I had a moment of indescribable elation this past Wednesday.
I was on my way to get my hair cut, enjoying one of those solo car rides I just talked about with my Pandora blasting music, and I was loving every song it was choosing.
Thumbs up, thumbs up, thumbs up.
Then a very familiar voice came on.
That sounds like… but I don’t know that song – it couldn’t be!!
I picked up my phone and looked.
Burlap to Cashmere?!?!?
How could it be… there’s no way!!
~~~ Backing up 12 years… ~~~
I’ve told the story of how Chris and I met, became best friends, and eventually fell in love all while playing together in a “band” (and I use that term loosely).
1999 – it was a fabulous year, completely centered around playing and listening to music, including both Chris’ original songs and other artist’s music.
But at the very core of that year was Burlap to Cashmere.
A couple of months before I joined the band, I had rather accidentally discovered this fantastic band. They only had one CD, if you didn’t count their small sampler album. Their sound was unlike anything I’d ever heard – a melding of Simon and Garfunkel, Greek folk music (and thereby extraordinarily appealing to my Greek blood), and modern rock. The guitar riffs were mind-blowing – I played classical (finger-style) guitar, so I was familiar with the coordination and speed that it took to play like that, but I absolutely couldn’t imagine how anyone’s fingers could move that fast.
One of the first things I did when I joined the “band” in February of 1999 was pull out my Burlap to Cashmere album. Chris immediately fell in love with them too, an early sign of our perfect compatibility.
We began to stalk the band together. In May, they came to Birmingham. We went to see them at the former 5 Points Music Hall, taking my brother JC along with us. Chris and I were “just friends”, but there was definitely some magic that happened at that concert as we were pressed directly up against the stage, obviously lacking the acceptable amount of social distance between us that is to be expected for said status of just friends.
(My poor brother, awkwardly forced to witness his little sister’s budding romance.)
Chris and I were both completely in heaven for the opportunity to see this phenomenal and seemingly impossibly complex music played live…and also for the opportunity to stand so close to each other.
In June, despite the fact that I was already well aware I was going to marry Chris, we were still “just friends” (something about Chris being 22 and me being 17 and him feeling horribly guilty for being attracted to a “kid”), but we were unquestioningly the best of friends. For my High School graduation present, Chris got us tickets to AtlantaFest on the day that Burlap to Cashmere would be playing.
For some strange reason, my parents allowed me to leave town with this old guy, and we spent the day going from concert to concert, all ending in the with the perfection of yet another surreal concert by B2C, within a month of the first, again, in the front row, up against the stage.
Although Chris somehow managed to not allow himself to admit it for another month, there was no longer any doubt that we were in love after that trip. Burlap to Cashmere’s song, Eileen’s Song, became the answer to the cheesy teenage question, “Do you guys have a song??”, and the fabulously romanticized memories of going to those concerts together in that magical we’re-completely-in-love-but-haven’t-admitted-it stage of life forever sealed Burlap to Cashmere as the soundtrack of our relationship.
And, just like untimely deaths of musicians only make them more infamous, the breakup of Burlap to Cashmere in 2001 (the year we got married), before they even had the chance to make another album, only made those few songs more special to us. We researched their whereabouts endlessly, but all we ever found was their statements that they would never get back together, and no matter how hard we tried to wish them back into existence, it wasn’t going to happen.
For the past 10 years, we’ve pulled out that one perfect CD, Anybody Out There? , any time we wanted a wistful, romantic reminder of our youth. I literally wore my copy completely out and had to buy another CD. When you ask either of us what our favorite artist is, we still unwaveringly name them – a band that lasted all of three years and has been dead on the table for the last decade.
Their lead singer, Steven Delopoulos, came out with a couple of solo albums that we quickly gravitated to, but without his cousin’s amazing harmonies and guitar impossibilities, it wasn’t quite the same. It was somewhat like a blurry dream of what had been, but nevertheless, a dream was better than nothing.
~~~ Back to Wednesday. ~~~
Considering that I know all twelve Burlap to Cashmere tracks backward and forward, the sensation of hearing a new song was quite world changing. I quickly did a Google search, and found out the news I’d always wanted to hear: they were back together again!! And they just came out with a new album a month ago!!!
I called Chris, nearly hyperventilating with excitement. We both downloaded the new album immediately, and I begged him to become a groupie with me, easily convincing him that nothing would be better for us than to quit our day jobs and travel around the country, rekindling our stalking of B2C.
(Fortunately for our kids, they’re not on tour yet.)
The only way I can describe the sensation of that moment of discovery is that all of the feelings of romance from our “just friends”, dating, engagement, newlywed, and married days were combined and rekindled afresh in an instant. All that I wanted to do was put the kids to bed, crank up their new album, light some candles, and cuddle up on the couch with Chris.
It’s powerful stuff, people.
So if you need us for the next few days, we’ll be in a state of constant euphoria and complete romance. We’ll get back to you.
Editor’s Note: Burlap to Cashmere released their tour dates the night before I published this, and they will be in Atlanta (2.5 hours away) on my birthday. Obviously, this was meant to be. And it made present shopping really easy for Chris. So we will be having an Atlanta date next month and resume our romantic, stalkerish behaviors of Burlap to Cashmere!
34 thoughts on “The Euphoria of Burlap to Cashmere.”
Okay, that just made me smile (on your behalf) so big. Love you both. So happy for the happiness that I know that this has given you. What a gift to have a moment to recapture that special “brand new love” feeling. I just listened to Eileen’s song on your behalf :)
I loved reading this story! I never realized they had been apart for that length of time.
