By Kevin Alan Lamb
Heart warming. Heart racing. Like going home. A hug from the ones you love that lasts all night. Look around the room and see everyone singing every word to the songs you cherish; the songs that have you helped you find your way all along. Suddenly the world we hope for and the world that is don’t appear so far apart. What is possible, becomes a present reality. Comforted that the love in a single room is enough. Evidence that we are not defined by headlines designed to rip us apart. Joy in its purest and most accessible sense. An evening with The Avett Brothers and Trampled By Turtles transcends time and space, away from our worlds of worry, fear, and doubt.
Grateful for the stories I’ve been able to weave out of life experiences with each of these humble, and in their own sense under the radar super star ensembles, the opportunity to see them perform together in the same night is a blessing I will hold close to my heart. While this was the first time I photographed Trampled By Turtles, I formed a relationship with Dave Simonett in my time at Otus Supply where he first performed with his side project, Dead Man Winter, and later solo for the epic One Year Anniversary run.
Like a lot of my favorite musicians Dave loves baseball. From Duluth, MN, it just occurred to me that he’s probably pretty stoked right now with the Twins sitting atop the AL Central, with just one week in the regular season remaining. I think it would make an interesting column to explore performer’s passion for our national pastime. A lot of people don’t realize that baseball is our national pastime because in the organizational frames that Major League Baseball was founded on, it declares itself the national past time.
I recently reconnected with one of my best friends, he said to me “When I think about what you loved most growing up, outside of baseball, it was music. So I guess it makes sense what you’re doing now.”
Baseball and music have always belonged together in my world, and lately they’ve been showing up for one another in some pretty cool ways. Just a few weeks ago I had the great joy of throwing out the first pitch at minor league baseball game. The Great Lakes Loons are the Los Angeles Dodgers Single A affiliate in Midland, MI. The Gasoline Gypsies were booked to play the last home game of the Loons season, and I came out of retirement for one pitch, in front of 5,000 on a beautiful, summer night. In the spirit of Greensky Bluegrass, I didn’t under do it. Naturally I went from the windup, standing upon a three foot mound, pitching to a catcher for the first time in over a decade (with an un-repaired rotator cuff. I walked to the mound as they PA announcer proclaimed “Kevin Lamb, with The Gasoline Gypsies!”
I thrust my throwing hand into the air, the crowd let out a roar as I looked over my right shoulder to see myself on the jumbotron in right field. It was my time. Nervous as hell, with the setting sun beaming over the stadiums precipice, I woundup, and delved into the ol’ back a tricks one more time.
“Forget the curveball Ricky, give em the heater!”
It all happened really fast to tell you the truth… in technical terms, for those of you keeping score at home, it was a wild pitch. But I got my money’s worth, and next year I’m eyeing another one pitch appearance.
I wonder if Scott and Seth Avett love baseball? Neither of the Carolinas has a Major League team, as a result – like most of the south they claim the Atlanta Braves as their team.
When you pursue your passion the universe has a strange and beautiful way of providing which you seek. I had to let go of baseball before I could discover music. Is their something or someone you need to let go of to realize your dreams and potential? I can’t answer that question for you, but evenings like this one, with The Avett Brothers and Trampled By Turtles have a funny way to providing the spark.
Just in case you were listening for one, This Is A Good Sound.