While motoring down Highway 93 in my new car equipped with satellite radio one fine sunny day recently, I had a bit of an epiphany. As the radio played Johnny Cash’s “If I Were a Carpenter” and the great lyrics of the song came rushing back from the deepest recesses of my memory (I can remember these, but I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday?), I came to the startling realization that there is a treasure trove of music out there from the past that I had simply forgotten about over the decades or just plain put aside for some reason or other at some point in my life. Call these songs “deep tracks”, pieces of “classic vinyl” or a host of other terms. Had I “outgrown” these great rock n roll, blues, and soul tunes because they were “for kids”? Had I whittled my vast collection of vinyl records down to too many very generic and basic “greatest hits” packages in my haste to convert to the CD format in the 90’s, and then of course, to the age of downloading in the 21st century—and thereby eliminating from my collection even more of my favorite artists more interesting “deep tracks” as they say on satellite radio. Downloading and repurchasing music can be expensive and time consuming. Had I simply decided to downsize my music collection with each new wave of technology in an effort to save money and /or time? That track that I used to love on Deep Purple’s Machine Head album, in this case ironically entitled “Lazy”, maybe I believed that I just didn’t need to hear that one anymore now that I’ve got an IPOD. Perhaps I simply had too many better things to do now that I am middle-aged than collect and maintain my collection of music. In any case, I am thankful for my discovery of satellite radio and its’ many musical formats. I have gotten back in touch with many great songs of the past----music that in many cases I had literally forgotten about--- and relived some of my youth through music that unless you still own it, you are very unlikely to hear. With all due respect to today’s popular artists and in deference to current
musical tastes, I encourage you to search your musical past deeply. Get away a bit from the musical selections that you hear often. Explore! It is not always about how many units a particular piece of music sold. Sometimes it is all about something significantly deeper and more profound---a message in a song, a feeling that a long lost track reignites, or the instrumentation that gives us a glimpse of an artist’s true heart and soul.
Wow! What a fabulous summer all of us had the great opportunity to enjoy here in Western Montana! From the big names (Paul McCartney, ZZ Top, John Oates, and Robert Cray among others) to the countless outdoors festivals and fairs, it was great summer season musically. I would like to extend kudos to all those who work so diligently to put these events on --- most often without pay. Support your local musicians and venues whenever and in whatever way that you can. Locally, it was another great summer season to hear music at some great newer venues including Brookie’s Cookies in Bigfork (what a great setting along the river) as well as at Stillwater Landing north of Whitefish and situated on Stillwater Lake (incredible sunsets and room to dance). The Who’s musical Tommy, presented by the Alpine Theater, was also absolutely fantastic.
Though summer has passed, it does not mean that the fun has. Keep your eyes and ears OPEN for some great upcoming music events as the calendar turns to autumn. One such event that I plan to support is the “Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon” concert series at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts and taking place in its’ beautiful lobby. Join me there for an intimate musical experience with some of the Flathead Valley’s best musicians. Most importantly, each performance is a benefit to support a local non-profit organization. Tickets for each performance are $15 and include champagne upon arrival, great socializing opportunities and FUN! Additional food and beverage will be available for purchase. The series premieres on Sunday, October 12th at 2 pm with additional installments on November 16, January 11 and February 8. Ticket info and purchasing is available at www.bigforkcenter.org See you there!
Yes indeed! Halloween is a musical holiday.
Download some of these classics and liven up your up Halloween Bash this year:
“Monster Mash” Bobby “Boris” Pickett
“I Want Candy” Bow Wow Wow
“Werewolves of London” Warren Zevon
“Somebody’s Watching Me” Rockwell
“Ghostbusters” Ray Parker Jr.
“Superstition” Stevie Wonder
“Witchcraft” Frank Sinatra
“Thriller” Michael Jackson
“Time Warp” from “Rocky Horror Picture Show” soundtrack
“Frankenstein” Edgar Winter Group
And finally, some food for thought… I believe in the healing power of music. Is there a better
medicine or therapy? Unlike other treatments for melancholy or illness, it has only positive side
effects, soothes quickly if one is open to it, and provides moments of hope and inspiration.
Some DEEP TRACKS enjoyed recently…
“Polk Salad Annie” Tony Joe White
“Between A Laugh and a Tear” John Mellencamp
“Go and Say Goodbye” Buffalo Springfield
“You’re My Home” Billy Joel
“Abandoned Love” Bob Dylan
“Good Shepherd” Jefferson Airplane
“Set Me Free” The Kinks
“That’s the Way” Led Zeppelin
“Go Back Home” Stephen Stills
“Love Alive” Heart
“Follow” Richie Havens
“Lighthouse” James Taylor
“The Ways of Love” Neil Young
“One Tree Hill” U2
“Move On Up” Curtis Mayfield
“Try and Love Again” The Eagles
“Siberian Khatru” Yes
“Pagan Baby” Creedence Clearwater
“Cry Baby Cry” The Beatles
“It’s So Easy” Buddy Holly
Originally published in 406 Woman magazine - Off Key Notes October/November 2014