Ryan Adams and The Cardinals : My Winding Wheel : London Symphony Orchestra’s St. Lukes, London, England, August 3, 2007

A bit late to the ball game, we discovered this song in the Fall of 1999, thanks very much to our well-versed fellow archivist Leo Carmody, Esq., who hails from Sharpsburg, North Carolina, not far from Ryan Adams’ native Jacksonville, North Carolina.  We were immediately hooked.  North Carolina is, and, unfortunately, it seems, is destined no longer to be, a textile state.  This art is rapidly disappearing.  The threads that once were woven from raw material are now cut, spent.  Elsewhere, our tales are being woven by foreign hands.  What’s more precious than a tale spun from our own lives, our stories, our Now?  Adams presents us with the raw material for one such thread; working girl and working guy head out for a night on the mill town, a blessed respite from the constant murmur of the millworks, their shuttles, their looms.  Standing for hours on end.  The guy, having given all he’s got during his shift, wants to impress the girl.  He thinks he has what it takes.  He’s not sure.  She’s pretty in her dress.  She’s interested, but not obviously so–she’s aloof.  He scuffs his boot, takes a swig from the bottle.  He decides that stepping back is the best approach.  Go on ahead.  Sash-ay yourself around.  You ain’t gonna find anyone better’n me.  He thinks this, and he hopes, but he is not entirely confident.  From this, the song emerges.

We think he gets the girl.  Otherwise, we’ve nothing left over which to fantasize.  Ryan’s a damn good storyteller and an even better songwriter.  We’d like a reprise of this song with an ending, but we realize that tales, once woven, might not necessarily be finished as they were started.  Someone, somewhere–someone somewhere you may not know–has to pick up the thread and finish it.


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