Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
We can be sure of one thing. Time is never on our side. Or, more specifically, it's not anymore. It once was, sure, but that ship has sailed. We're all growing so much older, so quickly. It feels like a blackout, a whiteout, a flash and a disappearance. There are the nights that we sit here and just think about all of the things that we've forgotten, all of the time that's gone forever and, even as the young man or woman that people might still think of us as, we think about how the last of our days is catching up to us faster than we'd like it to. Our bellies are growing and our hair is thinning. We are suddenly well aware that we're on the backside of this hill. We find that replenishing our spirits is harder and harder to accomplish, but a way that we've found is to crack into the old feelings, those old places that maybe we have forgotten, the people that have drifted from our minds and hearts. We're able to get back some of our youth by reconstructing those old scenes, even if, while doing that, we're enhancing them, making our memories even better than they actually were at the time. We like to think that there are places that we'd go back to, nostalgic camping spots or lakes that we have etched in our heads as places that we could have been happy forever, had we just bought the land and stayed there. They are often crazy things to wonder. They're often not very helpful - those ideas of what would have happened, who would we have been, if we had just changed one or two little things, or if we'd just been lazier and had tried to freeze everything in time. Kittredge, Colorado, songwriter Patrick Dethlefs revisits those poignant times of his past, filling them with a bittersweet wash of harmonies and bluegrass sunshine, making them feel as if everything was happier back then, back whenever that was. He relishes what he had and finds that he's drawn back there through the subtle ways that the moon light falls on certain people, the way twinkles come to eyes and the way his body feels at certain hours. He sings on "Stays The Same," "You sang an old song I heard many times before/That same worn out line and those three simple chords/Led me down a path to a darker place/I liked it where we were/Why can't we stay?/Just like before/Never change/Should've been different/But it stays the same." It's a hope for something that's flown, something that got broken along the way. Dethlefs finds poetry in the memories and that slight pain in the laugh lines.