Both of my parents enjoyed varying genres of music ranging anywhere from the classical music of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Mozart, and Chopin; the pop music of the seventies and eighties with Pat Benatar, Prince, and the BeeGees belting from the vinyl on my mother's record player; to Willie Nelson, Neil Diamond, and John Denver lyrics she'd sing to and strum on her guitar.
But Bluegrass was new to me and immediately I was captivated with the fury of the fiddler on stage as he raced his bow across the strings of his fiddle faster than a Camaro in a Nascar race. The banjo player used three picks to pluck away on his instrument (mom had only used one while singing "Country Roads" at home) and about midway through the concert she had to reassure me that the lady playing the piano with seemingly indefatigable ease must be faking it because fingers just don't like to sustain that kind of abuse for so long.
The music did something to me as well. It permeated right to my core and before I knew it, I had a smile on my face the size of Missouri and toes inside my tennies that couldn't keep from stompin' to the beat. I was happy- it was as simple as that.
Last week I found my toes doing the same thing once again. I was in the kitchen, baking up a batch of muffins right before noon, the sun that had been absent for days was finally filtering in through the window- filling even the darkest corners with light, and the Chris Thile's How to Grow a Woman cd was playing over the boom box that still manages to work after over fifteen years of use. The muffins had twenty minutes to bake and with no one else in the kitchen but me, my toe stompin' turned into some type of forgotten jig that brought the big Missourian smile right back to my face.
How to Grow a Woman is one of Chris Thile's older albums- newer than his work from Nickel Creek but older than the music from his current band, Punch Brothers. I like his new stuff, too. Check them out- you might find yourself doing a little toe stompin' of your own.