Sunday, March 15, 2009

Latest Music - Ben Rector, Brad Paisley, Jon Hans, and Over the Rhine

For the first time in my life, really, I have a car to drive back and forth to work. Some friends in our small group are loaning it to us, and it is AMAZING to have my own transportation. Life changing. In more ways then one. Dinner gets done on time, the errands are run on time, I get more sleep, and.... last but not least.... I get to listen to Cd's in the car.

I have been enjoying some new stuff recently.

Ben Rector is feel-good mellow pop that is hard not to like. He came to the Jr. High retreat I was at a few weeks ago and did a live concert, and all of the Jr. high girls were swooning over him. It turned out that he was pretty good and just my style, so I bought his CD and have been listening to it constantly. He's still sort of unknown and thrives in small performance venues.

I got Brad Paisley's latest CD for my birthday and yet again, I think I like the entire album. Brad was my first foray into country and my first (and only) country music concert. I love that his songs are INTERESTING... they are generally either sarcastic and funny or a sweet narrative that can at times bring me to tears. On this CD the Mr. Policeman song makes me laugh out loud every time...

Then there's the very surreal experience of listening to Jon Hans's first professionally recorded stuff. Jon is an old friend from high school, and hearing his professional music is so strange because I have vivid memories of practicing a song that we co-wrote for our graduation ceremony. To be honest, I think it was a horrible performance by both of us, though heart-felt. I hope that video never gets out! Jon's voice is so much smoother now, but still has that raw edge to it. He went to music school in Hollywood, traveled the world surfing and performing... he's one of those people whose life is one big crazy story.

Last but not least is Over the Rhine. I finally got an Over The Rhine cd for Christmas. I have been wanting to add them to my repertoire for years now. It's amazing to me that OTR is still mostly considered indie music, but I did hear one of their songs on the radio for the first time last week. I LOVE their soft, ethereal sound. You can pull up their record player on their site to get a feel for their style and sound. I had to listen to this song, "Jesus in New Orleans", multiple times. I mused over what she was saying in it and have come away amazed by it. Someday I'll put together a CD of music that subtly gives out beautiful messages of truth and grace.

The last time I saw Jesus
I was drinking bloody Marys in the South
In a barroom in New Orleans
Rinsin' out the bad taste in my mouth

She wore a dark and faded blazer
With a little of the lining hanging out
When the jukebox played Miss Dorothy Moore
I knew that it was him without a doubt

I said the road is my redeemer
I never know just what on earth I'll find
In the faces of a stranger
In the dark and weary corners of a mind

She said, The last highway is only
As far away as you are from yourself
And no matter just how bad it gets
It does no good to blame somebody else

Ain't it crazy
What's revealed when you're not looking all that close
Ain't it crazy
How we put to death the ones we need the most

I know I'm not a martyr
I've never died for anyone but me
The last frontier is only
The stranger in the mirror that I see

But when I least expect it
Here and there I see my savior's face
He's still my favorite loser
Falling for the entire human race

Ain't it crazy
What's revealed when you're not looking all that close
Ain't it crazy
How we put to death the ones we need the most

Every time I sit down to listen to OTR I walk away shaking my head at their subtle lyrics...

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