Friday, July 31, 2009

Sam Baker and songsillinois

It can be a hard life out in cyberland. Does anybody listen? Does anybody care? We'll soon find out.

One of my favorite music blogs is Songs:Illinois.
Not just because I'm originally from there. Not just because I like a lot of the music he champions. But BECAUSE he champions. There is a passion in the writing of his blog. A passion for music, for art, for fun, for all that makes life worth living. At least what makes it worth living for me. And now he's on strike. Sort of. In the latest post, an amazing piece on Sam Baker, we are urged to pre-order Sam's new CD. When enough are ordered, Songs:Illinois will return.

Like he is a fanboy of Sam Baker, I am a fangirl. Just saw him at Woodyfest a few weeks ago and was floored again. He is both one of the funniest and most intense artists I know, not to mention being the kinda guy who would give you the shirt off his back without a second thought. His songs hit you in the truth, make you forget to breathe; they are honest and stunning in their poetic strength. Once his songs are in your ears, they will never leave. I swear it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where gluttony meets art

A while back I challenged a photo-savvy friend to embody the seven deadly sins. Gluttony is probably the sin we actually see the most. Not pointing fingers, I am just as guilty as most mid-coast dwellers. Going out to eat is a prime form of entertainment, as is the fun of cooking and sharing a meal. You don't have to look for a place to eat in my area of the country, they practically litter the streets, opening and going out of business at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, it seems the ones that survive are the various McBurgers. For all those calories, you could almost eat a pound of sugar, or this third grade art project called Cake.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Feeling anti-social

Sometimes I just get to feeling anti-social. Not the kind when I'm depressed, not the kind when I'm not well. Although, both could be a factor. Spurts of creativity can do it, so can want of a quiet, home cooked meal. Other times, I'm tired of being "on". When you've got a reputation as the class clown and you turn up sedate, people ask what's wrong. So I say that I'm tired or queasy or just thinking. It's not their fault, no reason to offend. But for once I'd just like to tell them, I really would just like to be alone.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sir Paul

Some of you are lucky enough to have Sir Paul in your own backyard. Some of us are not. You just don't know how much I wish I'd been there. The man is a living legend. The man is an inspiration. The man still sounds amazing. The man is...... F@#!ing Paul McCartney!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Again. How is Jimmy Davis not totally famous?

Tell me again, why is Jimmy Davis not totally famous? There's just not enough exceptional things to say about him without sounding either trite or like a star-struck fan. But really, he's just that damn good. Period.

Vocals? He sings all out with power and emotion. Guitar? Don't let that fabulously EQ'd all koa Martin fool you, Jimmy Daddy rocks. Dead on right hand technique that is seamless. Stage presence? So much energy, so intense, fun narrative and insight and that mischievous smile... Songwriting? He can make you laugh and cry, sometimes in the same song. His stories draw you in; you get to know, love or perhaps even fear the people he writes about. Jimmy has a knack for turning a phrase, just when you least expect it.

With all this going for him, I just don't understand why more people don't know about Jimmy Davis. Every time I see him, I am blown away. You should be, too. Check out his tour schedule and do yourself a favor, treat your ears and your heart to some Jimmy Daddy today!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Woody Guthrie

Every year for the last many, in the middle of July, right around Woody Guthrie's birthday, I make the trek to Okemah, OK and the Woody Guthrie Free Folk Festival. Woodyfest, as it is affectionately known, is a different breed. It's free. Attendees pay to camp or park at the main stage, (but not both) but from then on out, the music is all without charge. The artists are not paid to play there. Lodging, a meal and travel, yes, but their time and performance is donated. So only people who really want to be there play there. And once they get the Woody bug, they come back again and again, whenever their schedule allows. It's a real treat to be a part of this odd band of true hearted troubadours. They play with joy, they sing with passion, they beg you to think, they inspire you to act, they break your heart, then turn around and make you laugh. Just like Woody did. Happy birthday, Woody, my world would not be the same without the music you inspired.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Drive

My hair is tangle as I fly down the highway
All the windows down
Nothing but the sound
Of bluegrass on the radio and my easy smile.
Sunshine in my eyes and sweet green forest on the wind
Singing high and lonesome
Along with all the old songs
Until the record ends and I'm back in your arms.
Eight more hours is more miles than I can count
Driving west forever
Until I meet my lover
Underneath the moonlit midnight summer skies.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Of feathers and Neil Young

"Feathers fall around you and show you the way to go..." Sometimes a songwriter tends toward particular imagery. It makes you wonder why. "There you stood on the edge of your feather, expecting to fly...." Birds and feathers. Freedom and delicacy; power and magic. "Big birds flying across the sky...." The spectrum is fascinating, seeing how something so simple, so common, becomes mythic. "See the bluebird fly, easy as a dream..." We've all seen them, dreamed of flying, felt our spirit soar with them as they wheeled across the sky. Or been moved by the soft intricacy of a fallen feather. What enchantment held Neil?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

I Am A Patriot

My favorite patriotic song. Maybe someday we'll all be free.
Happy 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Light a candle

As a recovering Catholic, there are some things I miss about that Church. Most of them have to do with Mary, statues/art, saints and mysterious ceremony. The Evangelical Lutherans, while big on music, rather very open minded (especially at my church), lack in the lore of mystery. When I was small, I would save up my money so that every week I'd have a silver coin to put in the slot (pennies were not good enough for her) and light a candle at the feet of the Virgin Mary. I would kneel there, staring at the flame, and pray very hard for her to intercede, to whisper in her son's ear, to let Jesus know what I said with all my heart. Somehow, I was sure that the candle made all the difference. Somehow, I still do.