Walking the Woods with Larry Lee

by Bambi Grinder

Published April 14, 2021
Split Tree

A few Sundays ago, co-founder Dale McCurry and I embarked on our first outing since April of last year. We were invited to walk in woods reminiscent of Walden with friend and NoteWorthy Music contributor Larry Lee.

Even before COVID, I limited my interactions with humans, much preferring the company of animals and plants and silence. Those interactions that were required I kept as brief as possible. There were few exceptions. A handful of special individuals over the years have put me at immediate ease. Though most have drifted away, still I make note of them for their rarity.

Larry Lee is one such special and rare person. I had only spoken with him briefly during a phone interview last July and over short email exchanges. Meeting him in person, I liked him immediately. His reserved, respectful, and relaxed nature at once set me at ease, as he enfolded us welcomingly into his space and the story of how he came to find it.

Larry Lee

Over the course of the afternoon, the three of us walked. Watching. Observing. Sometimes pausing to speak together. Other times simply being, feeling the quiet. The day was a gift of peaceful reverie. A spiritual time in communion with nature all around us. The only church any of us could ever need.

It was a markedly beautiful and singular day. One of onomatopoeia. Swirls and whorls in wood and wave. And sky too, if one counts the soaring, circling buzzards. I choose to count them. Burbles and murmurs in the babbling creek, ever present and comforting in its passing. Appropriately sharing nuts and berries, we spoke of John Muir, Annie Dillard, and Thoreau under the clear blue sky. A perfect half moon hung over us.

Dale McCurry and Larry Lee

Back at the cabin, Larry showed us his new octave mandolin—his “new appendage”—strumming it at length with grace and gratitude. Yes, it was a day of pleasant, pleasing sounds as the veteran singer-songwriter shared some of two different songs he is currently working on. I sat on the porch and listened intently, grateful beyond words to be there, in that moment, in that place.

Larry Lee with his octave mandolin

A small collection of photos from our day:

Singer-songwriter and recording artist from Springfield, Missouri, Larry Lee is a founding member of The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, a nationally recognized band in the early days of the country-rock movement. He wrote “Jackie Blue,” which reached #3 in 1975. Larry has spent a lifetime in music, including 23 years in Nashville as a session player and producer. Among his many credits were 13 #1 hits for Alabama, as well as recording and touring with Jimmy Buffet.

To learn more about Larry and his life in music as well as to view his outstanding nature photography, go here: https://larrymichaellee.com/

For more Larry Lee, read his premiere of our Muse Unveiled series Larry Lee: The Last Hoedown.

You may also enjoy Larry’s entry in our series The Day the Music Died.

Read more about Larry Lee in our High Notes piece Randle Chowning and Larry Lee: Beyond Daredevils.

For three songs written by Larry for Beyond Reach—with Lee and Randle Chowning, visit: https://larrymichaellee.com/with-beyond-reach

Bambi Grinder

Bambi Grinder

Writer and Editor

Co-founder/owner of NoteWorthy Music, Bambi Grinder has spent many years as a shaper of words—writing novels and short fiction (which she prefers in first-person present tense). Bambi is delighted to make this foray into the digital landscape with NoteWorthy Music as publisher, editor, writer, and web designer and developer.

You may contact her at bambi@noteworthymusic.org.

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