SONG OF THE DAY – “POEMS, PRAYERS & PROMISES” by John Denver

July 31, 2014

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s #tbt song is from John Denver’s 1971 album by the same name.

Okay, I have to admit it, I have always been a John Denver fan. I know nearly all of his songs and can pretty much sing along to every one. I grew up on his music at home, loved going to his concerts, and was sad when he passed away much too early. It is hard to imagine a music blog without at least one song by him.

I am sure after reading my post yesterday, you know that I am feeling a little sentimental and maybe even a touch sad this week and there is nothing quite like a John Denver song to bring out the melancholy. He certainly has plenty of music that is knee-slapping and jovial, but he had an incredible  way of capturing everyday emotions in his poetry and music. I truly believe that there is a John Denver song for almost every emotional moment in life. This song certainly captures my moment now.

How many of you have listened to “Annie’s Song” (my personal favorite), “Leaving On a Jet Plane,” “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” “or “Take Me Home Country Roads” when there was absolutely nothing else that could capture the moment quite like the lyrics of a John Denver song. I have a hard time believing that I am the only one who has done that at some point. Even to this day when I am in the mountains, there is no song that I love to hear more than “Rocky Mountain High!” In fact, I am sitting here listening to it now and it just makes me feel the freedom of that space even though I am sitting here in my house far from the mountains I love. Factoid: Did you know that the Colorado legislature adopted that song as the second official song of Colorado in 2007? It certainly seems like a natural fit.

Although I don’t listen to his music very often, I would probably have to list John Denver‘s music among my very favorites – so many great songs and even more years of memories that it awakens.

John Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. in Roswell, New Mexico on December 31, 1943. He was hugely popular throughout the 1970s and early 80s. He was well-known not only for his music, but also for his activism – a humanitarian and an environmentalist. He died shortly before his 54th birthday, in October 1997, when the plane he was piloting went down over Monterey Bay, California. Oddly, as I was thinking about posting this song today, I saw that John Denver’s former Aspen (Rocky Mountain) home went on the market and was listed in the Wall Street Journal today. Weird coincidence. Anyone in the market? 🙂

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SONG OF THE DAY – “MY MAMA SAID BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU LAY YOUR HEAD” by The Wind and The Wave

June 30, 2014

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The Song of the Day is not yet available on iTunes. Clicking the button above will take you to the link for the new single, “With Your Two Hands.”

I have been having a difficult time getting back into writing for this blog. I think I may have writer’s block. I have been having so much fun with this blog, but I stopped for a few days and I began to feel like my creativity just disappeared, and I started second guessing every song that I wanted to share.

I had a funny thought today though. Don’t you find music critics interesting? Do you read a music review by someone who thinks a band is “remarkable” or the “next big thing” or “horrible and untalented” and decide that you like the music based on those reviews OR do you listen to the music and decide for yourself. I know that I am in the second category.

Sometimes I like a single song by an artist and other times I like everything they do. Sometimes I just know they are going to be a huge success and other times I am not sure if they will ever make it big, but I know I like their song. Sometimes I love a song forever and other times I like a song just for a season. No matter how it comes around, I know that I love music and I think you do too. I don’t expect that everyone will like every song that I enjoy, but although we may not always like the same music, the fact is that music touches our lives, moves our souls, and brings us joy … that is the common thread we share.

Today I am sharing a song by a band that I discovered for the first time when I went to see Stereophonics in concert here in NYC at Terminal 5 in the fall of last year. The Wind and The Wave were the opening act and they were incredible. The Wind and The Wave is the collaboration of Dwight Baker (The Wind) and Patricia Lynn (The Wave), two Austin-based friends who started the duo in late 2012. When I saw them in concert that night, I had no idea who they were but I felt like they stole the show. It was just the two of them on the stage and they had so much energy and passion that it was fabulous to watch. It is hard to imagine that incredibly powerful voice coming out of Patricia’s small frame.

Their passionate sound just struck a chord and I immediately came home to search up their music on the internet. They were new enough at the time that it was difficult to find many songs online and they were absolutely not available on iTunes or Spotify, so I have been waiting to share their music. They have recently released a single, “With Your Two Hands, (the song above on the iTunes button) and their debut album, From The Wreckage, is expected out later this year. It is definitely time to share their music and introduce you to The Wind and The Wave. During your discovery, another song you should check out is “It’s a Longer Road to California Than I Thought.” These three songs all show a different aspect of their fantastic music.

 

SONG OF THE DAY – “SHOUT IT” by Southern

June 21, 2014

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Just a quick note today as I am sitting at the airport waiting for a red-eye flight home from California to New York. It has been a busy and beautiful 3 days in Northern California.

