It's been a long week. It started with a call from a good friend telling me the nauseating news of Carter's horrible death and ended with a tribute to him on the Adventure Club that allowed many of us a bittersweet opportunity to hear his powerful speaking voice. In that span of time, I've gone from shaking and sobbing to randomly teary to grateful for knowing that incredible soul (and every combination and order of those).
I admittedly didn't know Carter well enough to call him up for a confessional chat or anything, but since I've been legal to get into most shows around here, the tall and talented one has been a fixture in my social scene. There are different types of musicians in the Dallas music scene: ones that figure a guitar and a threadbare shirt achieve enough rockstar cool, and the ones who have a no prints left on the tips of their fingers because they haven't parted from their instrument, well, practically ever. The latter are passionate ones that remember the names of people they meet at shows. The ones who think to suggest an album to you based on some conversation you had years ago when you said how much you loved both Neil Finn and Charlie Sexton and didn't know who you should place higher on your "If I Could Have a Celebrity Music Teacher" list. The ones who can slay your emotional soul with they way they sing that one "slave" in "Slave of Fashion" (you know the one - the slay-ee-aaave one) or rock away your hangover with Cuervo via song. That was Carter.
It's been weird. There are others who knew Carter far better than me. I find myself battling guilt for feeling that mourning sensation that probably should be reserved for those closer to him. And I think it's a combination of empathy and of feeling a loss of someone who brought so very much to my life in just those many brief encounters over the years. He did it through his music and through conversation, through generosity of soul and energy, and every so often a glance that said something of the moment like "Did you see
that!? Please tell me you saw that!" He could put you on the floor laughing...or because you realized how freaking smart he was. I guess I mourn just as much for his very close friends (many of whom I know better than I did him) and family because I realize that if I feel the way I do for knowing Carter as peripherally as I did...well, I can't even imagine that loss.
I realize most folks have already made their tribute blogposts about Carter in a more timely fashion, but I felt like I had to go through the gambit of emotions, the wake, the funeral, listening to a lot of his music again and some time before I could do the man any justice. And yeah, I know I still haven't done him justice, so I'll just shut up now and go listen to more of his music...
To all of his friends and family (actual and musical), I hope peace may find you soon. To all of those fans and simple acquaintences like me, realize the treasure there is left in his music. And to Carter, I'll miss the comfort in seeing that knowing face around, but hope like hell it's looking down on us all here in Big D. May you continue to inspire, sir.