger.   

I am guilty of it. 

Here’s an example:

A friend of mine recently attended a sporting event with some children.  Her recounting of the event agitated me and I vomited hateful and nasty commentary.   She told the story of angry men, screaming at their crying children and likened the event to what she imagined a dogfight to be. 

I can’t remember my words exactly, but they went something like this: “this whole country is fu*!ed. Those idiots are just guaranteeing that their children turn out to be as backwards as they are.  In an effort to teach their children to be men, they’re scaring the human being out of them and turning them into monsters instead.”

I don’t have children, but if I did, I’d hope they never hear the words, “shut up and stop being a sissy.” I truly hope that I wouldn’t tell a young man to stop acting like a girl in a way, though not directly expressed, directly expresses that girls are less than him, weaker than him and somehow innately inferior. 

The January 21st march, juxtaposed with the account of what happened at that children’s sporting event, mere days apart from each other, paints one picture of the different attitudes we are cultivating in our homes and in our community.   

My favorite snapshot from the event is of a little girl in a Wonder Woman outfit. 

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It was most certainly not a costume as it was selected with intention and perfectly appropriate for the occasion. Evey Jarvis’ mother allowed me to photograph her. As she was spinning around and waving her hands, it occurred to me that Wonder Girls turn into Wonder Women and that today, in 2017, that is exactly what she has the opportunity to become. 

The march was a show of solidarity by women and men.  I heard it referred to not as a march for women’s rights but a march for human rights, led by women. Led by moms and supported by dads.  Led by daughters and cheered on by brothers.  Led by Wonder Women and encouraged by Super Men.  I marched with people I love, many of them strangers, some of them pro-life, some of them pro-choice, all of them pro-love. Every single one of them, a Super Hero.   

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Although it is often easier to react rather than to respond, to seek to be understood rather than to understand, to sew hate rather than sew love, we need to start thinking about our actions. Now, more than ever, it is important that we remember to put on our Wonder Woman cuffs and our Super Man capes and be brave.  Now, more than ever, we need to lift one another up and stop putting people down.  To fix this situation, we have got to start listening to each other and stop treating people, other humans, like they don’t matter. 

This is a call to action.

This is a time for courage. 

Courage.

We all have it.  Every single one of us is brave.  We accomplish tremendous feats every day. When we are heartbroken and go to work anyway, when we are tortured by loss and suffering and manage to get through another waking hour, when we do the right thing even if it’s hard, when we listen to someone that annoys us, when we smile at a stranger, when we choose adventure over monotony, when we endeavor to make our monotony an adventure, when we create, when we dare, when we love … God … loving is so brave, when we put others first, when we follow our hearts, when we try … trying is brave, when we recognize another’s effort, when we open our eyes and see each other as equals, when we say ‘I’m sorry,’ when we accept an apology, when we utter an honest ‘no,’ when we heed an authentic ‘yes,’ when we dance, when we sing, when we laugh and when we cry.

Maybe the last remaining indisputable fact in our world is this: we are all human. We are infinite spirits housed in finite flesh and bones. Despite our different experiences, no experience is more bonding than that of our common human one. 

To be human is to be brave. 

That little girl twirling in her Super Woman outfit has all the courage she needs and it can be nourished by experiences like what we saw in Lexington and around the world on the 21st of January.  Her community coming together to stand against hate has all the vital ingredients needed for a spirit to flourish. 

Here is the challenge: let us not allow events like this to come and go.  Let us not forget what we felt and what we saw.  Let us take this opportunity to effect change.  This event deserves our attention and our time.  Patience is brave.  Let us honor what happened on that Saturday by continuing to stand up for each other.  Let’s stand up for everyone, together. Let us go forward and listen to one another. Really listen, ever mindful that if the words we are hearing with our ears scare us and seduce our anger we can listen with our hearts instead. From that tiny, quiet place, we can hand each other a cape and save the world. 

Be brave.

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(Photos and video by Lillie Ruschell)

topical

Of Levees, Lagniappe and Lexington

Full disclosure: I am a New Orleanian. No matter where I live, or how long I live there, I will always call New Orleans home.  I know how to pronounce Tchoupitoulas, am still confused why bars don’t offer to-go cups and can make a roux with my eyes closed. 

I go to Domilise’s for my po-boys and the Spotted Cat for my jazz.  When I was a teenager, I used to sit on the Mississippi riverbank, elephants and monkeys waking up at the Audubon Zoo a few feet behind me, watching the barges and driftwood compete for current.

