Are we ready for a new year? I know I am. There’s been a lot of joy this year as it feels perhaps we’ve turned a corner on handling the pandemic. And yet we are not quite right in this world, wrestling with what it feels like to NOT be tucked away at home all the time. For many of us there was a weird pleasure in hibernation. I miss a few of the things I was able to do, and the people I hibernated with. But let’s all agree we are searching for new ways to be in the world and reach out for connection.
I’m listening to my favorite singer-songwriters and discovering new ones – new to me. During 2021 I listened, at my friend Eugene Ruffolo’s suggestion, on repeat to Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “The Dirt and the Stars.” I couldn’t stop. A very brave collection of lyrics. Now I have listened maybe 500 times to Rose Cousins’ “Natural Conclusion” album. It’s not new, but new to me. She wrote “…stabbed in the back with my own knife….” Ok, right. Let’s pay attention to this one.
I’m very excited to bring the gang back to City Winery a week before Christmas for more Cole Porter, and I’m mixing in some Django Reinhardt (gonna sing that one in French), some Carter Family. Why? All part of the stars alligning in the 40s to produce some truly wondrous moments of music. Cole wrote Kiss Me Kate in that decade. 30 years later I learned my first Carter Family song, my first Cole song, and heard my first gypsy jazz at the American Folklife Festival.
What is your heritage, your origin story? Tell it to yourself, and remind yourself that you have something to tell, something to know of yourself, and to re-imagine.
See you out there. Write me anytime. JB