Monday found me floundering musically to fit the mood--and what was that mood? Normally, I'll wake up, trundle downstairs, start my coffee, open my patio door to sniff the air and the temperature, turn on NPR, then go down to the basement and fire up some vinyl on ye olde turntable. Yes, I let the morning news team compete with my records, so what? I began with an old Atlantic Records sampler that had Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66 doing a samba-esque medley from the play, Black Orpheus. As light as he can be, Mendes does some heavy arranging on the three-part mini-suite, wordless vocals by his smoothly sensual backing singers floating over lightly percolating rhythms just right for a grump with creaky knees. Outside, the bushy-tailed neighborhood groundskeepers bounced from acorn to acorn, hoarding for the winter. What would I be reincarnated as next lifetime? Memo to me: improve karma, do it today. As NPR's Morning Edition with Renee Montagne and David Greene roll along, I am plagued by a returning uneasiness, particularly with Steve Inskeep the Washington NPR correspondent (he and Greene are the weasels to Montagne's more credible badger). As they present the day's headlines and stories, one gets the feeling they're all part of George Orwell's Oceania, the dystopia from 1984 where individualism and independent thinking are persecuted for the greater good. They tout the party line, in other words. Iran is persuadable, Obamacare is merely flawed, Benghazi never happened and 90 million aren't under- or unemployed. So, I put on some Martin Denny jungle lounge music, and the unreality fits better. But I'm restless--restless as hell. I go for a second cup of coffee and some strawberries and go to some New Age flute-and-acoustic bass. No. I try some Mantovani doing gypsy tangos. Nope. Time to leave the house and go to work. There I put on some polyrythmic drumming, actually pretty mellow, Brent Lewis's Rhythm Hunter. Almost, not quite. My mood is a baby with diaper rash. I just can't seem find the right music. As I clean off a shelf of accumulated store debris, I find an old abandoned pile of bluegrass and country. Could it be? Could these Appalachian hicks hold the key to my existential crisis? Will my inner-bitch be satisfied by equally cranky hillbillies moanin' their high-and-lonesome blues about their dead mamas, infelicitous sweethearts and love of the super-dude known as Jesus? Christ, nothing else has worked. May as well. "Cryin' Holy Unto The Lord" is in many ways the most powerful Bill Monroe album in the founder of bluegrass's canon. These boys sing their souls and frankly my soul needed sung to. Like most progressives, I don't believe in religion. But I should and I suspect a small ineradicable part of me will always be deeply sympathetic to Christianity. To hear grown Southern men singing it out loud is rather comforting. “And the dark rollin' river takes you to the sinkin' sand," Monroe's words warn the sinner, which would be me. "You won't give up your earthly treasures to enter the promised land." Hell, no, I won't. Getcher stinkin' hand off my remote, Mr. Jesus. "You're driftin' AWAYYYY, yer driftin' AWAYY-uh-YAY," with most of Bill's Bluegrass Boys harmonizing like they're on Jesus's chariot itself, chauffeured by The Son o' God His own bad Self. And remember bluegrass has no drums, just the pulse of a stand-up bass. So one could rightfully and righteously claim that the heart of God is the legendary stand-up double-acoustic bass. A doghouse, as it were. Because God and dog are just backwards versions of each other and now I have solved the riddle of my stupid existence in this godforsaken county. (See Monroe's "This World Is Not My Home"--don't that just say it all?). And so it was, I found my musical home for my nomadic moodiness: deep bluegrass gospel, sung high and lonesome. I started out low and lonesome and ended up high and in company. No more floundering for me. I'm gonna paddle my sinner's canoe down that dark river right to the shining sea. I wonder, what kind of mandolin would Jesus play? My dear liberal/progressive/left-wing/commie/pinko brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and all your rubber duckies at sea: I have a sincere, non-bating question to ask you and hope you'll reciprocate with sincere answers: why does our mounting monster debt of some $17 trillion and unfunded promised entitlements of $60 trillion NOT sincerely, inarguably scare the shit out of you? I am not a Tea Partier, nor a Republican--hell, I wouldn't belong to a political party that would have me--but a former old school Kennedy Democrat who simply cannot fathom why folks on both sides of the aisle aren't begging and clamoring for and demanding government spending within our means. Please, people, someone explain to me the deafening silence on the part of progressives on this. Respectfully, too, if you don't mind. So write me, don't fight me. (Signed), yours truly, Mr. Critical Rock Critic.