Traces of buttermilk can remind someone of that country essence of a home cooked meal. The feel good vibes of being home with family and loved ones. Having that tenderness, surrounding a person, releases the stresses of the day. Going into that country home feeling of biscuits, cornbread, grits, gravy, and other types of delicacies is another icing on the country cake. Furthermore, one has to understand just what it means to allow that good ole’ fashion, country eatin’ to take shape! It feels like home. And ain’t no place like home! None at all!
So, how does that apply to the realm of music? Well, for starters, music describes our realities. There are intimate pleasures, and treasures, when it comes to the delicacies and wellness of culinary and food. For Black American, Southern culinary, what is it about the term, buttermilk, which adds to our peculiar level of artistry and taste? What is it? Maybe, it’s the precious memories of our grandmothers, mothers, and great-grandmothers, who labored and cooked in the kitchen; preparing their best cuisines of Sunday dinners, to come. Could it possibly be the country livin’ of buttermilk soap, the smell of buttermilk, in the air? My goodness! It feels so good, just talkin’ about it! Makes you want to return to the country rituals, and what it means to truly live-sit back and enjoy life! That’s the true essence of moving through natural timing-not through a falsehood from our own!
The Black American musical genre of Ragtime has a manner about its nature, which illustrates the hops, skips, leaps, and playful nature of the piano, and of life-like no other. That’s for sure. There is a way about the technicality, which permits you to see the fun in everything, surrounding it. And, so we are back to the concept of buttermilk. One image which comes to mind is again, that homegrown taste of buttermilk pancakes. For Black American people-our culinary and her/history, let’s take a mental return into that period of our grandmothers and mothers entering into the kitchen.
Imagine one song, which transforms the very cooking of buttermilk pancakes into a wonderland. Imagine envisioning a middle-aged, or older, Black American woman daintily pulling out her kitchen supplies. She happily flips open her pots. Walking daintily in collecting her flour, eggs, milk, and butter. The pan is well greased, and turned onto a hot temperature. One hears the pops of the cooking oil. The woman sifts through the flour; making sure all the lumps are out. A creamy batter is properly made. Slowly and tenderly it is lathered onto the hot pan. One by one, a hot pancake is crafted and cooked into a light-brown coloring. It is removed from the pan, and laid for however number of plates, which represents the number of people, who will be eating breakfast for that Saturday or Sunday morning! It’s an atmosphere of serenity, love, joy, and beauty to say the least. Never forget it was the cooking part, which highlights the eloquence of the magic in the kitchen.
Let’s say that we take such culinary magic, and all its sensory, and place it into a song-a piano piece, in fact! What if a composition was crafted to emulate one design in this kind of Soulful magic? What would it sound like? What would be the nature of its musical texture? Some composers of Black American gardens may try! Then, of course, others will get it, just right! Not only did they write a song about buttermilk, but their very stage name is attached to it. Like the very texture of butter, their musical performance imitates such a texture. Gliding across the piano keys, the fingers create a tenderness and delicacy of movement; ever resembling Nana’s/Big Mamma’s cookin’ of dat’ buttermilk, swag! One such artist understood it very well. His name is none other than. . .