Soundtrack of My Life: “Her Silver Bowl” by Myshkin
Back in the late 90’s, one of the only bars open in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana was M’s Fine & Mellow Cafe. The owner was an irascible scamp named Marian, or M for short. She could be downright unpleasant at times, but she championed the artists who came through, loudly pounding a bucket full of change on each table in this small bar between songs to gin up some more money for the musicians. It was annoying, but effective.
M’s was also the bar where poetry slams began in Baton Rouge. And that’s how I ended up there. At some point in the late 90’s I was a regular at the local poetry slam. I was even on the first team to represent Baton Rouge at the 1999 National Poetry Slam in Chicago. But that is a different story.
This is about the time almost 20 years ago that I decided to stay after one of the slams and listen to Myshkin, who came over regularly from New Orleans. She picked at her guitar, closed her eyes, and sang richly detailed stories about characters from far off lands, some about herself. Though the characters were often fictional, the clarity with which she presented their tales brought an intimacy and overwhelming swelling of emotion. It didn’t matter if there were 5 people or 50 people in the bar that night, Myshkin poured her heart out every time, and I always felt lucky to be there and hear her share these incredible songs, which are still among my favorites, though no one else I know has ever heard them before I insist on playing one.
She is still writing and recording beautiful music with Myshkin’s Ruby Warblers. “That Diamond Lust” from 2012 has some incredibly beautiful songs. However my favorite Myshkin song comes from the record she released back when I was going to see her at M’s Fine & Mellow Cafe:
And here’s a bonus video of her playing “Ruby Warbler” live: