Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Taxi driver

As the taxi set off, the driver turned up the volume, glancing back to ask me if I minded. It was a reassuring human voice with acoustic guitars, human and not mechanical music. It was a bit loud, but I was in a hurry and just wanted the driver to get me there. So, no, it was OK.

After a while he asked: 'What country are you from?' 'England' I replied. 'And you?' 'I'm from here!' he laughed. '& the music; where's that from?' It was beginning to get into me, that powerful, emotional voice, and the crisp sound of guitars. 'It's OURS!' he said emphatically. He said a bit more about it, but I couldn't catch it: my head was between the two speakers. I was beginning to get interested. I guess it was gaucho music, and very good, too. The voice was strong, expressive and tuneful, the guitars played beautifully clear, good sound, confident rhythms. No doubt a professional recording. He whistled and sang a bit, absolutely clearly in tune, his whistling following exactly a phrase in the guitars I might not have noticed. This was getting interesting: in my experience only musicians can do stuff like that.

'So what's the name of the singer?' Once again I couldn't catch what he said, but the next bit was unmistakeable. 'It's me', he said, pointing emphatically and proudly at his chest. 'Me and my friends. Here we are.' He pulled over. I paid him and got out, thinking I still hadn't caught his name, or asked if he had a CD of his songs. By then he was half a block away in the night, speakers blasting.