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Max Eilbacher

Illustrations by Max Eilbacher and Lance Simmons

Early Spring 010, the bands flustered and irate off my coffee induced light flicking. Little do they know I am saving their life from the semis speeding past. Somewhere outside Orange Texas, 3 am. It took some time later to appreciate the psychic weavings I was spinning around my head during that tour. The many a late nite drive showed the spewing immaterial air surrounding the countless southern cities the crew cruised through. At the helm for the late drive shift, driving through downtown “where ever” at 2-4 am was a regular thing at this point. No biggie, the point is what’s on the radio, the boom box, the life source, the source that keeps me awake and everyone else alive, my musical breather brains skewed alongside the highway, me sitting in the hospital, “I shouldn’t have keep the classical music station on that long.” Luckily none of that thought train made steam in my reality rides. The constant choice for my wheel operating hours: modern country. I did not care for this type of tune a few months back but for some reason in these few weeks I keep coming back to these guitars, voice, fiddles, and hats this time of night. No idea why, seemed right so I did it, guided by the soul type shit, soul of the singer songwriter, soul of the truck, soul of the boot, soul of the white American. Not till winter of the year 2012 did I comprehend the reasoning behind my country anima. While the city slept, its inhabitants’ physic energy spewed into the night air. A common thread, a conduit: between the psychedelic psi clouds up in the early morning sky and my fingers on the radio tuner. Country music, a common thread, a common denominator, a common place to meet up in the sky--in no other part of the USA does this exist, a shared culture, a true American expression. What do they have on the east coast--NPR? Negator! West coast? Drugs? Yoga Music Liberalism? Nopppeee. The billow of country music, reflecting off the stars, fractaling off the highway, beamed from the sleeping skull, transmitted through radio waves, channeled by a marketable chosen few.

It’s 3:34 am over Memphis.

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