Lightfoot and Hart bring the soulful sounds of the Oklahoma prairie to La Yunta

Jul 30, 2023 | 0 comments

Creative men and women intuitively know that every artistic pursuit is dependent on three equally essential elements: art, craft, and music. It is worth noting, as well, that one cannot function without the others, just as we cannot function without the shared participation and collaboration the trio provides.

The recent discovery of 12,000-year-old ochre paintings covering nearly eight miles of cliff face in the Colombian Amazon colorfully illustrates this union. The rock walls are chock-a-block with thousands of drawings depicting forest animals, “vision quests,” and the musical instruments used to harmonize the collaboration between the two, creating the portal to understanding the world.

Musicians and luthiers have, since time immemorial, been instrumental in fine-tuning our lives by arranging the dance between knowledge and desire, be it with a melodic kora, a battered dobro guitar, or a sitar softly playing long before the concert begins, and continuing long after it is over.

Consider the luthier and the musician. They are inexplicably joined in the pursuit of a collaboration: creating the finest instrument for an artist who can hold a searing note with heart-rending insistence or accompany a weeping violin backing a lament nearly as weathered as wood is old.

This is the literature of the heart; it begins where speech ends.

I was reminded of this the other morning when I read that Paco Lightfoot and Matthew Hart would be performing again on Saturday, August 5, at La Yunta Restaurant (Av. Primero de Mayo near Av. Las Americas and Fray Gaspar de Carvajal).

For those of you who have yet to visit La Yunta, prepare yourself for a most pleasant surprise. The restaurant’s dining room and bar are stunning, the collection of artisan crafts for sale is first-rate, and their extensive menu offerings are delicious.

La Yunta also offers a perfect venue for listening to Lightfoot and Hart perform some of the tastiest blues, country ballads, and “My ex took my dog, but left me and Norman behind,” whimpering only old-school country music can provide. I’m telling it to you straight; this ain’t no bro-country act. These Oklahoma boys are as true as a back-pocket shooter and a halo of Skoal. They’re sun burnt pilgrims scratching out a livin’ ‘where black oil rolls and white cotton grows.’
Straight Outta Tulsa fits them just fine.

Attending a concert of this intimacy is unique in that it offers the excitement of active participation; we are able to sit among the musicians who are playing music as it is meant to be heard — intuitive, immediate, and handed right to you.

I have always been impressed by how, in turn, mesmerized and enthusiastic the audience is in the light-hearted antics of Lightfoot and Hart and by how their music just might be one of the most effective vaccines we need to break the fever of uncertainty that occasionally afflicts us. It is time for our spirits to be lifted. It is time to raise up and clap our hands ‘cuz you gotta get up if you want to get down, and it’s time to sit up straight; with your head hung low and still, captivated by the lyrical tales of hard-working men and women bent into ironweed facing the Oklahoma prairie wind.

I can barely wait to be there once again as two of Cuenca’s most talented musicians give shape to our deepest dreams – and, in doing so, invite us to sign our name to the roster of artists beginning with those who painted rocks with ochre to fulfill their vision quests and sang their songs around campfires that warmed and protected them.

Reservations are a must because the show will sell out early.

Robert Bradley

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