From the time the guitar entered my life when I was fourteen years old, music and performance have been the most obvious beneficiaries of my creative energies. In fact, this recent passion for artwork is a direct result of a search for the perfect album cover for my Carry the Word CD, released in the year 2000. I chanced upon an obscure exhibit of tiny cigar-box altars honoring blues and soul singers, and found them extremely appealing. I thought, “I could do this,” and decided to try my hand at creating a personal version. The resulting box worked perfectly for the CD cover, but more importantly, the act of focused creation had unexpectedly enabled me to transcend the preoccupations of daily life, career issues, financial woe and even time itself. I felt transported to a place I’d been subconsciously searching for since coming of age in the sixties, and I knew that I had to explore this path more thoroughly.
Since that time, my life has become something of a scavenger hunt, and no fallen leaf, old book, or rusty bottle cap is immune to my obsession. Meanwhile, our house in New Orleans is slowly filling up with mysterious little boxes, most often created in stolen moments in hotel rooms when I’m on tour. A few years ago, my son Tucker arranged several boxes on the table, looked at them for awhile, and observed that each one was like a little mystery. It feels like that to me, too.