Winter (The Song Series)

Winter Banner

It’s been a while now since I contributed to the Song Series I’d begun.   Life just took me in other directions for awhile with this blog.   But the series is back.   And this time, I’d like to tell you about the writing and recording of my one and only holiday song.

As I prepared for my very first holiday album, Winter, which came out two years ago, I knew automatically that it would be an album of covers.   Who wants to hear an entire album of holidays songs of nothing they’ve ever heard before.   Folks want the favorites.   And of the faves, there are more to choose from than I could possibly count, and of course I chose an odd collection of songs both classic and fringy.   Some old, some not so old.  It was important to me that I cover the wide berth of the emotional spectrum that the holidays can bring.   Christmas time is associated with joy.   But there are plenty out there who anticipate the holidays warily, because they have no romantic partner, because they have no family, because it’s a holiday that plays up the virtues of family, romance, happiness etc, and for those without, it only plays up their failings.  I swear, the last thing I want to do is to be a downer about this, because I LOVE the holidays. Always have.   But I also have great empathy for those who find that time of year melancholy.   And I really wanted to make an album that spoke to them too.   So, while there are plenty of happy, jolly songs included on my holiday album, there are also somber and reflective ones.   For example, I included the Pogues’ song Fairytale of New York, which is a sentiment about the homeless on Christmas Eve.  Guess what folks?   That reality exists.   And it’s a song of such heart wrenching pathos and nostalgia.  Just my kind of song.

A N Y W A Y . . .  at the eleventh hour of recording, after having spent months culling through Christmas songs old and new, traditional and not so, and selecting just the right ones to tell Christmas as I wanted to tell it, I suddenly decided that while this needed to be a cover CD, I couldn’t resist the temptation to contribute at least one original.   And so, I set about the task of composing my first ever holiday song.

In writing Winter (which became the title track), I wanted a song that rang of Christmas without being overtly Christmasy.  Meaning it could be played any time of year and not seem out of place, in the same spirit as My Favorite Things (also on my album).

And then what to write about.  A love song perhaps, about falling in love in winter.  Love has often happened for me this way, so it seemed a natural to write about.   What’s funny is that I’ve actually written very few love songs.   That’s just never seemed to be a persistent subject in my consciousness.   And even in this song’s case, I wasn’t in love when I wrote it.  I’ve been single for a long time now.  But, as all holiday songs seem to do, I was made nostalgic for loves of my past that seemed in many cases to have bloomed in winter.

I’m also a winter baby, so this felt very much at home . . . in spite of the irony that I sort of hate snow.   But I had to let that hate go, release it for its irrationality, and embrace the magic of snow instead.  It actually wasn’t hard to do, as I’d been absolutely mesmerized by a series of photos that my friend Jean Marinelli had recently taken at her folks’ home in Iowa of a hoar frost.   I was so blown away by this sight that I HAD to work the term “hoar frost” into my lyric, and in fact, the whole song became shaped around that idea.   And yes, in case it’s not obvious, I used one of those breathtaking shots of Jean’s as my cover art, which is also above.

When it came time to go into the studio, we recorded the song live, with the instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.   I described to the musicians on the day of recording that I wanted a sort of 16th-note feel, but without it being R&B, that stylistically I wanted something a little floatier, and not backbeat-heavy at all.   But that was pretty much the extent of my description, as I didn’t really have a firm grasp yet on the sound I wanted. Compositionally, it was a pretty simple form, simple changes.  I’ve grown fond of simple folk ideas, and I envisioned folk for this song.  So I just needed to hear something first, and shape or grow the song from there.   And that’s exactly what we did, which means that even though the song is all my writing, the whole development of the bigger picture was most assuredly collaborative with my awesome trio of artists, Ken Rosser, Randy Landas, and Lynn Coulter.

On the day of recording, in the funky Boho studio of recording engineer John McDuffie, we laid down a track, did a few different takes, and I chose the strongest one.   And I instantly knew that I was going to want Ken, the guitarist on this album, and my old pal and longtime musical soul mate, to layer and layer and layer.

