3000 Miles

A D E7
You’ve roared 3000 miles to tear slate off my shore
You may just as well roar 3000 more
You can’t carry stone back over the sea
But my children will always come back home to me

They’re scattered and gone to lands far away
To England, I fear, and Americay
Love among family, love for a friend
My children will always come back home again

Your waters are wide to my east and my west
But all of my children know where they’re loved best
Although they have wandered so far from my shore
My children will always come back home once more

I’ve outlived them all for so many a year
Their prologue is past, their future is clear
Though famines and wars will tear us apart
My children will always come back home at heart

repeat 1st verse

Rachel Flowers: Emerson, No Lake, Little Palmer

[l1]G[/l1]uitarist Jim Earp sent a link to this video of Rachel Flowers performing Emerson, Lake, & Palmer’s Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression on a Hammond C3 organ.

Ten minutes in my head exploded. (It’s 14 minutes long.) Continue reading “Rachel Flowers: Emerson, No Lake, Little Palmer”

A Flute for All Seasons

[l1]C[/l1]lassical music has a long history of instrument-swapping. Lute tunes transcribed for guitar. Harpsichord pieces performed on piano. Since guitars and pianos are easier to come by these days than lutes or harpsichords, this is a good thing for modern performers.

[az]B00000E67M[/az][az]B000E79A0K[/az]Sometimes it’s clear the transcription is simply to allow a performer to indulge in a work written for an instrument other than the one the play. Wynton Marsalis playing “Flight of the Bumblebee” on trumpet comes to mind.

One of the first compact discs I bought when they became commonly available was Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” which had long been a favorite of mine. Rather than the traditional violin, this was arranged for flute and performed by James Galway.

It’s a very different sound, of course, and Galway makes it work. The flute isn’t quite as delicate as a violin can be, but a skilled flutist can make us forget that during the peaceful movements. When winter arrives, though, it seems to have been written for the instrument. The biting winds of winter are colder in a flute than a violin.

I no longer own that copy. These days, my favorite recording of the Seasons is Lorin Maazel’s arrangement and performance on the traditional instrument.

But when winter comes, I always miss the flute.

Mario Takes a Walk

[l1]M[/l1]m” border=”0″ align=”left” />[az]B000BF0D9M[/az]y kids introduced me to a whole string of video games about a guy named Mario, but I don’t think that’s who Jesse Cook is talking about. Somehow, Mario Takes a Walk completely possesses me every time I hear it; it’s one of those rare songs where both the live and studio versions I’ve heard punch me right in the solar plexus.

Thumping danceable drums annoy me. Except sometimes. Adding a ‘thump thump thump’ to most music turns me off completely, so I have no explanation for why Cook’s music, which is nearly always flamenco guitar and thump, grabs me like it does.

Every time I hear Mario (or Matisse the Cat, or many others) I want to do a Titanic on the bow of a sailing ship and laugh out loud while I’m dancing. Sure, it’s impossible, but that’s what music is for, to free us for the impossible.

Jesse has a new album, The Rumba Foundation which you can listen to at his website. Like I am right now.

Four Seasons

[az]B000E79A0K[/az][l1]O[/l1]ne of the first pieces of classical music I was exposed to was Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. We didn’t have a lot of classical music at home when I was a child, so my exposure started later than, say, Irish folk music or Roger Miller.

There are eleventy-leven versions of Vivaldi’s most famous work, but the one that works for me is led by the insuperable Lorin Maazel. After experiencing this rendition, any other seems slightly mistimed; rushed, dragging, improperly syncopated, cadenzas which are frantic rather than energetic.

Maazel’s conducting envelopes each movement in the appropriate season’s textures, sensations, aromas, and sounds. I hear bugs flitting past during ‘Summer’; the flutter of leaves in ‘Autumn’; the rush of the wind in ‘Winter’, and the trickle of a nearby stream in ‘Spring.’

Vivaldi’s work, and especially this piece, and more especially this recording of it, invariably reduces my stress levels and reminds me that some things, unlike stress, are timeless.

The Grassies

[l1]N[/l1]orthern California now has a music award.

The Grassies are the Northern California Artistic Achievement Award. Named in part for The GrassiesGrass Valley, where the first awards will be presented, and in part for the grassroots artists they honor, The Grassies are an idea long overdue. Originally intended to be a purely musical award, we The Grassie(Co-Founder and Primary Evangelist Andy Gonzales and Know Your Music writer, Grassies Co-Founder and Anamchara Eolais Joel D ‘spinhead’ Canfield) realized it needed to encompass the arts in general to match our vision.

The First Annual Grassies will be the highlight of the Nevada County Music Expo on April 28th, 2007; all the pertinent info is at The Grassies website. While most of the awards are given to artists and others in music-related fields who are still on the rise, the Masters and Mentors Award is a special award for a grassroots artist who has, in some sense, made it. This year’s recipient is The King of Surf Guitar, Mr. Dick Dale.

The Expo will include workshops, live performances, vendor booths of all kinds from local bands, stores, and other artists, food, and more. Admission is free.