Dry River, Flowing Thoughts

It’s starting to feel like that Dave Alvin song “Dry River” around here. “I’m just as dry as that ol’ river/and as dead as them ol’ trees.” Let’s hope that, “Someday it’s gonna rain,” and, “Someday it’s gonna pour.”

I ventured out for yet another incredible walk on yet another incredible day — Buenaventura Trail to the Sacramento River Trail to the footbridge and back. And, of course, the sentiment among everyone right now is, “We might as well enjoy it now, ’cause we’re gonna pay for it later.” It scares me to think about what “paying for it later” means.

On my walk, I looked in one creek drainage and saw six large fish (salmon, right?) trapped in a fairly deep water hole. They were cut off from the main channel of the Sacramento. I was thinking, “Rain! Come on, give these dudes some options.”

I guess no matter what happens in the coming months, we won’t catch up. I’m not sure what “not catching up” means, other than we’ll probably see a bunch more islands on that big lake to the north of Redding. (It’s not seeming so big anymore, but the Pit River Bridge sure seems high.)

All right, enough of this kind of talk. Powwow? Rain dance, anyone?

In other thoughts:

• Leo Kottke, wow. Not many others can make one guitar sound like three. He was just amazing on the 12- and 6-string instruments in his Friday night show at the Cascade Theatre. Speaking of dry, he’s got that incredible Minnesota dry wit. Weird and hilarious stories about ants and falling off stages and being tackled by girls.

He never closed the loop on one story about “Julie,” however. And some folks I talked to said they wanted more music and less talking. I viewed it as half “A Prairie Home Companion”-style, and half virtuoso guitar. One friend thought 75 minutes was a little short overall.

• Chuck Brodsky, also on Friday, at Bernie’s Guitar. A guy can always fly on the strength of truthful good songs and sincerity. I didn’t hear a lot of new songs from Chuck (missed the first half, though), but I love the old stuff enough to keep coming back.

•Turtle Bay’s Culture Shock event takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Main Museum Building. There will be chocolate treats by Nancy Matthews (Chocolat de Nannette), a “love panel” answering relationship questions, darts (you’re cupid, get it?) and karaoke. Tickets are $4 for members, $5 for others.

Jim Dyar

is a journalist who focuses on arts, entertainment, music and the outdoors. He is a songwriter and leader of the Jim Dyar Band. He lives in Redding and can be reached at jimd.anewscafe@gmail.com

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