Walking Cross-Town. Under the Rainbow.

rainbow-child-country-boy-running

50° F, mid-January. Shameful, I know, but if this is global warming, fill me up, give me more, take me Home to Spring.

I wait for the light to turn and look up squinting, the Sun beams warm the bones, the soul.

I cross Madison and head up 48th.

The City that never sleeps is in peripatetic flight – cabs zigzagging, buses spewing exhaust, delivery trucks unloading the day’s provisions, couriers on bikes, commuters with one foot on gas, one hand on horn, street sweepers with rotating brushes raising dust, garbage trucks with their putrid stench, shopkeepers lifting their steel grates, street vendors setting out their apples, bananas and bagels – – and thoughts.

Walking these same concrete streets in a New Year. No cake, no candles, no party hats at 10 years. Here walks an off-center screw, never quite center, never just right – and yet the hand re-grips, shredding those fine threads, tightening and tightening cross-thread. Must find Proof. [Read more…]

Morning Walk

James-reebanks-photo-england

[…]

Stillness. I would say to them
About living in the country, peace
Can deafen one, beauty surprise
No longer.
There is only the thud
Of the slow foot up the long lane
At morning and back at night.

~ R.S. Thomas, The Country


Credits: Photo of Lake District in England: James Reebanks.  Poem Source: James Reebanks: The Shepherd’s Life 

 

Which year was the best?

poet

Jane Kenyon and I were married for twenty-three years. For two decades we inhabited the double solitude of my family farmhouse in New Hampshire, writing poems, loving the countryside. She was forty-seven when she died. If anyone had asked us, “Which year was the best, of your lives together?” we could have agreed on an answer: “the one we remember least.”  […] The best moment of our lives was one quiet repeated day of work in our house. Not everyone understood. Visitors, especially from New York, would spend a weekend with us and say as they left: “It’s really pretty here” (“in Vermont,” many added) “with your house, the pond, the hills, but … but … but … what do you do?”

What we did: we got up early in the morning. I brought Jane coffee in bed. She walked the dog as I started writing, then climbed the stairs to work at her own desk on her own poems. We had lunch. We lay down together. We rose and worked at secondary things. I read aloud to Jane; we played scoreless ping-pong; we read the mail; we worked again. We ate supper, talked, read books sitting across from each other in the living room, and went to sleep. If we were lucky the phone didn’t ring all day… Three hundred and thirty days a year we inhabited this old house and the same day’s adventurous routine.

~ Donald Hall, The Third Thing from The Poetry Magazine. [Read more…]

Wheels take me, anyplace today


Kaleo is an Icelandic indie pop / rock / folk band established in 2012 and their first major public appearance Iceland. Firmly a phenomenon in their home country of Iceland, the four-piece band Kaleo is set to descend upon foreign shores in 2015, bringing their gorgeous blend of folk, blues, country, and rock to a wider mainstream audience in America. Best friends since attending elementary school in the small town outside of Reykjavik, the band began playing together at the age of 17. They named the band Kaleo, which means “the sound” in Hawaiian.  Kaleo has since moved to Austin, TX. (Source: officialkaleo.com)


[…]You and me together riding into the sun 
Live without care, with the wind in my hair 
Driving through the desert, yeah I’ll go anywhere 
Take me where the wheels take me, far away 
Wheels take me, I can’t stay 
Wheels take, any place today 
Imagine myself in an automobile 
a hundred miles an hour if you know how I feel. 
Alone with my mind, leave my worries behind 
I might even reach the border, it’s just a matter of time 
I said take me where the wheels take me, far away. 
Wheels take me, can’t stay. 
Wheels take me, any place today. 
Ohh I’m going to San Diego, here I come. 
San Fransisco, it won’t be long. 
Sacramento, yeah in the sun. I just might go 
I said I’m going to San Diego and San Jose 
San Francisco and hang by the bay 
Sacramento, yeah all the way I just might go 
all the way to Mexico oho 
I just might go all the way down to Mexico.