Weeks later, the two of us met at his studio alone, a studio he has named Po’Tools (which tickles me; any studio guys out there will chuckle), and I proceeded to tell him what I was envisioning.   Over Ken’s basic track, which was played on a Gibson ES-335, the first thing he added was a Jerry Jones electric 12-string “for maximum jingle-jangle, baby!” (Ken’s own words).   And then, because one of Ken’s magnificent fortes is looping and texture and grunge and friction and these crazy, wild aural manipulations of his instrument, I asked him if he could give me a layer of something that sounded like snowfall or snowflakes.   Now, snowfall doesn’t have a sound, unless you’re talking about a winter storm, and then that’s really just wind you’re hearing.   But I had a sound in my head that sounded like snowflakes, and I swear (as I knew would happen!) Ken Rosser just understood what I meant perfectly.

And did he ever give it to me!   He created this sound with a PRS McCarty, processed through an Eventide Pitchfactor effect.  The only reason I can even articulate that is because I just asked him to recount it to me for this article.  It’s all Greek to me.   But it absolutely captured what I had intended.

And once that effect was in place, it changed everything else for me.   Suddenly I heard the drums differently. The bass differently.   But we’ll get to them in a minute.

Ken had taken a solo on the original live track with the Gibson.  It was a notier, jazzier solo, something perfectly befitting how the song was originally played by the trio.   But once these other layers began to shape the track in a very specific way, Ken felt that another kind of solo was really needed in place of the original.

KEN:
“The new solo was done on the PRS McCarty, roughly using Lindsey Buckingham’s solo on Fleetwood Mac’s Silver Spring as a model . . . because once we’d put all the layers on, I felt pretty strongly that the solo should just paraphrase the melody and then shut the fuck up.  Lindsey’s influence was really just about sound and some articulation things . . . I doubt anyone else would get that without being told . . .”

We both remember it being really hot in the studio when we were doing this, thus giving the musical evocations of snowfall an ironic tinge.

Next I went into yet a third studio, with drummer Lynn Coulter and my mixing engineer Mike Kramer, and had Lynn replace his drum track.   Actually, no, he didn’t replace it.   He layered, also.  Just added to what was there.   I played him a Bon Iver track that I have loved for a long time, a song called Holocene.   The drums on that song are very floaty and light.   So, I had Lynn, whose drumming is just so special (I can’t wait to talk about him more when I write about my songs  An Old Black Man Someday  and  Last Chance Mojo Eye  for the Song Series . . . the special things he does with those two . . . whew!) . . . I had Lynn play an almost “train” feel with brushes, and to layer in some shakers, and other high-resonance percussion toys.   I wanted everything to have a feeling of lightness and light.   Not heavy, not barrelly, not thundering, not bass-drum-y, but floating, and sparkling, and light.   I wanted to evoke a startling, blinding, white hoar frost.  I wanted to capture Jean’s photographs.   And it was slowly but surely starting to do exactly that.

I then sent the tracks over to Randy Landas, our bass player.   I asked him if he thought he needed to do something different than what he’d originally played, since there was now so much else re-shaping the song at this point.   He gave me back a track with a bass part that was much less percussive, and much more melodic and with elongated tones.  It was absolutely lovely.  In fact, if I recall correctly, his original bass track was done on a string bass, but the re-do was done on a fretless, which just fits the texture of the song perfectly.

I’d been talking about putting a glockenspiel part on the song, a tiny part I’d actually written for it.   And I was just going to play it on the keyboard with a glock patch, but Lynn Coulter encouraged me to practice on his glockenspiel, and then record the real thing.   Well, we did!   I was so tickled to be able to give myself a glockenspiel credit.   But I will confess here that I “helped it out” and strengthened it with a track on synthesizer as well, as my glock chops were pretty sad and pitiful.   But still!  They’re there!   🙂

Lastly, of course, were the vocals.  They had already been cut, on the original live session, but as I lived with the song, and its growing, evolving, developing state, from a bare-bones pop song to a fully thick, rich, textural invocation of snowfall and hoar frosts and white Christmases, I took a page from one of my deepest hearts, the late Elliott Smith.   He has this doubled vocal effect on most of his tracks, and I thought that might be a really cool thing to do with Winter.   But rather than trying a stereo delay on my original vocal ( I’m not saying that that’s how Elliott did it; I have no idea how he did it), I simply, literally, provided the doubled part . . . I sang along with myself.   Two Angelas in unison.

