Welcome to Sundays at the Sanctuary, wherein we hand our blogospheric pen and headphones to friends and followers who share our love of music and provide inspiration and support for Club SSS. Consider them Guest DJs, if you will, and feel free to comment as always on the perspectives offered.
By Jim Reck
Among the best is Iris DeMent. The best example of her deep storytelling talent is “Our Town.” From beginning to end of this melancholy song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9-pDSYPrio&feature=related) one can’t help but smile at times, while wiping a tear or getting a lump in the throat that seem to demonstrate her talent on much of her work. All hymns aside (and mom singing along), Iris can take you to the party with “Sweet is the Melody” or provoke deep introspection with “Let the Mystery Be.” If you have a chance, see her live. It’s a hell of an experience.
Though Iris is my favorite (for now), there are others out there that strike me as being possessed by the same talent for telling the story with melodies as sweet as an Iris. My top-of-mind list includes:
Iris DeMent, Our Town
Iris DeMent, Sweet is the Melody
Leonard Cohen, The Sisters of Mercy
Robert Earl Keen, Feelin’ Good Again
Paul Thorn, Where Was I When You Stopped Loving Me?
John Prine, Lake Marie
Ian Tyson and Tom Russell, Canadian Whiskey
Bob Dylan, Tangled up in Blue
Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian Railroad Trilogy
Woody Guthrie, Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)
(And a hell of a lot more if it weren’t for lists stopping at ten.)
Jim Reck taught Strumbum how to play "Go Now" on the piano outside the guidance counselor's office at Whitehall High School. It's not his fault the guy never learned another song. "The Recker" is a retired PR/marketing guy who loves non-mainstream music, dabbles in guitar, mandolin and ukulele and plays in a jam band. He is not a music critic but knows what he likes.