Song-of-the-Week #14: Share and Veer

Here’s a preview of Song #14: “Share and Veer”:​

​Agree to agree.
Agree to disagree.
Agree to enjoy,
to appreciate each other / another, fully.

I wrote this song in a courtyard in Cardiff before a show with Herman Dune and The Wave Pictures. Recorded at home with a rattledash amp from Colin. Thanks to Ken for mastering help.

Come to me slack-jawed
Arrive and have no fear
What we share, we share
And where we veer, we veer

When I go to you nameless
The names all disappear
And what’s left there, we share
Share on until we veer, oh!

Your company is stainless
Our sameness I revere
The difference, too, is blameless
No, it I’d not repair

When words cannot contain this–
How dare I dare to dare?
So close upon our closeness
Distance hearkens–
There I hear you
There I hear you
There I hear you
There I hear you

Come unto me claimless
I’ve nothing to declare
Where we veer, we veer
And what we share, we share
It’s okay…

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Your comments and reflections welcome→

Song-of-the-Week #13: Grandma Say

Here’s a preview of Song #13: “Grandma Say”:

Grandma Cluck (before she was a grandmother) with my Aunt K. and father

I wrote this song while multi-tasking, something I’m working on unlearning doing. I was in the middle of cooking dinner, vacuuming the studio room, recording a drum idea for a song, probably other things when I imagined my Grandma Cluck watching me, shaking her head and saying, “For Pete’s sake…”

Both my father’s mother and mother’s mother were highly skilled in homecooking. One of my favorite memories of my Grandma Cluck is seeing her in her tiny kitchen, wearing a white shower cap to keep falling hairs out of the food. Sometimes she cooked so much she’d be too tired to eat. One of her recipes I adore is for chicken-corn soup with hard-boiled egg, a Pennsylvania-Dutch specialty. When she made it, she pulled the veins out of every stalk of celery and every piece of chicken.

My grandmother on my mother’s side recently had a birthday; she’s 93. Here’s some advice from her about storing and eating summer peaches:

i bake in haste
eggshell in ev’ry cake i make
now what would your grandma say?
if she saw you cookin’ that way?
turn the heat way down
and open that door ‘fore the cakes go brown
-eyed suzies nod and sway–
they see you cookin’ that way, hey

what did you think it takes to do all this cookin’?
keep yourself and the house good-lookin’?
work to the bone till the bone’s gone bare
notin’ the growth of new grey hair
pullin’ strings on the purse for the things you bought
end of the day it seems you oughtta negotiate your pay–
now what would your grandma say ?

she’d say,
“do the things you love and do them well,
‘cuz you can’t tell when things will go from good to worse
don’t live life like it’s a curse.
include the ones you love,
tell them so, make sure they know
try best to keep them in your song
‘cuz no one’s here for long”

that laundry’s dried
pull the pins off and the line inside
mend the holes until they’re gone
now put those glad rags on
if your heels dig in
shindig ‘em on out with yr kith & kin
“you’d best get out there and play”–
that’s what your grandma’d say

I recorded “Grandma Say” in an old church hall in Charlottesville, VA; Wizard Ken helped out with mastering.

Offer your comments, ideas, glances or gazes→

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Song-of-the-Week #12: Perigee Moon

Here’s a preview of song #12, “Perigee Moon”:

perigee full moon

falling in love whilst traveling…
written during the florid perigee moon of this past June.
(next one occurs April 22nd, 2014.)
zither, harmonium, vocals recorded & mixed by Diane.
thanks to Ken for mastering.

thinking of you
perigee moon
hangs over me
over the road
so ripe and full
leading me on
dusk until dawn
perigee moon

i flew for days
north unto south
‘wish i could stay
close to your mouth
if i lived in your town
i’d be around
wax till we wane
tenderest pain
thinking of you…

thinking of you
perigee moon
hangs over me
over the road
so ripe and full
leading me on
dusk until dawn
perigee moon

you let me play
close to your heart
tending the garden
we love and depart
in quiet profound
each homeward bound
nothing is turning our journeys around

salmon & gold
perigee moon
ruddy with blood
huger than huge
that’s how she goes
perigee friend
emerging and merging and sinking again
emerging and merging and sinking again

* * *Check out XARNDA’s remix of the song* * *


Reflections ? Projections ? Direxns… →

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Song-of-the-Week #11: “Love You This Much”: Preview & Discussion

Here’s a preview of this week’s song, “Love You This Much”:

There are many songs dedicated to romantic love.  This isn’t one of them!  Romantic love, I might say, causes an enjoyable stir, is pleasing to one’s sense of aesthetics, even ornamental, and perhaps a kind of training ground for deeper love commitments.  On the deep side I’m thinking of the way it feels to embrace a challenging situation or person, even oneself, knowing you’re there to stay, unprepared as one may feel.  I wrote “Love You This Much” from inside this feeling.

