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Tall Stalks Bending Gently in the Breeze / Country Music Radio

from My Life's Work by Ben Seretan

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Imagine sitting all through the night in the dark, a guitar in your lap and tall cabinet amps gently rumbling the building (like an enormous kitten purring) invisible on the other side of the wall, visible only on a small closed-caption TV just to the right of your elbow. You arrived here shortly after darkness fell and you will be sitting here, mostly in this office chair, all evening long, trying to record whatever this project is. It’s a dark moment in your life - - hot on the heels of more betrayals than you can count on one hand - - but you have an idea to carve something out, to make something substantive and “real seeming” and so you book the studio time off hours, your buddies’ place, they lock you in for the night, it’s all good, etc. And you sit and you sit, manipulating the strings and the pedals and the cables just so, making those amps sing and getting it all on tape, every fuckup, every mistake, every fleeting moment of a brilliance originating from somewhere just outside of yourself. You’re falling asleep - at times you are in fact asleep, but your hand remained firmly planted on the fretboard, a chord ringing out you don’t remember playing. And you push and you push onward in this Quixotic journey, recording hour upon hour of gentle guitar delay pedal tones, and suddenly you’re almost done with work for the night, just a couple more half-hours to go, and the first light starts to break through the skylight above. You’d hadn’t even noticed that the sky was getting lighter, you just locked in half-asleep, but now there is a slap of sunlight on your face. It’s warm. You look up and immediately squint because the sun is shining directly into your eyes. New love always means seeing the sunrise, don’t you think? And in that moment it all feels good.

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from My Life's Work, released August 30, 2018

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Ben Seretan Troy, New York

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