These muddy river babies -- Hannah and Delia Rainey - really are partially babies. The twin sisters from St. Louis will make even those of us on the younger side of the conversation feel like old men. They'll make you feel feeble and weak, as if you haven't accomplished a damned thing in so, so long and you may never again - compared with what they already have cooking at such a young age.
By the age of 15, Hannah already had five years of classical guitar training in her quiver and these two girls, who make up the group Dubb Nubb, are now writing the kinds of strong arrangements and experienced compositions that it makes you wonder where you went wrong. Actually, what it really makes you do is stop dreaming for yourself. Your time is up. You're obsolete and nothing more than a relic. It's up to your kids now to do something that will make the last name proud. They are the only hopes you have left. If you're without kids, maybe you can find the kind of life fulfillment in your staunch and persistent preparation for and then performance with either your fantasy football team or your new smartphone.
Either way, you're a winner and you've accomplished something good with your life. Know this though, you're nothing compared to Hannah and Delia. These girls do everything right. They show up with a posse. They bring a large, 18-inch pizza box filled with the most incredible cookies that any mouth has ever had, free to pass around. They bring homemade CDs and 7-inches. They bring their instruments and most importantly, they bring these songs that are fully formed, developed from the minds of women.
They seem to come from the lairs of people who have been folded under and chewed up a few times. They sound as if they're full of this wondrous air, but it could only come from the sorts of old souls that know that not everything is amazing, that not everything should be wished for. There are no instances of stupid, young girl boy craziness, or the preoccupations that riddle those of the texting-every-minute-of-the-day generation, who wouldn't know what's really worth thinking about or pining for if it gave them a black eye and pulled down their shorts.
Dubb Nubb has created these succulent moments of introspective black holes - those HUGE thoughts that, once you get going on them, you find that they're deeper than the deepest well and you're falling forever. It's going down the rabbit's hole and they're happily falling, leaving their tracks and taking it all in, sinking as gravity will take them. We listen as they explore and them we go back to our bland and pathetic lives, contemplating why WE don't think in such colors.
*Essay originally published November, 2011