What is it about funk music that gets me going? Is it the mixture of soul and R&B? Smooth vocals? Or could it possibly be the long train runnin’ kind of musical beat? I’ve always associated the sounds of funk with the movement of trains; the sounds keep chugging along down the track. They don’t glide, but the way is smooth and the destination is unknown; either way, though, the trip is always feel good. I’m taking the train home today for the first time since March. 8 hours of sitting on an Amtrak train making its way north-west. I’m going home to a house my family moved to after I graduated high school. It’s not my home home, but it’s my family and therefore it’s home.
I woke up this morning, looked at my packed weekender bag and carry-on, and suddenly felt the need to turn this track on. There’s something in Heron’s voice that reminds me of the town I grew up in. Hindsight has taught me that the central New York college town is actually one of the best places to grow up in. I remember, however, itching to get out of there as soon as I could. On Friday nights I’d occasionally make it down to the university campus and see some shows at this underground cafe/art space called Funk n’ Waffles. The space was filled with new art, muted earthy wall colors with pops of orange, and a nice DIY stage covered in blankets and tapestries. They made a mean latte, served delicious waffles and carried one of my favorite teas called Purple Haze (a lavender tea y’all should try). Friday nights, the owner would bring in relatively unknown acts that ended up being incredible artists. A lot of my music pallet was formed here. When there wasn’t a show going on, funk music would be playing and the youth would hang out. Heron was a constant on their sound system and hearing him this morning has brought me back to a place I now consider my home.
Gil Scott Heron – Home Is Where The Hatred Is