When I was a little girl, we’d go to the French Quarter to eat souffléd potatoes and grits and grillades.  When we walked into a restaurant, my mom always asked the waiter for an extra tablecloth to wrap around me because air conditioning is its own element in New Orleans. 

My best friend and I would sneak out and take the streetcar down to Jackson Square when it was a full moon and have our fortunes read at midnight.  We paid for it with our babysitting money.

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I never made a plan past what are we eating for dinner?  New Orleans doesn’t require a plan.  In fact, it’s probably best enjoyed without one – which is only a problem when a Hurricane is threatening to demolish the city.  And when the infrastructure  fails and the city marinates in its own filth, not having a plan is a catastrophe.  That is where we are today, 10 years later … picking up the pieces from that catastrophe. 

After Hurricane Katrina blew through the Gulf Coast, the levees burst and many thousands were left stranded, either literally or in limbo. 

The Superdome became a breeding ground for all things horrific, and it was valuable real estate. To give you some perspective, when the dome reached maximum occupancy, people were shuffled to the nearby Convention Center.  John Burnett, an NPR reporter was there, and gave this stark summary of the Government’s epic failure:

“They couldn’t send them to the Superdome, which was already overcrowded and squalid. Yet more and more people were emerging wet and bewildered from their flooded neighborhoods with nowhere to go. Officials later estimated that 25,000 people were huddled inside the vast convention center — the length of four city blocks — and on the sidewalk. Day after day they waited for buses, but no one came. The fiasco at the convention center came to epitomize the disorganized, inadequate response to the disaster by local, state and federal officials.”

The disaster Burnett described, playing out in a structure that only days prior had hosted Wheel of Fortune, is best understood through imagery.

Katrina was a trauma when it happened, and remains a lingering trauma today.

Walk into any bar on Frenchman Street now and you will hear the sultry, bluesy sounds of poets and showmen weaving the storm into their lyrics.

Like gumbo, Mardi Gras beads in the Oak trees, streetcars and potholes, Katrina has become a part of the fabric of the city.  It remains one of those divisive events that slices through a life, separating it into two categories: pre and post. 

It was a category 3 storm. The death toll was over 1800, making it the third deadliest Hurricane in history.  The third deadliest, yes … but it tops the list in cost: over $100 billion. These numbers do not take into account the many who had no choice but to flee the city, their lives forever altered.

Now, a decade later, the dislocated are hearing appeals to return, with promises of a new land.  Mayor Mitch Landrieu recently gave a speech in Houston and while he was thanking the Texas city for providing refuge for the displaced, he summed up a sentiment about the Big Easy that anyone whos spent time there can agree with:

“We don’t talk the way anybody else talks, we don’t dance the way anybody else dances. [Others] don’t eat the way we eat, they don’t hug the way we hug, and they don’t love the way we love. It’s just different. And it’s wonderful.”

Tens of thousands of New Orleanians escaped the storm. Most settled in Houston. Many have returned, but many others have relocated, resettled and are trying to move on with their lives.

Wayne Lewis is one of those people. He and his wife sought shelter in Austin, TX, Raleigh, NC and eventually landed in Lexington Ky, although he admits that he will always call New Orleans home.  Wayne is many things; a new father, a husband, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership Studies at the University of Kentucky, an education reformer, and a passionate musician – to name a few. 

We caught up with each other in a dimly lit bar in downtown Lexington.  Boisterous, serious and lit from within, Wayne immediately captured my attention.  Had I not known he was from New Orleans, I would’ve assumed as much, which is the best compliment I can think of. 

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Before we talked, he pulled out his saxophone and took a few requests from his captive audience. As the honey poured out from his golden horn, my feet instinctively started moving. Mayor Landrieu is right, we dance differently.  The sound that is created by a New Orleans jazz musician is raw, sweaty, alive and gets right on into your blood. In fact, it’s possible that the first note of When The Saints Go Marching In has an invisible thread tied to your big toe; making it impossible not to dance.

That was the scene in Willie’s Locally Known at 10:00am on a Tuesday morning in Kentucky: two New Orleanians lost in the music, talking about the lagniappe of our lives. 

Wayne is above all else, a man of faith.  When he looked back, he attributes his faith as the saving grace through it all.

“I remember the moment I realized we’d lost everything very clearly,” he said. “My wife and I had just gotten our first apartment in Raleigh. We went to the Walmart to shop and when we walked through the doors, we both looked at each other and, at the same time said … ‘we need everything.’”

