07/24/19 / by Jesse Griffith

Day 85

The Basin music.

My heart sank into a new beat the first time traveling down the long lane way to the farm. Twenty kilometers due north as the crow flies across the Minas Basin lies Five Islands in pure glory and up towards Parrsboro it's all seas and land where dinosaurs dwelt. It's a unique and all encompassing force. The extreme lows where one can walk 4-5 kilometers out onto the very bottom of the seabed floor is an experience worth encountering. A weight worthy of the walk. A perspective worth the traveling and only with caution as the tide is unforgiving.

I had to learn Wildwood Flower from an old timer who was my only friend for the first year out here. It still is one of my favorite tunes, and the original Carter Family recording is one of the best of all time. Hanging around my 77 year old buddy was the beginning of a brand new education. Here everyone thought I was the educated one because I have a degree. I knew nothing. A slower pace for everything, learning to wear a keen eye looking at signs of the previous night's animal activity. Coyote tracks tailing rabbit tracks with a doe and fawn nearby, I began to be opened to a new tune. The process of making hay, milking a cow, burying a draft horse, running a chain saw, building a fence, creating relationships, killing a rooster, writing business plans, taming a wild abused pony, putting on an alternator (pronounced alt-nator ) ad nausea... Farming is a diverse life and the skills required are endless. It can bring a new found honour and appreciation of the work it takes to grow food while sharing the space with countless species of plant and animal life. Gradually and through a lot of missteps, scars and stomped on days I'd learn a new piece and gain a little mindfulness. Then out of the blue on a Friday night onstage inside a huge boathouse a community opened up.

Music as the conduit, the connective thread to people, place and time. Unbeknownst to me we all arrived in the same area, at a similar time in our very different lives. I had moved from Vancouver, AW from New Zealand, DL from Yellowknife and SeaRoss from Montreal. Through a few mutual friends suggesting we get together, I was hesitant and playing hard to get but finally after a few months I went out to the valley with the steel guitar and tele to go play some tunes. The songs were what hooked me. I absolutely love playing original music. It is the act of creating something that didn't exist prior where I am most inspired and where I want to place my energies. The songs these guys were writing (and continue to) instantly had their hooks in me. Four years later and countless shows later we still spend an evening every week wood-shedding, hanging, discussing, writing new material.

Most importantly for me taking on any project is all dependent on the people making the music. I have been in enough situations where no matter how good the music is, no matter how much the gig pays, if I have to share the stage with inflated egos and people I don't enjoy passing time with it is never worth it and I will take a pass. It took me a long time to learn this. Life is too short. Luckily, this group has become fundamental in my life out here for the last four years. Deep thinkers not afraid to discuss and explore heavy existential, ideas, family folks with young children, high intellects, creative forces unto themselves and as a group we maintain and share a mutual respect and admiration for one another. A band to celebrate the communities and an outlet to collaborate. The band has broadened my life with such vigor and a happiness that is infectious. While carrying on through the last 3 months in the Camera Obscura, I've maintained gigs and rehearsals with this band, creating new songs and developing our sound in the most natural way, simply getting together to jam for the love and fun of it.

It is a very different kind of music than what I play with this project but everything connects and circles into each other. I am never fully satisfied playing one type of thing. I've always needed several music projects to fulfill my diverse needs of sound making and I am happiest when there is a healthy balance. Cheers to the Basin Brothers, even if I wanted to name us "Minas Birds" instead.