I must say, the song actually sounds like winter.   Ambient, washy, and spritely, it evokes snow on the ground, and bobsleds, and snow fights, and down jackets.   I don’t exactly hate the snow anymore.  Funny how that can happen.

Please enjoy Winter.

 

 Click here to listen on Bandcamp

 

I always fall in love in winter
More than any other time
There’s just something about snowfall
And the scent of Christmas pines

I always fall in love in winter
A time of goodwill and peace
There is just no season better
For inspiring a little heat

It can have its reputation
For bleak and dreary days
But the first glimpse of a hoar frost
Will set any heart ablaze
It will set your heart ablaze

I tend to fall in love in winter
when the merry songs of children start
There is just no season greater
To inspire the romantic heart

 

 

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

The Slow Club (The Song Series)

SlowClubSongSeries

The anecdote that begins this piece is one I’ve told before, time and time again actually, but for the sake of this song series I can’t possibly not include it.

It’s my mystical moment in this life.   If we only get one, then this is it.

The very first song I ever wrote, The Slow Club, which ultimately became the title cut of my debut jazz CD, is about a nightclub in Paris.  At the time I wrote it, a young thing, I’d never been to the city of lights.  A few years after writing it and performing it around town, I was singing it at an L.A. supper club one evening, and a woman came up to me afterwards. This was the exchange:

 

“I enjoyed your song very much.  It made me think back with the fondest of memories of my days at the Slow Club.”

“I’m sorry, I think you’re thinking of a different club … this song is fiction.  But thank you for the compliment.”

“Oh, no.  The Slow Club in Paris, France, oui?”

“I … really don’t mean to press, but I swear to you I made it up.  I’m a storyteller.  And I just sort of have this fixation for Paris.  

“And I am telling you, mademoiselle, that I’ve been to this place you sing about.   On the Rue du Rivoli, right down the way from the Louvre.  I would say that is some pretty powerful  fixation.”

 

My jaw was officially dropped, as I continued singing this song around town, told this story, and relished in my, and my song’s, spooky allure, even though I wasn’t completely convinced that this total stranger wasn’t merely having her fun with me.  Until I finally did make it to the city of my dreams for the first time ever, and looked up the Slow Club in my tourist guide book (this was before the internet was at everyone’s fingertips for instant information).  And there it was, with a Rue du Rivoli address, as promised.

The first chance I got, I went to this place that I thought had been conjured in my head.   But the mind-freak did not stop there.  As I walked in, every single detail I describe in the lyric of the song was personified before my very eyes, from the winding staircase that takes one down into it below street level, to the smoking, blue ambiance that invited secret rendezvous on those stairs.

I promptly ordered a sloe gin (not a great-tasting cocktail, but mentioned in my lyric so I had to participate), grinned from ear to ecstatic ear at the marvels of  life, the marvels of my life, and concluded that I must’ve been that Slow Club chanteuse in another lifetime, simply recalling pockets of memory from a long-dormant nether-plane.

Now, as to whether an actual spiritual reincarnation is the explanation, or merely a mischievous flight of fancy, it was that singular experience that began my journey as a musician and a writer, carrying with me at all times the mysterious wonders that art simply begets.

