The River Knows Your Name


by Kevin Carrel Footer
19 November 2015

I played a town last night that I once lived in. When I got there I saw my name up in marquee lights. I guess there’s a little part of everyone who wants to go back to the town you once lived and find your name up in lights.

Of course, it means nothing. (Though I confess I would like to think that my ex-girlfriend from those days drove by this week and made a double-take.)

As I stood there on stage during the show, I looked out to the audience in that beautiful theater and I said to myself: “This is all I want.” It is a privilege to go up on stage and make music for people. And it’s a privilege to play with other artists I admire and to learn from them. If there’s one thing I take away from the last three months of touring the US and Canada, it’s that I want to dig deeper into the music, write more songs, tell new stories, work on playing my harp a little better.

Music is the most generous and the most jealous lover. If you practice every day, she gives you untold gifts. Fail to practice every day and she takes her gifts right back. We have been playing a lot on this tour, but if I take a few days off, when I pick up my harmonica I have to climb that steep slope all over again.

At the end of the show, backed by the incredible North Bay All-Stars, we closed the show with the song they always sing together: “The River Knows Your Name” by John Hiatt:

Oh the river she knows your name
From the Brazos to the Wabash to the Seine
No two journeys are ever quite the same
But the river knows your name
Oh the river knows your name

This journey has transformed me. I look forward to discovering in the next few months just how.

One response to “The River Knows Your Name”

  1. Tom McCarter Avatar
    Tom McCarter

    Clearly there were other aspects of ourselves we never delved into in the brief time we were on that team together.

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