Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Identifying with songs

EVER GO THROUGH phases and get obsessed with songs? They just reach out and grab you. I'm playing in a couple of groups right learning songs and it's amazing how they worm their way into your brain and won't let go.

Eric Carmen recently passed away. He was one of the great voices of 70s rock with The Raspberries. Their song "Go All The Way" is on auto-repeat around here and every time I listen there is something new going on. In my guitar lessons we study chord progressions and why certain chords and notes sound good (this is also called "music theory," an ugly term we avoid]. "Go All The Way" ignores standard progressions and careens all over the place, yet comes back to rock and roll. It's like somebody took time to actually write a song. The live version is sublime.

Last night Allison Hutson and I got together and practiced a few songs and listened to others. She's now enamored with Eric Carmen's "Hungry Eyes" from the Dirty Dancing movie, and we might give it a shot at our March 30 show at Quincy Brewing Company.

A song I really hope Allison and I do is Lauren Daigle's "Hold On To Me." You could sing this in church on a Sunday morning or stop traffic in a bar on Saturday night. It's not easy to make choices and then lose friends over it. Sometimes songs help you get through life. Enough said.

Allison wants to do a Jonas Brothers song called "Montana Sky." My first reaction was, what? By who? I forced myself to listen. And listen. And listen again. Now it’s grabbed me. We are doing it a week from Saturday. 

You gotta open your mind when you play with younger people, or play songs from genres you don't normally care about.  

Another band I'm hanging out with is Prospect Road. We have a show this Saturday in Clayton at a place called Shorteez. Among the songs we may or may not play is "Angel From Montgomery," the John Prine classic. Bonnie Raitt's version is ghostly and gut-wrenching - how did I not listen to this years ago?

In the last verse, Raitt sings, "How the hell does someone/Go to work in the morning/Come home in the evening/With nothing to say?"

You can't tell me you haven't been there. Thank you, John Prine, for writing songs about our lives. And thank you, Bonnie Raitt, for searing it into my soul.

If you see me walking into walls at Blessing Hospital or wandering around the hallways in a dazed circle, it's probably because I have a song stuck in my head and I'm trying to get it out. Either that or I can't find the Urology office. Focus man! Focus! 

Nah. I'll let it ring around the brain. It will help me get through the day. 



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