I just want to share a really fun and very upbeat song. I am trying to keep myself energized and awake until the moment I board that airplane so that I can fall asleep and I have listened to this song about 10 times!

Southern is a young brother-sister duo from Belfast, Ireland, which consists of Thom and Lucy Southern. They have this amazing folksy blues sound which is just really cool. They make great music together which is upbeat, a little raucous, and just a lot of fun. They released their debut, self-titled album, Southern, in December. I think they have a great sound which will definitely lead to more. Gerry Anderson from BBC Radio called the band:

“The most promising singer/songwriters in Ireland today.”

Not much more to write today as I have to leave in 10 minutes to go catch my flight. I hope you like this song. Another good one to check out by Southern is called, “Where The Wild Are.” I will return to some regularity when I return to NY tomorrow. Here’s to hoping to get some sleep on that plane!

SONG OF THE DAY – “HEAD FULL OF DOUBT/ROAD FULL OF PROMISE” by The Avett Brothers

June 1, 2014

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Well, it has been a very busy and somewhat overwhelming weekend.

I moved my daughter to Washington D.C. this weekend for a summer internship. We moved her into her Capitol Hill apartment on Friday evening and then the two of us got to spend the next two nights and all day Saturday together in that great city. It was really a wonderful time to get to spend with her as she was getting ready to start a whole new life adventure.

I must admit that it is a learning experience as a parent to leave my 18-year-old daughter alone in a city. Okay … not alone – she has two roommates, but she will not be with me and that is a little stressful for this mom. I find that I am in awe of her all the time – she is incredibly brave, adventurous, and accomplished. I know that she will be amazing! So, I am discovering that this is a learning experience for both of us. I am so very proud of her.

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The Avett Brothers are awesome. I absolutely love their music! They combine Americana, folk, country, blue grass, a little pop, and rock and roll like no other band that I know. The band is made up of two Avett brothers (Scott and Seth), as well as Bob Crawford, Paul Defiglia, Joe Kwon, and Mike Marsh. Their music captures life and the emotion of all that life brings.

I got exposed to The Avett Brothers while I lived in Dallas. I was a little behind on this one, but I was an instant fan of their music and have to thank a friend of my daughter’s for introducing me to the band after listening to him sing an incredible rendition of their song, “I And Love And You.” I have not yet been able to see them live, but they are currently on tour and I am hoping to make it to one of their live shows this summer; I have heard that they are a live band not to be missed!

Today’s song is an older song (from the 2009 I And Love And You album), but it totally reminds me of my daughter and I wanted to post it for her today. Tomorrow is her first day at work and, although I know she is nervous, she will be fabulous! My daughter sees her dreams like very few people I know and it is exciting to watch her reach for them. I hope that you love this song as much as I do.

There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it.
And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I’ll scream til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out.

SONG OF THE DAY – “PLEASE DON’T SAY YOU LOVE ME” by Gabrielle Aplin

May 7, 2014

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The last few days I have been able to get outside for a run in close to 60 degree weather. What a joy! I love the sunshine, being in my running shorts, and having to stop halfway thru the run to remove my long sleeve top and tie it around my waist. That is just pure pleasure. 🙂

Another pleasure is listening to today’s artist. I am posting a song by a young artist (21 years old!) from the UK that I have been a fan of for several years. I have followed Gabrielle Aplin‘s music since 2011 and have often had to purchase it from the UK iTunes site since the songs were not available here in the US. I am, therefore, very excited to announce that her album, English Rain, (which was released in the UK this month last year) was finally released here in the US yesterday (May 6, 2014). In addition to the album release yesterday, she also performed live in concert in NYC last night. I am excited to see her extend her reach into the States and I thought it was a perfect day to post another song by her. I posted my favorite song by her – “Home” – on this page back in December.

I find Gabrielle Aplin‘s music just very honest and easy to listen to. I really like this song and I love the video I have attached where you can watch her perform in her element, standing by herself playing the guitar (or the piano) and singing. She received her first guitar from her parents at age 11 and says that she was influenced musically by listening to her parents’ Joni Mitchell and Bruce Springsteen albums. She is an incredibly talented young lady! Her full EP is definitely worth checking out and I am certain we will hear more from this rising young star.

As you know, another favorite musical group of mine from that side of the pond (Ireland) is Hudson Taylor. The brothers, Alfie and Harry, and Gabrielle are great mates who have known each other for over four years when they all moved to London. In fact, I have discovered that Alfie and Gabrielle are dating… so cute! It is fun to watch these young artists develop friendships with each other and support each other in their respective journeys. Let me know what you think about today’s song – I would love to hear from you.