I remember the moment I realized we’d lost everything very clearly,” he said. “My wife and I had just gotten our first apartment in Raleigh. We went to the Walmart to shop and when we walked through the doors, we both looked at each other and, at the same time said … ‘we need everything.’

Not some things … EVERY thing. 

“But you know what Lillie, we laughed about it,” he recalled.  “We laughed.  Not once throughout the whole thing did we feel hopeless.  It was just understood that God was going to take care of us.  And he did.”

He went on to tell me about how the storm changed his perspective about life in general. 

“When you lose everything and realize that you’re ok, that you’re still the man you were before, maybe even stronger … when you know that in your heart, then you can really see what living is all about.”

saxBWSo, what does living look like for Dr. Lewis these days? Well, for one thing, he plays his sax as often as he can, which admittedly, is not often enough. 

Currently, he plays in a band called The City. One of their songs, The Levee, composed by lead vocalist/guitarist Gene Woods and featuring a solo by Wayne, is a message of solidarity with those left behind in Katrina’s awful aftermath. The song is haunting in its contradiction and counterpoint: a traditional, upbeat N’awlins second line rhythm that defiantly marches the barely concealed pain and heartbreak of abandonment through the sodden streets of the Lower Ninth Ward, past a preacher shouting from atop the ruins: “Hold the line! Don’t you succumb! You gotta find the will. To carry on.”  Sad and honest, mysterious and revealing; it tells the tale of New Orleans after the levees broke. 

Like Wayne, like New Orleans, like many of us, the profound injustice and sadness is disguised behind a facade of determined joy.

The Levee is an appropriately sad song.  Katrina caused immeasurable sadness in the souls of many. She wreaked havoc on the bayous and flooded the streets with hate and anger. 

But in the end, The Levee is a song … because that’s what New Orleanians do. We deal with the heartbreak by making beats, beans and boudin.  We dance when we’re up, we dance when we’re down.  We let the music explain us and guide us.  It guides us to the food most of the time, where we are the happiest, eating lunch and talking about dinner.

What can you do to help New Orleans today?

Go there. Experience it for yourself.  Eat.  Dance.  Fall in love and spend your money on an experience that will change you forever.  Feel alive. Feel it all.  Let your sunglasses fog up when you walk outside and embrace it as the city’s way of crying for you. Cry on your own.  The river will take it.  In the words of Rebirth Brass Band, just “Do whacha wanna do …” and Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler.

If you need recommendations (which you don’t btw), Wayne Lewis is happy to give them to you.

Arts

A Legendary Love

What is that thing?  The thing that people have when people say they have “that thing?”

Who knows? Charisma maybe? Self-confidence? Perhaps.  An amalgamation of  more illusive things?

Whatever it is, Reva and Andrew English have it.  In spades.  They are both local musicians. Andrew is the front man for Englishman, and Reva is a singer, songwriter and mean string picker in a few different groups.

Englishman takes you to a place that reveals a glimpse of yourself in an unexpected and honest way … the way really beautiful music does.  And then, just before you get scared of what you’ll find, a melody … a guitar riff, a surprise; something gets your toe a tapping again … pulling you back and reminding you that it’s all ok.  His music pushes you, through detailed and brilliant images to ask the big questions.  It invites you to confront the more uncomfortable parts of humanity.  To stand in front of the mirror – naked.

We accept the invitation because of the way it is presented; honestly, with character and dripping in grace.  Andrew’s music is a perfect reflection of who he is as a man.  It’s no wonder that long before they met, mutual friends were trying to push him and Reva together.

That would’ve never worked though.  Reva can’t be pushed to do anything.  Not anymore at least.  Nope, it was going to have to be a natural process, something that would unfold as naturally as a flower in spring, and equally remarkable.

Even on stage, perhaps especially on stage, Reva’s organic sound is intoxicating.  There is absolutely nothing forced about this woman.  Once her faucet was turned on and she felt free to be herself, the talent just poured out.  And it keeps pouring.  Reva has her hands in several musical endeavors in this town and is associated by proxy to more.

Lately, she’s focused primarily on two of those projects.  Whether Reva is picking and singing in Small Batch or Italian Beaches, her perfect blend of moxy and humility is enough to make you crave more.  Her stage presence is both intimidating and comforting and her musical choices reflect that.  I have felt giddy at the possibilities of this life and moved to tears by its injustice many times during her songs.

