Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An Homage of Sorts

I didn't really know him too well but I certainly knew his music. It hit my ears at perhaps the most emotionally influential time in anyone's life, the teen years. He was part of a world I was just getting to know as I was beginning to expand my musical boundaries beyond my much smaller world of rock and punk. This was the world of the solo acoustic musician; the guitarist, the singer, the storyteller, the troubadour, the intimate rock star. I remember one specific performance, must have been 1988, at Oak Center General Store, near Lake City, MN, a frequent road trip destination for me and my high school buds. It was a place where we would go to briefly step out of the box we were living in. He was 'only' the opening act but he is what I remember from that night; the lasting impact through the years. He blew our minds. Here was this young dude blasting out these smart, roots oriented, yet contemporary sounding songs, singing with such soul, commanding the stage with such presence, and, he was funny...soooo funny. I learned a lot that night. Can't say it was the singular experience that launched me into the acoustic stratosphere, but, it was certainly a very important one in a long lineage of musical influence and inspiration. Perhaps that is why his death has touched me so deeply. As I attempt to ride the shock waves of the local music community and prepare to trudge through the deep snow that is Minnesota, I am thinking of him. I didn't know him on a personal level, not really, but when you are connected to someone through their music almost exclusively, in some ways, it is an even deeper connection. Nope, I didn't really know him too well, but I certainly know his music. RIP Cam. Another rock star is gone.

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