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Happy Birthday Joni!

8 Nov

I’d like to thank my brother-in-law for pointing out (on facebook) that today is Joni Mitchell’s birthday. In honor of Joni, I thought I’d post a very early recording of her song “The Circle Game”.

I’ve listened to Joni Mitchell for longer than I can remember. Although, I have no distinct first memories of discovering her music, nor do I recall having one favorite song. It just feels like her music has always been a part of my life. And what amazing music she has made. I’m sure we must have listened to her when I was growing up in the 70s, but like I said, no particular song sticks out for me. Despite this fact, her music has made quite an impression on me over the years.

In 1980, the songs “Both Sides Now” and “The Circle Game” were fused indelibly into my mind as we sang them at the weekly campfire at my overnight camp. To this day, I can still recall sitting around the warm fire with our dark blue Wingate sweatshirts and jeans, singing Joni’s beautiful lyrics.

Flash forward to 1995, when I first met my husband. I was overjoyed to have found a guy that not only knew Joni Mitchell, but liked her as much as I did. Together, we listened to the album Blue over and over again. Amazing.

And then believe it or not, Joni’s voice and music have been forever linked to the births of my two daughters. “The Circle Game” was playing when my first daughter was born and “Morning Morgantown” started playing moments after my second daughter was born. Kinda cool if you ask me. So Joni, on this day I wish you a most wonderful birthday. Thanks for the amazing music and memories you’ve given to me over the years.

Songs for my dear mom

13 Jun

In honor and in memory of my mom, here are two songs that have a very special place in my heart and make me think of her each time I hear them.

The first, is a most beautiful cover of the Leonard Cohen song “Dance Me to the End of Love”. My mom was a huge Leonard Cohen fan and she also really, really loved Jennifer Warnes’ album entitled Famous Blue Raincoat. Let me just say that we listened to this album a lot! If you have not ever heard it before, it is worth checking out. A wonderful collection of Leonard Cohen covers. And of course, a collection that I hold dear to my heart since each song reminds me so much of my mom. Well, flash forward a number of years and I am most certain that we should have truly loved this sweet and sultry version of “Dance Me to the End of Love” performed by The Civil Wars. They are a duo comprised of California-to-Nashville transplant Joy Williams and her Alabaman partner, John Paul White. I also highly recommend checking out their album entitled Barton Hollow. You won’t be disappointed.

Here is a live version of “Dance Me to the End of Love”

Amazing, right?!! Leonard Cohen is a poetic genius and the combination of their two voices together just takes my breath away.

The second song that makes me think of my mom is a sad, but beautiful song entitled “Wish You Well” by Katie Herzig. This is a song that I first heard on WMVY awhile back and I instantly fell for Katie’s rich, melodic voice. I downloaded it from iTunes and it was not until after a couple of months of listening to it that the lyrics grabbed me with such an intensity that I can’t quite describe. The flood gates opened and the tears just started to pour out. It is both unbelievably sad and very uplifting at the same time. My mom was truly an amazing woman who really did show me how to find my way. I thank her for so many gifts that she left me and am grateful to have had such a strong and confident woman for a mom.

Here is “Wish You Well” by Katie Herzig:

Farewell Phoebe

26 Apr

I was saddened earlier today to hear that Phoebe Snow passed away. Her voice and her style remind me so much of the 70s. I don’t recall that Phoebe Snow was ever one of my favorites, but I feel like her voice was sort of always there to comfort and soothe. She was best known for her hit “Poetry Man” that came out in 1975. In the early 90s I got to enjoy her voice once again when she joined Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers), Boz Scaggs and others in the musical project “The New York Rock and Soul Revue”. A music CD from this project was released in 1991 (The New York Rock and Soul Revue: Live at the Beacon) and I remember having this tape while I was living in Israel in 1993. To this day, much of the music from that recording reminds me of my time on the kibbutz. Oh, the power of music to bring us back to a time and place….

Here is a video of Phoebe singing Poetry Man: