Friday, February 8, 2013


The head cold that has been all over Lambertville got on me last week and promptly relocated to my chest as a case of bronchitis. Man. I haven’t had bronchitis since I was twenty, when I still smoked cigarettes. It feels strange. Besides the coughing it comes with a fever, addling the brain, sapping the energy, causing me to forget what I’m even doing here.

A few weeks ago PBS ran a special on Paul Simon and how he went to South Africa back in the eighties, in the days of apartheid, and hired some local bands to come to a studio and jam with him. Their mutual inspiration resulted in Simon’s hit album Graceland. I missed it the first time around. I remember You Can Call Me Al, a great number, but the other songs I missed. So I bought the album from ITunes just before I got sick.

And now it’s the only thing that will get me on my feet. It's true. These tunes will raise the dead. No sleep for three days, no appetite, hardly any reason to carry on at all, and yet these African jazz sounds get me up and dancing.

Check this one out. Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes. I defy you to sit still, I don't care what shape you're in.

Kate Gallison


  1. I'm interrupting my sprightly dancing around the computer to let people know that Paul Simon's backup group in this video, Ladysmith Black Mombazo, tours from time to time and are well worth seeing
    Stephanie Patterson in Collingswood, NJ

  2. I second Stephanie. I've been listening to Ladysmith Black Mombazo since the Graceland album appeared. Now that I am writing about Africa, I listen to them every day. My favorite, "Rain,Rain,Rain, Beautiful Rain." But it may not be the right song for today on the East Coast.

  3. I was actually inspired to wear my Ladysmith Black Mombazo t-shirt. Since we are not experiencing t-shirt weather in New Jersey, it is covered up by my "Real men read" sweatshirt.
    Stephanie Patterson in Collingswood