Your story has made me smile and made me cry at how happy I am that you came into Chris’s life and made him the perfect family. I will read this one over again because it is such a blessing. And to think I rebuked him for wanting to date “a kid”. God does know best.
Aw, thanks! I’m glad you didn’t forbid him to date me with your Auntly-Authority ;)
YES!! I read this somewhere the other day that they were back together. My first reaction was, WHA?!! HOW?!?! And then a little disappointed that, of course, they had not personally called me to let me know to run out quickly and snatch up that album! Alas, I got over myself, and downloaded it fast, quick, and in a hurry and it’s like 2001 all over again for me! (ok, I was a little late to the game of B2C! :)
If you do decide to go all Groupie, I’ll be ready to join the bandwagon!
A laundry chute sounds awesomely cool, despite the lack of privacy!! I’m a fan of any secret-passageway-type thingies.
They just announced some concerts!! So get your butt back on this side of the globe and let’s go groupie!!
Cute story! I have never heard of them but I checked out there website and listened to some of the music they are good. Oh I also noticed they are playing in Atlanta on Oct 8 according to their website you linked in the post.
They just put those dates up late last night!! And the Atlanta show, actually October 9th, is my birthday!!! We’re trying to figure out if we can make it work.
That’s awesome–both your story and that they have a new album! I always liked their music…such a great sound! Will have to check out the new album!
It’s really good – the sound is both like their last album and very original. I love it!
You definitely have to find a way to go to the concert on your birthday — I think it’s just meant to be! :) What a fun story and I’m glad to hear they have another album, they were one of my favorites back in the day too!
If we can’t go to that one (I’m not sure yet if it will work out), we will DEFINITELY have to find one we can go to! It would be completely magical.
This is Johnny of Burlap to Cashmere… I just want to say that this story has touched me and truly brings an overwhelming sense of joy to me.
May you and Chris keep loving through good , Bad , Happy and Sad…. When we hit yur town I will hope to meet you both~
Thank you! We definitely hope to make it to a show – or shows!! The Atlanta one is the closest (and on my birthday!!) but we’re not sure if the Sunday night timing will work out or not – Chris may just have a VERY sleepy Monday at work!
We’re beyond thrilled that you guys are back together, and hope that you will have many wonderful years of making music! Thanks for influencing our lives so much!
I love it. I had the SAME SENTIMENTS!!! I looove B2C and picked up Steve’s album… I loved it but nothing like this new cd. Happy Dance!!!
It is exciting, isn’t it? They just announced their tour dates, and we’re already planning on attending one! I hope you’re able to as well!
Beautiful story, Rachel! What a cool way to find out about it too. You knew them well enough to recognize them on Pandora. :)
I would recognize their sound with earplugs in, if that were possible!! Yes, it was a very fun way to find out!
Same here. I used to tour with Rebecca St. James back in the 2000’s and was sidestage for several electric B2C gigs, including one where their instruments didn’t make the flight and they ended up using ours. We were all huge fans of them. I followed them, as you did, through the last 10 years and was so glad they got back together and are making their wonderful music again. They were awesome back then and they are awesome now.
What fun memories!! Yes, it’s definitely wonderful that they’re back – I can’t wait to hear them live next month!
Eeeeeeee! I remember them and we still listen to that CD too! It was something my future husband introduced me to and while be both love it, it doesn’t hold quite the significance. Possibly because I abhor concerts. I will go look them up now.
Have you gotten their new CD yet??? It’s amazing – you’ll love it!!
My husband and looked it up right away, caught up on some news and listened to the samples and then… he didn’t buy it… so I guess we are going to wait…
We’ve loved it – my favorite tracks so far are Build a Wall, Tonight, Seasons, and Closer to the Edge. Although I really like all of them!
Great post, Rachel! You are such a good storyteller!! I know exactly what you mean about how the music makes me feel. For better for worse (I know a lot of people hate him), but that’s exactly how John Mayer’s CDs still make me feel. There’s just something about the soundtrack from when you were falling in love. It has the ability to transport you to another time and place. Enjoy!!
I completely agree, even though I don’t like John Mayer :) – I think the most significant music is whatever music you were into in the most emotionally charged time periods of your life. Which in most people’s cases is teenagehood and falling in love. That’s why we all like “oldies” when we get old!
Clearly I meant how the music makes YOU feel, not me feel. :)
Seeing Burlap to Cashmere in concert was one of the best experiences of my entire life. Definitely the best concert I’ve ever seen. I was SO EXCITED when I heard they were releasing a new album but had no idea it was out already. THANK YOU!! for the heads up!
They really are just indescribable live, aren’t they?? I’m so thrilled to be going to see them again in a month!! I hope you get to go to a show, too!
Loved this post! Such a sweet story! I had that CD too and I loved it! Haven’t pulled it out in quite a while. I will have to listen to it for old time’s sake. :)
I knew you two seemed extra “lovey dovey” (is that a word?) Thursday night :)
That’s really cool that you guys have that music to take you back to such an exciting time in your relationship!
I’m always reminiscing about our dating years(more like months) this time of year, Sunday was the 7th anniversary of our blind date, I think it’s good to remember why and how you fell in love, helps keep the flames alive :)
Aw, that’s so sweet! But the ultimate question, what will you do during the concert while being more than “just friends”?? ;-)
Ha! I guess you’ll just have to show up at the concert in Atlanta to find out! :)