Wednesday, April 27, 2011

If I get to heaven before you do, I'll cut a hole and pull you through

Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University circa 1870

Jerry Garcia

One of my favorite genres of music that we rarely hear anymore is African American Spiritual music. Soul combined with gospel, percussion, and lyrics emphasizing the importance of hope, have the ability to make us all feel connected in a way that no other music can. One of these all time classics, covered here by Jerry Garcia, is Swing Low Sweet Chariot. The first recorded version of Swing Low Sweet Chariot was performed by the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in 1909, but the original song was written by Wallis Willis. Willis was a Choctaw freedman in the old indian territory in 1862, and was known for writing songs with messages to slaves in the underground railroad. These songs contributed to the movement that bolstered slaves' perseverance and moral in their brutal escape from the South to the North. In this example, Willis was inspired by the Red River, which reminded him of the River Jordan and the prophet Elijah being taken to heaven in a chariot driven by angels. Swing Low Sweet Chariot and it's beautiful hymn would not exist if not for the ear of Alexander Reid, who heard Wallis Willis perform these songs and ran to transcribe the lyrics and melodies. Reid then sent the music to The Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, and thus the song survives today.

Enjoy! and happy Friday ...

Jerry Garcia

One of my favorites by The Band

So classic

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yep, I vow to this, I'm an alchemist. I mix emotion up with thoughts and the outcome's bliss.

(image is of The Sheepdogs)

It's The Chemicals

There's a universe inside us, all made of liquid.
It's a case of inner space, chemically dependent.
Through the veins to the brain, a whole solar system,
And I'm a jet-setting space cadet experimenting.
Yep, I vow to this, I'm an alchemist.
I mix emotion up with thoughts and the outcome's bliss.
Inhibition ain’t my boss, without a doubt take risks.
The price of progress with that cost? I'll dish out them chips
And chip at it like a sculptor carve out a wish.
I'm on a chemical romance and life is a trip
A slow dance with destiny, and her hands I grip.
She quick, but I chase; freeze tag, I'm it.
I keep running like a fountain, so deep as a crater is wide, high as a mountain goat.
And I'm immune to this altitude, got a high tolerance for substance. How bout you?
They say its abuse; I call it a skill rapid a river run through me like a chemical spill, no harm.
When I'm induced I live at will, whoa, the mind-marsh mellows like some lucky charms.
Blast off from an armchair into space.
So fast, so high got a sprinter's face.
So vast, vanilla skies, I can smell and taste the chemicals in them depending on the prescription.
Self-medicated chemists mixing up some inventions,
Experimenting and tripping,
Entering new dimensions.
With my eyes wide shut, intuition and vision,
Side effects make you feel like you're flying and swimming all at the same time, man
I ain't lying, no fibbing.
Throughout all found a wisdom broken down like a prism.
I think I'm neighbors with the man on the moon.
Chemistry's like music and I am in tune.


The Sheepdogs. How can you not love this riff? Thanks Will

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm a whole lot of woman I want to recline.

Alice Russell

For those of you who love any and all things smokey (whiskey, salmon, the list goes on...), you will love the voice of the relatively new british soul artist Alice Russell. Unlike many female pop singers of our day, Russell began her musical career actually playing instruments, such as the cello, and singing in choirs. She then continued onto art school, music school, and has now reached significant notoriety in the music making community with her studio collaboration Here Lies Love, with Fatboy Slim and David Byrne.