I was on my way out around mid-afternoon Saturday at the Louisville convention center when I happened to stop mid-stride and turn back to grab a cup of coffee for the road. That’s when I noticed a familiar hat and pair of overalls on a man sitting beside a big guitar case out front of the South Wing, head down over his phone.
None other than Paul Marhoefer regular readers will recall from among our Trucker Talent Search finalists in 2015, likewise for his part in the all-stars show I hosted at GATS last summer, among other coverage of his last, “Old Black Epiphone” records. He was in Nashville a few weeks ago, where he picked up this new, brown Epiphone, which he’d toted under a load to Louisville to take part in a multi-songwriter acoustic show out at the Papa John’s parking lot Saturday, which sadly I missed. Luckily, though, he took a moment to play me the dark blues of a folks song you’ll hear in the video, about a scourge that’s touched the lives of many around the nation — crystal methamphetamine.
Marhoefer saw a little of such at a carrier he worked for years back now, and just yesterday a reader wrote in expressing dismay over a story about a federal bust in Wisconsin that involved associates of a trucking company that apparently remained in operation. “The DOT says it’s looking out for my safety and the public safety,” he wrote. “This company is a blight on the trucking industry. I have been in the industry for 30 years and this is a disgrace. It gives a bad name to a great industry.”
As for the Trucker Talent Search, the video-submissions period is open for those among you who have a talent for musical performance and/or songwriting. Read this post for more about entering the competition, which will bring three finalists to the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas for the competition.