I got the black lung, pop...

From Joanna Horowitz, Communications Department

It's 8:30 and I'm still at work, killing some time until the end of Fire on the Mountain when I'll go down to the lobby and, as a service to the musicians, sell their CDs to the legions of adoring fans. I really don't mind hanging out at my desk during the show because I can listen to the music over the monitors. I've heard the 90-minute musical play through probably about seven times now, and I'm at the point where I can sing along (harmonies and melodies) with just about all the songs. I wake up in the morning singing "It's dark as a dungeon way down in the mine." In the shower I'm humming "Daddy, won't you take me back to Mullenburg County?" On my way to work...ok, you get the point. I live in Seattle, but I might as well be a coal miner's daughter.

I already knew I liked bluegrass, but I didn't realize I liked it this much. Maybe it's that Fire on the Mountain has such a poignant story about the history of coal miners in Appalachia. Maybe it's all the bourbon I've been drinking lately. Who knows? But despite not having really any point of reference, I am really moved everytime I hear the music from the show. Not to mention, the musicians in the show are some of the nicest people I've met. Now if I could get one of them to teach me the banjo, I'd be set for my own career in bluegrass...

If you want more bluegrass, I guess there is a weekly Monday night bluegrass jam at Conor Byrne in Ballard (bluegrass at an Irish bar? Well the music does have its roots in Celtic tradition...). I keep meaning to go check it out. I guess I don't have any excuse not to now.

Well, as I'm listening to the musical, it sounds like the miners have black lung now, so that means it's almost over and I need to head down to the lobby. Don't worry, you'll leave smiling. The people the show is about are resilient--even black lung can't get them down.

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