There are few times over the course of one’s life that the awesome power of pure beauty strikes your heart and takes your breath away. Fewer times yet that you get to watch it rolling and growing knowing it’s good and then get to see it suddenly blossom more spectacular than your high expectations conceived.
I’ve listened to music perhaps more deeply than most. Pursued it as my lifestyle and my living but didn’t have the maturity or courage to see it through. There were other battles to be fought that I had no clue were coming at the time but turn out to have been the right path for me. It did, however, crystallize in me the utmost respect for those can and do see it through.
I have been enjoying the talent of such a soul for better than forty years. I even had the honor of tossing my riffs in the same wind for quite a few years back in the day. So there’s no surprise when the next chapter unfolds with greater strength and maturity. No surprise to find this soul connected to another of parallel depth and talent pushing relentlessly to perfect their art. No surprise that others are noticing too.
We all grow and live or stagnate and die. We can’t change those rules; we can only adapt. Those with vision and strength thrive; those without miss the opportunity to enrich both their own lives and those lives they chance to touch.
I’ve been hearing some of the new tunes and waiting for the new CD that will carry them home with me where I can savor them in my own space, my own time as I have with their first. Good music always touches me, great music moves me but just every once in a while it grabs me by the lapels, pulls me out of my chair and pushes me into a universe previously unavailable to me.
Now when Bach’s Ave Maria builds dissonance with sweet counterpoint then resolves in a grand crescendo and stops my heart or the Carter Family brings tears to my eyes, I’m prepared for it since their legend precedes my hearing. When someone whose music I have been enjoying for most of my life puts out a better then average performance, it warms my heart. When that performance is catapulted forward by songwriting of unconceivable depth and grace, words fail me but I’m really happy to be alive.This CD is an amazing work of art with so many fantastic pieces but at the top is “A Dodger’s Prayer” which surpasses the Carter family for melodic line and John Prine for lyrical richness. It's quite clear that Jim and Jane are on the "grow and live" branch of the tree and we are all richer for it.