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The dwarfed little towns and churches beneath the godly mountains never expected anyone to know their names

Twain

Matthew Davidson
Franklin County, VA 

Twain’s music feels like a wood cabin built out of emotional concerns held together with vocal perfection. Twain’s next full length album, Rare Feeling, comes out on Oct. 20 via Keeled Scales

You know that Lefty Frizzell song, ‘That’s the Way Love Goes’? It’s beautiful. Where he sings “loosing makes me sorry”, I always heard this line, “music makes me sorry”. It does. Music hurts me so often, from wanting to feel it, from loving it. And from knowing how much I owe it.

Music brought me everything I’m grateful for. Comfort, sanity, wisdom, expression, friends, lovers, even a little money on occasion. It brought me in front of my heroes, mythological figures. Music brought me to the foot of the Alps.

I was 22 maybe and sleeping in the back of a compact Skoda. That’s a very small car with a lawnmower engine under the hood and not comfortable to sleep in at all. My main role in the band was to make sandwiches for the other two guys, since I could not drive stick (neither could the guitarist, to my credit) or even play drums well, which was accidentally my role in this particular band.

At home, I’d been fired from my job, girlfriend left, cat got poisoned, couldn’t pay rent. But here I was, in foreign lands, moving through the world as though on wings. I felt beautiful, though I didn’t believe myself to be. And beauty accepted me as one of its own.

When I started to play music, I felt desperation and depression like I’ve never known. Self-hatred, really. In music was the highest truth I could reliably find, and I would listen to the masters with this deep knowing that I was not the same as them. This feeling has never really left me, but it has mellowed, grown more benign over time. Sometimes I don’t believe it any more. Not often though.

When I woke up in the Skoda and saw the Alps, I didn’t know where I was. I mean, I didn’t even know what country I was in. At this age, I was profoundly stupid (I can say this with impunity, as I had already traveled a great deal, had probably even been to the Alps within my lifetime, and had no excuse to be so clueless. It didn’t matter though. The dwarfed little towns and churches beneath the godly mountains never expected anyone to know their names, and I would not have looked for them in my mind…music brought me there and gave them to me.

We pulled over. I remember the air and drinking especially cold water from a fountain.

That night we played in some kind of disused pet store. By then I had determined that we were in Switzerland. A really interesting story begins there that I am too shy to tell. It’s enough to say that music came to tell me ‘it’s ok, you’re ok, go ahead!’

FAVORITE RECORD STORE

Don’t have a favorite. Best one I’ve visited recently was Angry Mom Records in Ithica

FAVORITE CONCERT VENUE

Sunny’s Tavern (Red Hook)

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