A few nights ago my friend Ash Devine blew through town, riding a current of Appalachian folksong and her own sweet melody.  We recorded this sitting across from each other, one mic, late at night after our show at Magnolia House.  I’m singing & playing nylon-string guitar; Ash accompanies me on vocals & baritone ukelele.

Thanks as ever to Ken(‘s Last Ever) for mastering help.

spring leads me to the plough
i love you so much i don’t even know how
i love you so much i don’t even know how to love you this much

big field before me now
i love you so much i don’t even know how
i love you so much i don’t even know how to love you this much
but i long to learn…
i long to learn so i keep in touch

a few steps into the field
with blades so sharp but the ground won’t yield
you’d think it cut deep but the ground won’t yield
‘the time it takes to wonder why
there’s a flash and a crash and an opening sky
cryin’ down tears where it once was dry
little seeds sprout in me now
how…

spring leads me to the plough
i love you so much…
little seeds sprout in me now
i love you so much…

Sparks ?  Thoughts to share ?  Ruminatory expanses await you… →

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Song-of-the-Week #10: “The Power of Allowing and Receiving”: Preview & Discussion

Here’s a preview of this week’s song, “The Power of Allowing and Receiving”:

my friend Grey Revell inspired me to finish this one.  i wanted to make the most of the opportunity to record with him while he was in town, also i’d been wanting to write a country song.  Grey graciously accompanied me on guitar and left me his little amp to boot !  somehow i’ve played music all this time and never owned an amp.  experiments to follow…

as i lay bathing
in the blazing mountain heat
no, there was nothing
between the sun and me
except the shadow
of an incidental bird
who kept on circling
to ensure i wasn’t hurt
it hung in the sky
and kept me in its shade
so once i’d gone inside
on my skin i found its shape
in pale relief now
i am believing
in the power of allowing and receiving

in the power of allowing and receiving
something came to carry off my grief-thing
like it was nothing
i am believing
in the power of allowing and receiving

riches from the hands
that long to share their gold
if you’d just loosen up
that old white-knuckle hold
that binds the burdens
closer than you might would guess
just set ‘em down now
dance around in a pretty dress
sung out to the sky
a song from balled-up roots
you’re bound to catch reply
as sure as trees yield fruit
their leaves are shining
i am believing in the power

the power of allowing and receiving
somehow it carries off my grieving
like it is nothing
i am believing
in the power of allowing and receiving…
receiving…receiving…

live sound recording & video by Ken’s Last Ever.

Comments ? Ideas ? Stories to share ? →

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Blogotheque feature

last February i came to stay at The Barley Jar, a communal household in Toronto that welcomed me as i passed through on tour.  Natalie offered me her room.  t’was a sweet one, basement-cozy below the snowfall.

i stayed at The Barley Jar for several days, enjoying the warmth of their kitchen-talk and foods.  i took part in chores a bit.  i was the Jar Fairy–my task was to match jars with lids once they were all washed & dried.  people spoke of lovers, the new pairs and break-ups, the healing and wanting.  Whitney Houston died one of those days and i stayed up all night, crying and marveling over her exquisite singing via YouTube.  yes i did.  and I woke up another night to write down the basic outline of “freefall”.  it’s the second song from the first video, and Tomislav plays accordian alongside me, brave improv-style.

Derrick Belcham came by to film these two video segments for Blogotheque.  he couldn’t have been more awesomely mellow, which is why i’m sorry i look a bit tortured.  it belies the fact that i love to sing, or even that i enjoy singing for others.  i haven’t been so comfortable with photos and video but it’s getting easier.

I need more support around me
let’s raise this child in community
cuz who can do with just one mother ?
it’s too much to ask of another.
but free to fall where others may catch me
and falling all, we catch others’ hands
free-falling shape of a country
borders softly dissolve where it lands

can i do something more than i am doing ?
i don’t know how to do this
but i do
what comes to me in a moment
when i open around the edges of you

i need more support around me
this careful soup’s been boiling down
flavors riches meant for a family
don’t exist when no one’s around

can i do something more than i am doing ?
i got so good at doing what i do
‘could be it’s enough
i keep doing this and give to you…