I’ve had people suggest to me, upon hearing the story, that perhaps I had heard of the Slow Club, forgotten that I’d heard of it, and that it had lodged itself in my subconscious, and came up when I was ready for it.  Of course that’s possible, and I also do know how difficult it can be for people to suspend belief, to take leaps of fanciful fate.  Except that I know it did not come to me in that way.  Because the way it DID come to me is very clear in my memory.   The movie Blue Velvet, a film whose story takes place somewhere in the Midwest, features a dive called the Slow Club at which the character Dorothy Valens sings.   First off, I was 26 years old when I first saw this movie, and had just been initiated into my very first cinematic experience of heavy symbolism, metaphor, and creepy yet compelling depiction of life.  Not your garden-variety crime story – at least up that point in 1986.   I was blown away by the movie and its uneasy humor, but that’s an article for another day.  I was mesmerized by this nightclub in the movie, and fancied myself as the femme fatale Dorothy Valens.  Except that in my micro-managing fantasy, this alter-reality HAD to take place in Paris not the Midwest, for god’s sake.  There was romance and allure to Paris.  Not so much Lumberton USA.  My head lived in the Parisian clouds for just about that whole decade, praying that someday I would get there.  But yes, Blue Velvet is where I got the idea for my own Slow Club.  Not anything subconscious bubbling up, but a markedly conscious agenda to realize a noir reverie through song.

Imagine, then, my shock and awe to discover the very real place right there in the 1st Arrondissement.

Besides the Blue Velvet / Dorothy Valens fantasy as the engine for my song, there was also the fact at the time (around 1985-86) I had begun immersing myself in jazz.  An early hint of what would become a lifelong love had been given to me in teenhood, when my older sister (not even a musician!) made me listen to the likes of Pharoah Sanders and Lonnie Liston Smith, and I was hooked, even if I couldn’t make heads or tails of what exactly I was listening to.  And by the time I was in my mid-twenties, a string of boyfriends, all musicians, had been instrumental in introducing me to every facet of jazz, from the virtuoso bass playing of the Jaco’s and the Stanley Clarke’s, to the Afro-Cuban and Brazilian movements, to the progressive natures of Miles and Coltrane and Jarrett and McCoy Tyner, to the ridiculous vocalise prowess of singers like Eddie Jefferson and Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, to all the new fusion guys, Metheny, Zawinul, McLaughlin, Corea, ad nauseum, as there’s no shortage of jazz movements and pioneers. I became as entranced by this challenging music as I had been by Parisian-chanteuse daydreams.  So when it came time to attempt my own songwriting, and all I was armed with were the years of piano lessons in childhood, I played around on the keyboard until I found luscious cluster chords that I recognized from the harmonic vocabulary I was being saturated with, but didn’t know how to name, or even how to use in the proper theoretic way.  I knew basic triads, and some bluesy 7ths.   But when it came to flat nines and sharp elevens and Lydian dominants, blah, blah, blah, I was so out of my league.  But I just kept playing around and discovering, and got the mentorship of the many musicians I was gigging with.  And it was a genuine renaissance in my life at that time as an artist, and finding my way, my legs, and eventually my own voice as a songwriter.  When I finally came up for air, The Slow Club  was composed.

The first years of singing the song around town, doing the cabaret and jazz circuits in L.A., it was a brushes-on-the-snare-variety jazz ballad.  And before the recording that is featured here came to fruition, the song saw several incarnations.  I stuck it in my one-woman show The Purple Sleep Café, where it was segued to, from a scene where a rather disastrous audition takes place, and the message of the piece being the importance of staying true as an artist.  And a singer friend who was on the same cabaret circuit as me, and loved the song and asked if he could include it in his repertoire, had a complete orchestral arrangement done of it (an arrangement I never got to hear, as he had taken his show with him to Vegas).

