words by Michael Todd | video edited by Michael Thurber
As chords ascend chromatically about a minute and a half in to "Broad Sky Blues," Gardner stretches her arms up and behind her before a delayed resolution. Guitarist Jim Schroeder and bassist Dustin Wilbourn keep their notes fretted as drummer Dave Ozinga waits to grab his sizzling cymbal.
When Schroeder plays a leaping melody as the contrail of the last chord dissolves, it's like dandelion seeds that take off low and jump with the wind. Gardner seems aloft in the breeze, too, as she raises up on her toes quickly before spinning one way, then the other. She's dancing to a song that grows organically and exists in a sunlit nature, closely surrounded and encroached upon by darkness.
Gardner's walk through the sweet grass not looking for news is the beginning and end that surrounds its own darkness, a plea that says, "There must be something we can use outside of power."
It's a masterfully dynamic song that when successfully filmed, recorded and edited as well as backdropped by The Mullers' studio in Benson, Neb., it becomes an escape in itself to both Monday night when it was performed and to a place only art can take us. Let the wind blow.
Performed on Monday, Sept. 24 at The Mullers' studio in Benson, Neb.
Video edited by Michael Thurber
Audio by Mark Wolberg
Michael Todd is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. He hopes there's a story behind Jim Schroeder's red hat, the only thing missing from this video. Reach Michael at email@example.com.