I love the midwest and thus, I love the music of Jayber Crow. Jayber Crow is two folks (one of them is a Luther grad!) playing some good old original acoustic music. And I love it. It is pure hippie deliciousness. They're currently in the midst of making their first full-length album (which I am anxiously awaiting), but a couple of years ago they released an EP called "The Farmer and the Nomad." The songs on the are mostly about traveling and growing up. The entire EP is fantastic and I highly recommend buying it (especially since Jayber Crow won't make you pay shipping costs if you buy the CD before the end of 2007... check jaybercrow.com for more info on that...), but for now I just want to mention a few tidbits about the title track itself. "The Farmer and the Nomad" the song, encompasses the entire mood of the EP (perhaps explaining its selection as title track). The EP is about the rites of passage and little pieces of life that seem routine to the point of becoming mundane. But Jayber Crow songs present such things in such a way as to remind us of their simple beauty.
"The Farmer and the Nomad" (the song) reflects the notion that things that seem mundane, or things that are societally-construed as "unpleasant" are actually really beautiful. A good friend once told me that when she grew old, she hoped her face was covered in wrinkles so that everyone would know that she had laughed plenty and had had a good life. So few of the images we are bombarded by on a daily basis reflect the beauty of such a notion - that growing old and wrinkly might be desirable - that when I come across such a positive image, my heart leaps for joy. "Farmer" opens with the following lines: "If God grants me wrinkled face/Like a country house/Black soil for my calloused hands/Send my fingers down/This skin is young/And wants a little wind." Every time I hear those lines, I smile to myself. But the song has more to say about life's waves and cycles. The chorus (and ultimately the song) concludes with the following: "The farmer waits with steady hands to call me home/But until then, it's just the shifting grass, the open road." As someone who is currently geographically "transplanted" and who expects to move around a fair amount in the next decade, I am pursuing the open road as best I can and waiting for the day when I can put my roots down, probably on a farm somewhere in the midwest, like the good folksinger/hippie I am. Like the song says, I'm hoping I'll know when that time has come when I hear someone call me home. In the meantime, this song is my soundtrack.
Here is a clip of Pete and Zach (Jayber Crow) playing the song live. At the moment, you can hear the entire song (and the rest of the songs from their EP) on their myspace page, www.myspace.com/jaybercrow.