October 31, 2014

Memorial Day 2014: Living with War (Neil Young)

On U.S. Memorial Day, we pray for the coming of the new creation, in which the Tree of Life will provide healing for the nations, and there will be no more war. One of the most consistent artistic voices for peace over my lifetime has been Neil Young. The following video is from an album […]

Lent with Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding

The year 1967 saw yet another reinvention of Bob Dylan. After his early days as a protest singer, Dylan morphed into a folk-pop artist, moving from “Blowin’ in the Wind” to “Mr. Tambourine Man,” and sparking the kind of mixed reactions he has garnered for five decades. Then in the mid-60s, he plugged in and […]

Let’s Discuss: Christmas Music Recommendations

Back in 2010, Jeff and I had dueling posts about our favorite Christmas music. Jeff’s top five were: Bells of Dublin, The Chieftains Christmas Portrait, The Carpenters Ultra-Lounge Christmas Cocktails, Part Two, Various Artists If On A Winter’s Night, Sting Christmas, Bruce Cockburn He also gave honorable mentions to: A Charlie Brown Christmas, by Vince […]

My “December” Playlist

On Sunday, Advent begins. My annual habit has been to listen to only Advent and Christmas music from the beginning of Advent to the end of Christmastide. This year, I am adding at least one playlist that consists of seasonal music about the coming of winter in our hemisphere and in our hearts. I have […]

Veterans Day: John Gorka – Let Them In

This Is Your Heart On Music

When we speak of “pop” music, we are using shorthand to describe “popular” music. Yet I cannot help but think of “pop” as in soda pop, the teeth-rotting sugar water we guzzle by the barrel. St. Paul Harvey once said, “The best thing you can say about soda pop is that it is worthless.” I […]

Summer Sounds from CM: The List

The List by Roseanne Cash, 2009 When Roseanne Cash was a teenager, she was on tour with her father, Johnny Cash. One day as they were talking about songs, he realized that she did not know some of the songs that he considered essential for any singer-songwriter to know. So, he gave her a list […]

My Early, Influential Albums

Today, I will share with you some of the formative music that shaped my life. To start, let me place myself: I was born in 1956, so that means I missed the fifties and didn’t become a teenager until the end of the sixties. Elvis was not my idol as a young boy, and though […]

Summer Sounds from CM: A Most Entertaining Evening

Concert Review Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, with Edie Brickell Murat Theatre, Indianapolis, IN. July 27, 2013 * * * Start with a talented, Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band. Add one of the funniest men in the world, who also happens to be an accomplished banjo player with a Grammy of his own, to […]

Summer Sounds from CM: Soothing Summer Nights with Pat Metheny

One of my favorite musicians is Pat Metheny, jazz guitarist extraordinaire. I especially like his work with his band, Pat Metheny Group. In previous posts I have listed their 1987 album, “Still Life (Talking)“ as one of my top five records of all time. In addition to his regular colleagues and collaborations with other musicians, […]