Friday, January 15, 2010

Reflection Pond #23

Lee Fields and the Expressions - My World (2009)

This is one of my great finds of the year. I love to discover such sweetness and through one of my many outlets, I was able to hear about Lee Fields and his wonderful brand of soul. His sounds transcends time in many obvious ways but what I truly love is the earnestness that comes out of his music. There's a spirit here that wants to embrace the world with effervescence yet, though we ride the wave of blessing filled with joy as Lee Fields' voice soothes us over, we must also remember that the heart is filled with wanting. We must realize that our humanity is still very frail, still in need of developing and evolving. We are not yet so perfect a species in this life. There is time to grow, to love and laugh, to hold one another within a sacred grip. There is a call for social justice rising from the ashes, and music has a power that can ignite a flame into a fireball. Lee Fields pleads with that type of energy and wants us to look into our hearts so that this human experiment will eventually overcome its weaknesses and see the light.

Be Here To Love Me - Margaret Brown (2004)

We randomly discovered Townes Van Zandt at the bookstore, Borders, of all places. At one of the listening stations we ran across his double disc "Anthology" and immersed ourselves in one of the great voices of American music. Since Xtimu's father loves country music and I dabble in the field now and then, it was refreshing to listen to a singer who had the mind of a poet and delivered his message in a simple and honest way. Who was this artist who'd been an intricate part of our landscape for three decades yet hardly anyone had ever heard of him? I was immediately intrigued because, after all, I do truly love a great story about a hidden star amongst the solar sphere. His music was beautiful and enchanting and intoxicating. He was a twisted spirit that spoke with foreboding and dwelt in dark dreams, yet always seemed to come out the other end with a smile on his face. Often, as you listen to his music, that's what you find on your face as well, a smile and an appreciation for a true master of his craft. Be Here To Love Me is a documentary that immerses you within the arc of this great man's life. He was neurotic, a druggie, crazy, a fiend, had all of the great faults that many iconic figures in our celebrity culture seem to display. He was also a genius and all of the great musicians from the ruggedness that defines country music as it rose up from the dust are in the documentary to let us know how they felt about his continuing influence. When we look back in history to discover the shining stars that helped create this culture of ours, we often witness a difficult dynamic mixture of incredibly gifted and complete disaster. Townes Van Zandt does not disappoint in this regard and it's hard to watch with both appreciation and hurt as one of your heroes falls beneath the embers. Margaret Brown does a wonderful job lettings us laugh and cry along with Townes, just like one of his amazing songs.

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