And then, as the years passed, and it was finally time to consider my own jazz album of originals (I’d amassed several by that point, which I’d sung around town for years), my own tastes had shifted somewhat, and I started to hear the song with a different feel.  The jazz fusion genre was enjoying yet another emergence after having been originally established in the 1960’s, and the half-time-shuffle (a rhythmic feel that was starting to be labeled hip hop, as it was used extensively in hip hop music) was a prevalent feel in a lot of what was being called jazz funk.  I liked the feel, thought it might work well with The Slow Club, which still kept the song a ballad, but now with a little hump to it; the kind that screams out for a muted trumpet.  So, by the time I was assembling the latest incarnation of players for my ongoing jazz project (circa 2003 by this point), in the form of pianist Ed Czach, bassist Jonathan Pintoff, and drummer Craig Pilo, this was the way we were playing the tune.  The only change that the composition saw, once I’d switched rhythmic gears, was that I’d added bookends of a minor chord riff into this major-chord piece.   With the addition of trumpeter Ron King, doing his muted thing, we recorded the song live in a church, and The Slow Club was from that moment forth and forever documented.

It not only became the title of the album, but eventually, by the time we had a second album as a trio, the ensemble was named The Slow Club Quartet.   Friends teased me about the band name.  Craig Pilo, the drummer in the group and our resident comedian, would often refer to us as The Very Slow Club Quartet.  But the ribbing was fine, perfectly take-able, because my own history with the song as my very first composition (my cherry-buster), and the mystical magical story that went with it, was all I needed to hold onto, to know that we couldn’t possibly have called ourselves anything else.  Not if I was helming the group.

Please enjoy The Slow Club.

 

Click here to listen on Bandcamp

 

 

 

There’s an old club in Paris on the bluer side of town
It hails on the back street underground
The lady there she sings a sad song – the jazzmen live to blow
They make a kind of music we all know – so
With a slow dance and a sloe gin
Won’t you take me to that Slow Club once again

Don’t move too fast, cuz I’m in no hurry
I’d rather take it at a Paris pace
The dark behind the neon which blinks a rhythmic tune
Rather hypnotizes every face – so
With a slow dance and a sloe gin
Won’t you take me to that Slow Club once again

Listen to those brushes fondle that old drum head
Feel mister bass man snatch your soul
Watch those piano fingers bleed into the keys
As the jazz men swing it low

o many moody face – secret meetings on the stair
“S’en allez avec moi – nous ferons la cour – mon coeur”
With a slow dance and a sloe gin
Won’t you take me to that Slow Club once again

Listen to those brushes fondle that old drum head
Feel mister bass man snatch your soul
Watch those piano fingers bleed into the keys
As the jazz men swing it low

It rather hypnotizes and it makes my old heart sting
When I listen to that slow club lady sing
With her slow dance and her sloe gin
You will see her make a friend of all the men
With a slow dance and a sloe gin
Won’t you take me to that Slow Club once again
With a slow dance and a sloe gin
The neon reads forever “come on in”

 

 

 

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

Blue Sea of August (The Song Series)

Blue Sea of August

 

“ I’m a sucker for a burnished alto voice and an apocalyptic slide,
so this kinda works for me…”

– David Kelly

 

The first and last tracks on 2008’s Music For the Weeping Woman, which are Blue Sea of August and Bells (Of the Blue Sea), are actually the same song, but bookend the entire record with a vocal version and an instrumental rendering.  There is a bonus track, which is not available on the hard copy recording, but only as a single download, that is a marriage or mash-up of the two.  This is the recording featured here now.

Blue Sea of August  was the first song I wrote towards the album project Music For the Weeping Woman.   I had a very specific, narrow, and focused idea of what I wanted to accomplish with this album, and with the individual songs:  An ode to the vulnerability of women and their tears, and the myriad of emotional engines behind the phenomenon of tears, the seed of inspiration being Picasso’s “Weeping Women” series.  I’d just seen the movie Cold Mountain, and there is a song that plays throughout the film that was written by Sting, and sung by Alison Krauss, two of my favorite musicians, so that got my attention.   It was the most eerie and haunting ballad I think I’d ever heard, and really captured that sense of ancient folklore and American roots.   It was also such as ridiculously simple form whose simplicity was almost deceiving for how powerful it was.  I was instantly inspired to create something along similar lines.  Blue Sea of August  is about longing and loss in the most general sense of those words, but it wasn’t until I wrote the lyric “When my true love comes a-marching home” (an unexpected nod to the transpiration of the soldier) that I was really hit with the full scope of what longing and loss could encompass, and that it was potentially massive.   That’s the lyric portion of things.  When it came to the music part, it was my first time writing in a very small form, an almost (really stretching the boundaries on this) dactylic tetrameter quatrain, and allowing that to be the entire song (four stanzas of it), and resolving it without the standard pop music arrival chorus.  It’s completely rubato, and yet with that implied dactylic design.

