“The sky is crying; look at the tears run down the street...”-Elmore
“...You know the sun shine in my backdoor someday,” countless blues
For much of the past three weeks in the Philadelphia area we have been witness to a series of and amazing daylight skies. It has been very clear most days, so we have been able to see all the different forms and styles of clouds: puffy ones, streaming ones, stark and elongated ones, and ones in which the sun is streaming through as if announcing the arrival of a Supreme Being. I am outside at different times of the day, so I have seen the reddish skies of an early morning sunrise, the slow and glorious changes that can mark an evolving sunset, and everything in between. There have been times these past few weeks when it has been so clear and so brilliant up there that looking up at the sky has simply erased negative thoughts that were in my head at the time. The sky literally took me out of and I was placed somewhere else.
I am thinking and writing about those days now because night tonight there have been some special things happening up above us. There was a near full moon last night, and I was able to watch it out in my garden and later from a window in my study. It was quietly spectacular, appearing bigger than usual and was wonderfully peaceful. There was also a lunar eclipse early this morning, visible from the western United States. We couldn’t see the eclipse, but tonight we should be able to see The Super Flower Blood Moon that will mark the true Full Moon. It is called a “Super Moon” because it is happening when the moon is closest to the earth, so it appears bigger and brighter. It is also called a “Flower Moon” or “Corn Planting Moon, because it happens in May, at time when traditional Native American cultures planted flowers and corn. It makes for a special viewing, and all I do is stop and look up after the sun sets.
I love watching the sky, and I have been very fortunate to have had many amazing sky experiences throughout my life. As a bird watcher and camper, I am looking up and am usually spending some time away from cities and light pollution. I have seen spectacular meteor showers, clear, stunningly bright constellations, amazing sunrises, and breathtaking midday skies in many different places and at many different times. Penny and were tent campers, so the sky was with us and very present on our trips. After we retired back in we were able to travel during times we couldn’t when we were working, and it was a real treat. Having the time to be looking up at spring or fall skies was something we both relished. I regularly do it now, and it always brings me great joy. It can slow me down, change my mood, amaze me, makes me laugh out loud and smile, and almost always produce wonder and amazement.
Looking at the sky was not always a regular part of my life, however. As a kid I would notice the full moon and make the usual jokes about crazy people coming out when a full moon arose. I was also interested in words, so I treasured the fact that the word, "lunatic” has its root in, “lunar”-moon. Aside from that and from rainstorms or snowstorms, I really did not think much about what . It was not until high school while visiting the Phila. Museum of Art with some friends that I became truly fascinated with the sky. We were in a gallery, and there was a painting that just stopped me in my tracks. The name of the painting was, “The Highway of Combs-le-Ville" by Giovanni , and this painting changed my life. The great expanse of sky in the painting; the different shadings of blue; the incredible variety in the way the clouds are pictured; the seemingly endlessness to the painting; the majesty of the sky; it all just blew me away. And from then on, whenever I want to the museum, I had to spend at least a little time in front of that painting. When they took it down for a few years I was devastated, and when it was displayed I cried as I stood in front of it. From the moment of seeing that painting I started looking up and really looking at the sky. I’m 70 now, And I haven’t stopped yet.
Looking at the sky; it such a small thing, really. Just -physically tilt the head back, look up and scan what is above me. But, Oh the joy it can produce! I owe that joy to Giovanni and that highway. Art can human behavior! I do hope you all can find time to look up tonight and maybe even start doing it regularly. It is . Do have a Happy Full Moon night!
(Here are links to the painting and info about tonight’s full moon.
DUKES LIVE GIGS
1) The Dukes of Destiny at Drexel Lodge Park; Saturday, June 12th: 4PM-64104 West Chester Pike; Newtown Square, PA
The first live gig of 2021 is
in lovely Drexel Lodge Park, a large park with a gazebo, Railroad
Museum, and playground. It is a family affair, so bring the kids, lawn
chairs and a friend or two, is our first time at this space, and we are happy to be in front of a real live audience. So come on out and welcome the back at their first live gig of 2021! The event is rain or shine. CDC and Public Health guidelines will be followed.
2) The Dukes at Kahn Park Summer Series; Wednesday, July 28 ( July 29); 12th & Pine ; Philadelphia; 7:30-9PM
We are so happy to be back at this charming Center City Park with
great plantings and flowers in a great neighborhood and with food
trucks. Places to sit, dance,
and welcome the sunset and evening. We have not played in Center City
in a few years, so please come on down and help welcome us back.
3) Food Trucks and Dancing in the Street: Downtown Swedesboro, NJ; Thursday, August 26; 7:15-9:30PM Swedesboro, www.historicswedesboro.com/events/dancing-in-the-street/1- 856-467-0202
are back in the great village of Swedesboro, NJ-one of my favorite
Jersey towns. I love walking the downtown main drag and noting some of
the historical sites in the town. This is a great event variety
of food trucks, a street set off for dancing and for sitting, and a
wonderful family vibe with activities for kids. So come on out and
welcome us back to this great town and this wonderful gig. Activities
start at 6;30PM and the play from 7:15-9:30PM
THE TWO JOHNS GIGS-Johnny Never, guitar and John Colgan-Davis, harp; acoustic country blues stylings
1) The Two Johns: Hummingbird to Mars; Friday, June 4th; 9PM-12AM: 1-302-652-2255; 1616 Delaware Ave, Trolley Square, Wilmington, go to entrance around West Street & knock on the door; take stairway to the top floor;) https://www.facebook.com/H2mars/ A 1930’s Speakeasy themed bar, we
have played here several times over the last two years, and we flat out
love this place. Great design, good food, wonderful bartenders, and a
great vibe. Numbers are limited, so reservations are necessary.
2) Sunday, June Blue Suburban Dr,
Newark, DE 19711; 2-4 PM (302) 737-1100 https://www.bluecrabgril
Great to be back at this great seafood restaurant with great food and a wonderful staff. We played here before the are glad to be back. A nice way to do Sunday brunch-brunching with the blues and some great seafood. Hope to see you.
3) Buck’s County Summer Blues Party: Saturday, July 17; 12:PM-6PM; Tow Johns from 1PM-1:40: VFW Grounds; 1315 Hardy Rd; , PA; $32(Includes picnic food, bottled water); limit 250 people
The Bucks County Blues Society has been putting on great shows since
1977, and this is another one featuring national acts Billy Price and
Regina Bonelli and local acts Tom Craig, and of course, The Two Johns.
For info and tickets, www.buckscountybluessociety.org/home.html
MORE GIGS TO COME SOON: FACEBOOK PAGE AND WEBSITE WILL BE UPDATED
The Dukes on YouTube
Here are two videos of the Dukes at The Kennett Flash and World Café from a few years