As a historian  the goal is to create original scholarship. This can be done by utilizing newly uncovered (or declassified) sources. Or, you might contribute a fresh perspective on a topic covered by other scholars. The challenge is offering something unique, while also connecting to other scholars and fitting within a larger field, story, argument, or line of analysis. You want to be new, but you don’t want to be a rogue.

Every few years a friend of mine gives me a new mix of music he’s been keen on. I always eagerly await his offerings, since he either opens my ears to completely new music or tests me with musicians I know, but gives them to me under different guises. A drummer from a band I’ve heard and liked might be singing solo. A few members of one band might have formed their own new group. Or, it could just sound a whole lot like another group I like. After many, many listenings, I’m often still working my way through his creations.

His newest set of songs has been in my possession for at least a year, if not two. But I’m just beginning to discover some of the songs. One of them has me ready for summer, excited to be outside moving and gyrating. It sounds like it’s the middle of the 1960s. Good, classic psyc rock music with some incredible lyrics. How come I’ve never heard this if it has been around for fifty years? Well, ’cause it hasn’t.

Blitzen Trapper. They manage to fit in with a well-established sound, but they’re putting their own spin on it & sounding awesome all the while. I’m impressed. It’s great that music like this is still being made. I hope to see them live sometime soon. Come east my friends, come east!

Wild Mountain Nation

Come out from the world
and into my arms
like wind on the water with me
come out from the city
come out from the town
build stone by stone a wild mountain home

When the red moon wanes
we’ll be moving on the plains
through the tall grass out to the sea
and we’ll cross that water
my wild mountain lover
like wolves running silent and free

So if your love won’t grow
and the rivers won’t flow
just join that holy desert tribe
is where we saddle up to ride
you know that wild mountain nation
on the rise of going home

Come out from the world
and into my arms
like wind on the water with me
with wings like the angels
and hearts like the sun
building stone by stone
a wild mountain home