Here’s something we never thought would happen; we made it into a serial novel. Ashes to Asheville is published in the Citizen-Times. Here’s what the author had to say about us after All Go West Festival.
Now on the stage in the lot were two guys sitting on chairs playing acoustic guitars. The one who was singing had a dark wiry beard and looked gritty, tough; he wasn’t likely to be a stranger to a hard day’s labor. His clean-cut accompanist looked like the kind of well-bred, corn-fed farm boy you could trust with your daughter.
The singer had a voice like Moses being tortured. He sang like he’d decided that this was the gig where he’d blow out every last one of his vocal cords—which, clearly, would take some doing, since his vocal cords seemed made of rusted hawsers and frayed steel cables.
And while his companion was playing a slide guitar that could turn water into whiskey, he was playing his guitar like the thing owed him money.
He was singing—he was growling, he was yelling—a song about a river.
About a river in a storm.
About a river in a storm that had risen so high it had taken a woman off its banks and drowned her.
He was singing, over and over again, until he was screaming it with the ferocity of the truly desperate, that someone should go out in the howling storm and fetch that woman’s body.
Charlie was drawn closer to the stage.
When the song abruptly ended it felt like his heart had stopped beating.
“I’m Pierce Edens,” said the singer. “And this here’s Kevin Reese.”
And then the duo kicked in with another song.
Literally: with his left foot, Edens started pounding a slow beat on the bass drum before him.
Accompanied by nothing but that steady booming beat, he started to sing.
From the first note it was an old sad song, a plaintive cry sung by a man on his deathbed, who, having spent his life working himself to the bone, now desires nothing more than to be buried wearing a new pair of black shiny shoes.
All the man wants are those shoes.
He wants them so he’ll look good lying in his grave.
How about that?
We can now say that we are a part of a serial novel. Cool stuff.