She is, above all else, a professional.  The passion for her craft is reflected in the intricacies of each nuanced lyric and chord.  When you listen to Reva’s music, it is remarkably well executed and thought-out while maintaining an easy and effortless sound.  I imagine her muse to be a reflection of a hybrid between the Buddha and Patti Smith – simply complicated.  During a song, it is not uncommon to watch her wail into the rafters in one verse, only to sooth the crowd over with a gentle melody in the next.  Her talent is abundant and her endless projects are proof that her light can never be snuffed out again.

And certainly, not on Andrew’s watch.

The two of them have recently embarked on a joint project – parenthood.  Their son, Friend (a family name), is the perfect mixture of them both.

He’s not the tickle-tickle kind of baby.  He’s serious about this life already.  At the ripe old age of seven months, Friend is right at home on the couch with the grown-ups and can often be seen at one of his parent’s shows be-bopping around in his tiny headphones, almost certainly concocting kind and constructive thoughts about it all.  At the family table, you might be tempted to wait for him to ask someone to pass the biscuits and gravy.

That’s how I found them on a Saturday morning when I went for the interview. They, with a close family friend, were sitting around the table in the kitchen of the cozy and bright home they gutted and are renovating together.  After they were done eating, we moved into the living room that is comfortable, eclectic, and littered with musical instruments and toys.

There were a thousand questions I had, but more than anything, I wanted to know about what exists in the space between them.

They described it as safety.  This was one of my favorite interactions:

Reva: “I get scared a lot, I freak out, I think everything is going to come crashing down.”

Andrew: “I’m there to say that it will.”

Reva: “Yeah, it’s like when Andrew says it, I’m like okay, that’s okay.  He puts it in perspective.”

They were both laughing. That’s how they are: realistic and supportive.  Andrew said that the backbone of their relationship is about understanding that the work they both do is important, respecting that and cultivating a safe space for it to flourish.

They also described their connection as easy.  The ease comes from a thread that has been woven in and throughout their lives.

Andrew: “We have a common goal, or mission or whatever.  It’s not about success or money … it’s about being a useful human in a community.”

When I asked them what it was like when they knew this was it, that they were inextricably in love, Andrew shrugged and said: “It’s nice when the character traits you have always had become character traits that are useful for someone else.  It’s just like, wow, okay … that works.  We fit.”

Of course I was curious about the product of this love, little Friend, and how his arrival had impacted their lives.  At one point, Reva’s brown eyes welled up with tears and she recollected being pregnant.

“You know, it was never hard being pregnant … it wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, but I didn’t need to complain about it.  It just wasn’t hard.  My life used to be either hard or painful.  When it wasn’t painful, it was hard.  It hasn’t been like that since I found Andrew.”

Andrew reached his arm around her and she nestled on his shoulder.  Then they told me about what it was like when they found out they were pregnant.

“Well, I was going to a friend’s house for something and was on my way to pick up some beer,” Reva said, “something in me said, ‘ummm, you don’t need beer,’ so I got a pregnancy test instead. It was positive … wow, I haven’t thought about this since it happened.”

“Me either,” Andrew grinned.

“And I think I had just come in from a run, remember that Andrew? … I was all sweaty and drinking a glass of water when you walked in the door …”

“Yeah … I remember.”

“I put the glass down and said, I’m pregnant. And Andrew was just like ‘okay, so this is happening.’”

“Well yeah,” Andrew jumped in “but I think if you’d gotten me early in the morning or something I wouldn’t have been as cool about it … I’m just not like that in the morning …”

“That’s not true,” Reva said, “you’re fine in the morning.”

“Yeah well, I may have been a little more confused about the whole thing … at that point though, it was just like, ‘well, okay … this is happening.”

And so it happened, their lives led them to each other, their togetherness led to love, the love made a human and that human made them a family.   A brief moment in time, a blink really, a glimpse into all of the beauty that exists in this world on one sofa in downtown Lexington.

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As I sat in the 70s style armchair, across from that sofa while Andrew balanced Friend on his head and Reva was snuggled up close, it occurred to me that I was in the presence of greatness.  Even though we don’t get to know if people are legends while they’re living, it’s clear that what these two have together is worthy of the term.

It’s a legendary love.

If you want to catch them both together, they are playing Soulful Space on August 27, at Good Shepherd Church.  Englishman will open for Small Batch starting at 7:00pm.  Click here for tickets.