I love porches, and have since childhood. I love porch sitting, porch reading and even porch painting. Most of all, I love porch music. Simple or complex, played by a group or a single lonesome fiddler, it’s a delight. Even the most down-home instrument – a washtub bass, a ukelele, a buzzing, well-played comb – makes me smile.
One of my favorite musical groups is the E-Flat Porch Band from McKinney, Texas. They’ve made their way around the state for years, and it’s always a pleasure to hear them – so much so that I’ll actually get in the car and travel to have the chance. I would have introduced them to you sooner, but there hasn’t been a video available of any quality. Now there is.
As entertaining as porch music can be, other things happen on porches. People visit with their neighbors and snap beans. They discuss politics, watch the grandkids play in the yard and hope upon hope that no one comes along to remind them of undone chores. You can find breezes on the porch in summer, and watch leaves drift in the fall. You can drink coffee, check your email, scratch the dog’s ears and even take a nap, if you really trust your neighbors. Porches are for solitary dreaming and family chatter – they’re one of the semi-permeable membranes of human social life. (more…)