Noah & Abby Gundersen


Noah Gundersen, 25, is an American singer-songwriter from Seattle, Washington.  Gundersen began playing music when he was 10 or 11 years old when his parents had him take piano lessons. In 2002, he inherited his first guitar from his father and taught himself to play the guitar and recorded songs with his father’s recording equipment. Three years later, his birthday gift was an acoustic guitar with which he still performs with today. Around the age of 16, Gundersen was performing solo in local cafes. His sister Abby began to accompany him with violin and harmonies in 2006. 

Find this tune on iTunes on his album Ledges.


Suzannah Espie


From Suzannahespie.com:

Suzannah Espie is a Melbourne, Australia based singer songwriter who has been casting spells over audiences ever since she first took to the stage with her alt-country pop band, GIT, in 1997. A woman of compelling beauty — statuesque, with piercing blue eyes framed by golden curls — she has a voice to match, an intoxicating mix of country, soul, blues and pop. A gentle, sweet trill that can move grown men to tears one moment, or an Aretha-esque hellcat belt that can raise the roof the next; however she sings it though, it’s still unmistakeably Suzannah Espie. It is as a solo artist Espie has truly come into her own…

It’s hard to believe now that, despite her prodigious talent, Espie was beset by self-doubt and shyness early on in her career, which she moved to Melbourne from Fremantle at aged 18 to pursue in earnest. She tells of forcing herself to get up at Fitzroy’s Rainbow Hotel to sing once a week. “Then I’d go and have a cry in the toilets afterwards because I thought it was so horrible.”

Collard recalls the first time he went over to Suzannah’s house to play some music together. “Absolutely nothing happened,” he says with a laugh. “She was too nervous to sing a note.”

While Espie’s confidence and profile have grown over the years, she remains as earthy and honest as the music she writes and performs.  “I still don’t think I’m a good songwriter. Occasionally I’ll pull a good one out of my arse,” she says in typically straight-talking Suzannah fashion.

Find her album on iTunes: Sea of Lights


 

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

Canada-Day
Canada celebrates its 147th Birthday today. In a new poll, two-thirds of Canadians say they love their country and what it stands for. I’m among the fervently passionate 2/3rds. Happy Birthday Canada.


Photograph: Al Tuttle

Let Me Comfort You


Erick Baker, 35, is a singer-songwriter from Knoxville, Tennessee. He didn’t sing or write songs until he enrolled at the University of Tennessee. Baker had picked up the guitar during his college days and played occasionally at parties for fun, by his own admission in hopes of meeting women. While doing a set at an open-mike night in Knoxville, Baker was spotted by a local promoter who gave him a spot opening a show for John Legend and soon buzz about Baker began to spread. He has performed with national acts, including rock musician James Blunt, alternative country musician Brandi Carlile, pop-rock musician Gavin DeGraw, the rock band Goo Goo Dolls, the rock band Heart, R&B artist John Legend.

My songs belong to every right turn and wrong turn that have led me here,” Baker says.  “They reflect the pieces of poetry hidden in the experiences that lie in each of our everyday lives.

Find this tune on iTunes: Erik Baker: Live At The Bijou Theatre

If you liked this, don’t miss: Erick Baker – Stay Awhile


Credits:


Valerie June


Valerie June, 32, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, Tennessee. Her sound encompasses a mixture of folk, blues, gospel, soul, country, Appalachian and bluegrass.  After self-releasing three albums, her debut album as a signed artist, Pushin’ Against a Stone, was released in August, 2013. The album was so titled to commemorate the story of her life. June said “I feel I’ve spent my life pushing against a stone. And the jobs I’ve had have been fitting for getting a true feel for how the traditional artists I loved came home after a hard day to sit on the porch and play tunes until bedtime.”

Find her album “Pushin’ Against a Stone” on iTunes here.


Picture On My Wall


The Deep Dark Woods are a Canadian alternative country band from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Find this song on their new album Jubilee (Sept, 2013) on iTunes at this link.


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