My Virtual Christmas Fruitcake For SiriusXM Outlaw Country
The last few days, I’ve been in the process of doing something for the folks who I depend on to make my life a little better each day. You know the drill, I’m sure. As Christmas approaches, you give gifts or tips to people who take care of you through the year.
In this brave new world of electronics and satellites, I’ve become dependent on a group of folks who take care of me through the miracle of satellite radio. As my family will tell you, most of the time that I’m in my car, I have the radio tuned to SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country. So here’s a Merry Christmas to everybody at Outlaw Country (including those behind the scenes), with a special shout out to my Outlaw Country sweetheart, Elizabeth Cook. I dig Dallas Wayne and Mojo Nixon, too, though sweetheart doesn’t come to mind when I think of either of them. Mojo’s such a nut that I generally picture him barricaded in the studio with men in white suits knocking on the door, ready to bust it down and take him away. Meredith Ochs is also great, though my schedule doesn’t allow me to hear her quite as often. On the weekends there’s Shooter Jennings, Steve Earle, Cowboy Jack Clement, Johnny Knoxville and Roger Alan Wade (those last two rival Mojo in the nuttiness department). Outlaw Country (Sirius 60/XM 12) makes life just a little better for those of us on the country side who color outside the genre lines and are lucky enough to have access to satellite radio. Or “saddle-ite” radio, as Ms. Cook pronounces it.
While the music on Outlaw Country is good, the magic of the station comes from the stories and commentary of the DJ’s. Once you get to know them, you begin to look for that time when they come on to chat you up. Just this morning, after playing John Prine’s Please Don’t Bury Me, Dallas Wayne told a story about playing that song at a corporate gig. He explained that it was the kind of deal where most of the crowd usually isn’t really listening to you play, but in this case there was quite a ruckus among those assembled, so he thought that maybe he was getting through just a bit, or maybe they were big John Prine fans. Turned out that a fellow died of a heart attack in the middle of the song, so the last thing he ever heard was “Please don’t bury me down in the cold, cold ground . . . “
Elizabeth Cook is the best of the Outlaw Country DJ’s for comedy relief. She’s so good, in fact, that David Letterman had her on his show after listening to her for a few months. Here’s my piece on that. Yesterday, she told us how she didn’t get a fiber optic Christmas tree this year because she couldn’t find one at Goodwill. But they have them at some local store, so she’s thinking she’ll swoop in when they go on sale after Christmas and have it ready for next year. The fiber optic trees are great to stare at when you’re stoned, it turns out. I guess it’s an East Nashville thing. Anyway, Ms. Cook also told us about her daddy who sells pecans during the holidays to make a little extra money. He saves some of the pecans for his gift list, which includes the folks at the Grand Ole Opry. The quid pro quo is that they give him a season pass so that he can take his girlfriend over there anytime he likes. Last year, when she brought their pecans she had them in her dressing bag. When she pulled them out, one of her stick-on bra thingys was stuck to the bag. So they get their pecans and then wonder, “What the hell is this sticky thing?” Everybody has a good laugh when they figure it out. So this year the pecans are delivered in a huge granny bra, just so there’d be no doubt what they’re getting.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. Just let me say thanks to the folks at Outlaw Country who kept me smiling during 2011. If I had the chance, I’d drop off a fruitcake for them. It would fit right in.
You can follow Mando Lines on Twitter @mando_lines.