Cindy Cashdollar did not take advantage of the last year of pandemic retirement to reinvent certain aspects of her life. “I didn’t sit down to learn Japanese flute, or Indian raga scales, or anything like that,” she says. “I didn’t learn to quilt, I didn’t learn to become a photographer.
What she did was finally, after all these years, to return to the boxes of the history that she had run away: posters of the shows she played, photographs of the musicians with whom she played. .
Older stuff would include Cashdollar playing steel guitar and dobro with Paul Butterfield. And gigs with Levon Helm and Rick Danko of The Band, when she was growing up in Woodstock. Then memories of moving to Austin, Texas, and working with Leon Redbone, Ryan Adams, and Van Morrison. There have been a few appearances in “A Prairie Home Companion”.
So many people. Bob Dylan. She performed on her album “Time Out of Mind”.
But now it’s time for Cashdollar to put aside organizing her story and work with other musicians through what she calls “Zoom Culture”. The coronavirus pandemic‘s grip on live entertainment appears to be loosening. Cashdollar’s first tour in over a year arrives at the Abilene Bar & Lounge on Saturday, June 26 for a show at 8 p.m. She will be accompanied by guitarist Johnny Nicholas and fiddler and singer Katie Shore. As the old posters attest, all three have performed with western swing group Asleep at the Wheel at one point or another. “It’s kind of like a Mini Wheel Tour,” says Cashdollar.
Everywhere Cashdollar turns, there is someone with whom she has been associated musically. Carolyn Wonderland has a sold-out show the next day, Sunday, in Abilene. It’s that kind of weekend here. Cashdollar and Wonderland also performed together.
“It’s the sum of their parts that makes them remarkable,” Cashdollar says of his many musical co-conspirators. “But so different from the rest.”
Dylan, of course, stands out. “What he does with a sentence is killing me,” she said. “Just a simple sentence, his take on a simple thing is his and his alone, I think.
“I really loved working with him in the studio for his ‘Time Out of Mind’ project. It was really refreshing and interesting to see his process of trying out a song in many different tones to see which – it looked like he could sing in most of them – but just to see which key was used for. better the song.
Dylan got everyone involved in the song’s creation process, Cashdollar says.
“He would turn to everyone and say, ‘What do you think?’ ‘What do you think about this?’ ” What do you think ? She remembers. “What was very nice was a very democratic atmosphere during the process.”
This new tour is where the logistics of bringing everyone and everything into one vehicle must be carefully considered. So, for the convenience of its tour partners, Cashdollar needs to control itself. She will bring a steel guitar with an eight-string neck. A tricone guitar with a metal body. A lap steel guitar. And what is commonly referred to as a dobro, although Cashdollar points out that Dobro is a brand name and the instrument is correctly referred to as a resonator guitar.
A highly sought-after musician who has often contributed to Grammy-winning albums, Cashdollar says her solo material sometimes takes a back seat. “It’s really hard to find the time to sit down and figure out your own stuff,” she says. She compares her personal production to a 17-year-old cicada. Her first album, “Slide Show”, was released in 2003. Now she finally has her second album, “Waltz for Abilene”.
Cashdollar considers it a luxury to be able to take your time with your own projects. And with “Waltz for Abilene”, it was time to pay off. The album is accompanied by an insane list of musicians. She says she flew to Louisiana to record with Sonny Landreth, then flew to California the next day for a session with Albert Lee.
Each song of “Waltz for Abilene” features one or more names from the catalog of America’s greats: Marcia Ball, Rory Block, Larry Campbell, John Sebastian, Levon’s daughter, Amy Helm, and Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel .
The music is just as varied. Cashdollar wrote two of the songs – the gospel-sounding “Salvation” and the title song. It is only a synchronicity that “Waltz For Abilene” will be heard at the Abilene Bar & Lounge on Saturday evening.
There are indeed multiple synchronicities. The bar is named after a song by Dave Alvin; Cashdollar performed in groups with Alvin. My dog’s name is Abilene, also from the song, but Cashdollar probably doesn’t know that. She says she wrote “Waltz For Abilene” just because the word “Abilene” is so beautiful.
There is history in this album. The opening song, “Foggy Mt. Rock,” was co-written by Josh Graves. “He was a guy who kind of put the blues in the bluegrass,” Cashdollar says. Hoagy Carmichael and James Mercer wrote “Skylark”. And there are traditional ones.
“Sey Seychelles” sounds like an old Cajun waltz, “It’s old, nobody knows where it came from,” Cashdollar says. “I slowed it down waaaaay, because I thought the melody was so beautiful.”
Beauty is the common thread of “Waltz for Abilene”. The standard is, “If there’s something about a song that really touches me in a way,” Cashdollar says, “and it brings me joy to physically play the song. “
Working this musical vein, Cashdollar knows the sacred stars of Rochester steel, the Campbell Brothers. “I spent time with them, I jammed with them, just an amazing time,” she says. “Such a nice man,” she said of Darick Campbell in particular. “Darick was supposed to be on this album.”
But he passed away last year. “You talk and you talk about doing something,” she said. “And you don’t, that’s what happens. Perfect example.
Everything can end so quickly. Maybe also for Cashdollar. She had a serious car accident in 2017.
“Everyone thinks I fell asleep late at night,” she says. “I’ve had so many nasty posts on Facebook. “Why didn’t you stop, you could have killed someone.” “” You shouldn’t be driving at night. “
“They did not know…”
They didn’t know the accident happened at 1:30 p.m. After a three week tour and last minute wedding arrangements a month earlier. Cashdollar thought about how fun the past few weeks had been and how tired she was.
“I was driving home from a date on a two-lane road and I still don’t know to this day if my tire burst or if I fell asleep,” she says.
Asleep at the Wheel is a great group, but not a great driving strategy.
“I crossed the finish lane and was very lucky there was no traffic, I guess it’s a very busy road,” Cashdollar said. “And I think I hit a guardrail and sort of traveled for a while, slipped over the guardrail and landed on the road, in one direction different.
“So I was very lucky to have only had one compression fracture and I tore my shoulder a bit. Really lucky, because the car was completely destroyed.
The accident took a long time to record “Waltz for Abilene”. Cashdollar wonders: Maybe this was a sign of slowing down?
“There’s always that moment,” she said, “when you fall asleep at 1:30 in the afternoon.