Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 9 - Caught in the Rain

After a full night of rain and very little sleep I pulled myself out of bed to make the descision about weekend plans. Rohanna had been suffering from a cough that seemed to be growing worse and the continually rainy 4-day forecast would be a damper on the plans to head to the mountains and explore the national parks around GyeongJu for Sat. & Sun. It was very warm despite the rain and with a spirit of adventure, to my delight, everyone agreed to head off anyways. I had to pick up Ulrich along the way at Gimhae airport so I headed off on my own to Masan City while the rest of the crew headed straight for GyeongJu to settle into a guesthouse Bonnie had reserved. My route ended up being traffic-heavy with multiple with accidents caused by people who don't drive/know how to drive properly in rain. I made it to Gimhae with a few minutes to spare and Ulrich and I made it to GyeongJu by dinner time.

We stayed in a very rustic, traditional guesthouse named  Sa Rang Chae with a garden common area and very friendly hosts. The rooms were small with beautiful handmade wallpaper and intricate woodworked doors and entranceways. We slept on a traditional Korean bed called a yo, which is basically a mat on the floor, which luckily for me I find really comfortable.

Today's song, Caught in the Rain by Martin Sexton is the only thing that came to mind to describe my day. Memories of falling in love with Martin Sexton's music are so various and fun to remember. I first heard of him in my last year of University because a dear friend and roommate, Toby, introduced me to Glory Bound after seeing him live at the River Run center in Guelph. Memories of that year include us listening to, among other things, his studio recorded stuff on week nights when we were studying, weekends when we were socializing or getting ready to go out and Sunday afternoons when we were recovering.

After graduation, I carried my adoration of Martin Sexton to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in the summer of 2003 but couldn't get many people excited about it. I almost never took that CD out of the stereo and I would sing my heart out when nobody else was home. I shared my passion with a couple of people who appreciated it and even met the odd person here and there who had heard of him. That summer we went to the Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Canso and I learned that Martin Sexton had played there the year before. There were still people talking about the amazing performance he gave and someone even did a little tribute to him, singing Black Sheep which I watched in utter glee. I had never hear anyone else sing a Martin Sexton song live. Bonnie was visiting at the time and I remember after the festival, making her a recorded cassette of all the Martin Sexton music I had for her to take back to Colombia with her. Later on in Colombia she introduced it to Jonathan and Christine.

Jason and I moved to the Cayman Islands and Martin was lost in the transition. When we returned to Canada after hurricane Ivan, Jonathan sang Glory Bound one day while I was at their apartment in Toronto and I was again mesmerized to hear a live rendition of one of his songs. In the fall of 2004, Jason and I moved back to Nova Scotia and I rediscovered the songs that I had briefly forgotten about and began listening to the old CDs again.

When I moved to Colombia, early in 2005, I found the cassette tape at Bonnie's house and introduced Aaron to the wonder of Mr. Sexton's incredible talents. I knew instantly that I had found someone who would appreciate the music the same way that I did. The cassette tape didn't leave that stereo for months and months. We would listen to it while drinking wine and playing chess, cooking and hosting dinners and for lazy Sunday morning coffees on the porch. I remember our delight when we found this little gem, a dance medley set to the song Diner, when we were into watching the TV show Scrubs. Eventually, though, Martin was replaced by John and Jack and we listened to Martin less and less. In the summer of 2006, Bonnie and Christine were able to make it out to a small bar in Toronto to see Martin Sexton live. I was in Vancouver at the time, green with envy and I realized that it was starting to feel as though I'd never be so lucky as to catch a live show with my idol.

When we were getting ready to leave Colombia permanently in the summer or 2007, Aaron was compiling some music to share with me as we embarked on separate journeys and he downloaded multiple live show sets for my growing Martin Sexton collection. My enthusiasm was rekindled and further bolstered upon returning to Canada when I discovered that he was on the lineup for Hillside Music Festival and I already had weekend tickets! Finally, my time had come. I enjoyed his headlining act on the Saturday night with Rita and finally had my chance to admire his amazing vocal improvisation and singing ability from only few meters away.

Since then, Martin remains a predominant feature in almost all of my playlists and will always remain a favorite for almost any occasion. For a taste, a couple of great songs include, Angeline, Freedom of the Road, and Hallelujah, if you're interested it checking him out.

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