Ain't who you thought he was; is just who they say. He come around night-ish and sing news, new songs from the old country well, smile-spread and laughing. When's the last time any stranger said hello to you, asked yr name, where you from? Troubadour, that's the tradition. You might'a heard of it, these names like Guthrie, Mississippi John and, hell, even ol' Mr. Garcia hisself. The ones ain't take yr money and yr daughters. This one ain't no easeman, no card man back-lit and high-handed. Tell you straight, hon.

Heard he 'bout wrecked his car on the ice in the Bridger Mountains. Danced out of an apartment fire in New York City. Saw the high waters of the Dead River in Marquette the day he came. But it's not all trouble! He brings the love, too! Just ask the folks where he been, the folks who seen him. Ain't fooling 'bout this cross-country business and he damn sure don't ride the plush. And if you wanna tell it true, you gotta bring rain and fire, ice and smoke, sun and moon, is all.

Brings me back to Guthrie. He drew real well, sung tunes for kiddies and adults alike, fought for the little guy, the suspects and the pensioners, the bums and the farmers, the rubber tramps and the thinkers. Nassau cut from the same cloth, hell, the same pattern, scissors and needle. Just a little taller, a bit hairier, too.

And ooh boy he got songs. Been writin' em since the early nineties. But they say this new bunch of them, on this new record x-country 'bout the best of em all. Tunes that open they-selves upon ya, dew-clear and rock hard. Words about the Ohio River,and poor Nicole lovin' Scott, realizations in the coal shaft and revelations along the bike path! This land be our land, friend, down from that Mexico border to New York town where Alias himself used ta sing them talkin' blues. He got good players on it, too, slippery and charmed like a wet cat standing on a horseshoe. Is from the Earth, you know, this godly green country and what we for better/worse make of it. Lovin' each other is a hard thing to do from time to time; he knows that. But love we must. Mr. Nassau knows that, too.

One last thing. Who is Eric Nassau? Is best friend you ain't seen in a long time, is rock-salt and whiskey-dipped licorice. Is an Iowa radio tower 2:35 a.m. and buzzing honey goldenrod field high noon. Saw-toothed and wide-eyed. Voice, strings, words. You and me.