I’ve been really quiet lately here on My Living Canvas. I guess I’ve been trying to do more listening than talking. I am still faithfully reading my Bible using the blended plan on www.youversion.com and I haven’t stopped writing. But I have been doing more observing and noticing and hoping that this pause will produce something beautiful soon. The month of February began with some wicked winter weather. We had a one-two punch of historic major snow here in DC that I avidly tracked along with the Washington Post’s Capitol Weather Gang. Awesome forecasters they are indeed! The winter weather kept us out of work for a week, then the government reopened on my birthday but fortunately we had already taken off that day! We had my 33 birthday which we spent having dinner with some dear friends at Liberty Tavern. Valentine’s Day wont be one we remember fondly, we somehow figured out a way to have an award-winning fight that night. So moving on, we are looking forward to celebrating Brian’s 36th on Tuesday and hopefully closing out this month with no more winter weather. This southerner’s had enough.
So the highlight, or the Bright Side, of trying to do more listening has been the music. I have really enjoyed getting deep into some new tunes from both old favorites and new. I have a brand new playlist that I made to listen to while training for my next race in March. I will be running in the Washington, DC St. Patrick’s Day 8K on March 17. My playlist is most appropriately titled “clovers” replacing the playlist I made when I thought I would be running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, also cleverly named “cherries.” The music on this playlist must be magic because I have managed to shed 10 pounds at the gym! This is the most weight Ive managed to lose in well over a year so that feels real real good. Certainly a bright side to be celebrated. And finally, I made a playlist for an upcoming bridal shower. The title is “Love the Movies” and has a bunch of my favorite songs from movies. Songs are about love but they are not sappy “My heart will go on” crap. I will work on creating IMIX on Itunes for these lists and post them later.
I also have some Soul Music to share. I’ve often heard people being described as “having an old soul.” In ways, I identify with this on a deep heart level. I guess that’s why I find a kindred spirit with the lyrics and music of Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller.
Just in time for my birthday, Patty Griffin’s newest “Downtown Church” dropped on Tuesday January 26 and is currently my favorite album of all time. I realize that’s saying a lot but its true for now. Back in 2003 when I attended a Harry Connick Jr. concert at Blues Alley in Georgetown (BY MYSELF!) I waited afterward to meet him and when I met him I asked him if he would consider doing a gospel album. He said “You mean a little Old Rugged Cross?” and winked. I’m still waiting on Harry but I didn’t even have to ask Patty. Last summer my friend Rachel and I got to see “Three Girls and Their Buddy” live at Wolf Trap (Patty, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller) and they played a couple of the songs from this album at the concert. I knew right away that I was gonna love love love this album. Patty only penned two of the tracks on the entire EP. The rest are good old time religion people and lemme tell ya, that’s good enough for me! Patty and crew recorded the album in an old church in downtown Nashville, which I think makes it all even cooler. In a New York Times article Patty said, “Recording in a church was my idea because of the Staples’ recordings. You can hear the feet shuffling and the page turning in those recordings. Those places are built to sing in. I didn’t want to record this in a box.” God I love her. Christianity Today called it “Mongrel Gospel” I don’t care what you call it, its glorious. I really don’t want to play favorites with this album because J’adore ALL the tracks but if I were gonna pick my top faves they’d have to be “Move on Up”, “Death’s Got a Warrant”, “Coming Home to Me”(written by Patty), and “All Creatures of our God and King.”
A few days after Patty’s album dropped, I was out in Bethesda having lunch with my friend Angel and I heard a song playing in the restaurant that was really cool but I didn’t recognize the voice. So I pulled out my trusty Iphone and tagged the song with my “Shazam” app. It was then and there that I discovered Eric Bibb. The song that led me to him was “Shine On” but coming home later that day I discovered a treasure chest full of sparkling guitar goodness from Eric Bibb waiting on me in the Itunes store. In addition to “Shine On” I’m also loving “Pockets”, “Tall Cotton”, “In my Father’s House,” and “New Beale Street Blues”(which starts, ‘If we have to walk, we’re goin to Memphis, got to play on Beale.’ LOVE IT). But seriously all his songs are awesome. What is also really cool is that his father is also a musician and there are several songs where they play together which I think is so cool. When Harry Connick Jr came to Wolf Trap a few years ago, his dad was there with him and they sang together which as also super cool. Eric is really popular in Europe apparently and is touring there most of the year but I am begging and pleading for someone to book him in the DC metro area asap. Maybe my friend Barbara will see this post, she could absolutely make it happen! 🙂 My favorite lyric of his is from “Spirit I Am”:
“Lookin’ in the mirror I’m askin’
Am I the change I long to see?
You know the world is just a picture
Of what’s inside of you and me”
I hope you check out these amazing artists and please enjoy music.