Three Singer/Songwriters

Whenever I poke around in the iTunes store I check out new releases in the singer/songwriter category.  The category is broad with many different styles.  Take for example Robert Earl Keen, Amy Speace, and The Wood Brothers.  They were all listed in the Singer/Songwriter category, but their music is very different.

Robert Earl Keen has been a traditional singer/songwriter (whatever that means) centered in traditional American music.  Wikipedia says that

although both his albums and live performances span many different styles, from folk, country, and bluegrass to rock, he is most commonly affiliated with the Americana movements. In fact, he was the first “Americana” artist to appear on the cover of Gavin magazine when the style was officially recognized as its own genre in 1998.

Keen just released a bluegrass album, Happy Prisoner:  The Bluegrass Sessions.  Good bluegrass, good songs, good music.  A number of the songs are bluegrass and country standards such as T For Texas that he does with Lyle Lovett.  Besides Lovett, Keen works with other great artists on this album.  Natalie Maines, once of the Dixie Chicks, joins him on the traditional Wayfaring Stranger.

I was especially pleased to hear Peter Rowan, he of the unmistakable, high-lonesome voice.  I first learned about Peter Rowan in the 1970s.  He was a singer and guitarist for the group Seatrain that also included the fiddler Richard Green.  Wikipedia calls Seatrain an American roots fusion band.  Back in the 70s we would have called it country rock or maybe folk rock.  Rowan started his career as a bluegrass player with Bill Monroe, so his musical pedigree is impeccable.  He is still plugging away writing, playing, and singing good roots and bluegrass music.

speaceUntil two days ago I had never heard of Amy Speace, another find in iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter category.  I am glad I now have heard her lovely voice and fine songs.  Many of the songs are country songs but not the oh-how-I-love-small-towns-and-trucks-and-beer schlock purveyed by the industry in Nashville.  Her songs, her voice, this album are good.  (Trust me.)

The third album of my latest, impulsive purchase on iTunes (of which there have been many) is The Muse, the latest from the Wood Brothers.  I like best about this album some of their lyrics, particularly from the song Sing About It.  Here are the first couple verses:

 

 

wood brothersIf you get too worried

What you ought to do is sing.

If you get worried

What you ought to do is sing.

If you get too worried

What you ought to do is sing.

If you sing about your trouble it just might pass

 

If you get lost

what you ought to do is sing

If you get lost

what you ought to do is sing

If you get lost

what you ought to do is sing

sing about your trouble it just might pass

sing about your trouble it just might pass

Wonderful.  Better than a shelf-full of books on how to be happy.

There are more from the brothers about feeling good, but I don’t think these words would make it into a self-help book.  I take them to heart (I am sitting at the bar at LOLO in downtown Stillwater drinking beer as I write. Isn’t retirement great!).

Last night,
I got loaded
On a bottle of wine
On a bottle of wine

Last night,
I got loaded
On a bottle of wine
On a bottle of wine

But I feel alright
I feel alright
I feel alright
I feel alright

alrightWell, OK.  I’m much too old to get loaded.  But I feel alright!

 

 

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