As for the title, I took it from the 1975 Lena Wertmüller film Swept Away, whose complete title is actually Swept Away By An Unusual Destiny In the Blue Sea of August.  But the movie studio nixed the cumbersome title, and went with the shortened version for its official release. Personally, I think they kept the wrong half of the title.   And so, IN swoops Angela to happily take it off their hands.   I had no idea what kind of deep thirsting I was about to unleash as I began to compose.

Once the song was written, and in preparation for recording it, I had lots of conversations with guitarist Ken Rosser, my partner on this album, on the conceptual ideas for the song.   Of the many developments that came out of our confabs, and the incredible way in which (despite the fact that I am the sole composer) this was completely collaborative, was Ken’s idea to do, as well, an instrumental version of the song.   He had an entire layering concept in mind, and there isn’t often a bright idea of Ken’s that I say “no” to.    Once this absolute stunner was executed, and I added some Tibetan singing bowls to the proceeding, I knew it would require its own title.  Enter Bells (Of the Blue Sea).  

Fast forward to just a few months ago (roughly 6 years after the album’s release), and I decided to mash up both versions and make it available as an extended single.  I posted the track on Facebook, and got a really lovely thread going, beginning with the quotation at the top of this piece.   And while there were several participants on this thread, for the purpose of this piece I have culled only Ken’s and my contributions.  The rest were generally some pretty amazing and gracious accolades, but the process, as Ken and I excitedly recalled it, is really what I wanted to expound on here.

As transcribed from Facebook:
.
.

KEN ROSSER
This is one of my favorite tracks I’ve ever played on.

 

ACB
Apocalyptic slide?   Yeah, David Kelly!   That’s just about perfect.

 

KEN ROSSER
Just here to be of service.

 

ACB
I think of this song as almost a sea shanty, but without the yo-ho-ho-ness of your typical sea shanties. Instead there is a quality of looming doom in the music, much like that sense one might get from staring out at the sea, and acknowledging its ever-elusive horizon.  I wanted the feeling of a haunting, and I imparted that to Ken. So he began experimenting with loops and feedback, and this kind of grungy aural thing that almost evoked the sound of whales, or the creaking of a haunted barge (seriously!), and suddenly this unfolding of a dark abyss began to take shape.  I am a sucker for pathos, and Ken really captures that sense of loss and longing that is the prevalent intention.  And then there is the super-tremendous instrumental rendering of the song, whose textures are even thicker and darker and more perilous.  Ken gets me so well!   He is an absolute revelation on these tracks, and they remain my favorite on the album.

 

KEN ROSSER
Still never seen Swept Away . . . I need to fix that.

 

ACB
Dude!  . . . . . . . . . . .  That’s all I’ll say.

 

KEN ROSSER
Once you get into the emotional space of the piece it’s just a matter of framing and reinforcing.  So, because there was this tonic/dominant drone, I used an idea I’d gotten from the composer Angelo Badalamenti to add another layer of harmonic tension and release that would sort of work around that.  Then it was just coming up with those sounds, which are a pretty standard part of my vocabulary – using fuzz boxes and delays to generate layers of tones, and then sub tones and overtones.

Doing an instrumental recasting of the melody was an idea I’d heard in tons of film scores, where there’s a vocal theme song but little instrumental snippets of it reappear throughout – Breakfast At Tiffany’s (MoonRiver) and Alice In Wonderland  being two that immediately come to mind.  And I felt like since the record was basically a dialog between the guitar and voice, the guitar should get the last word.

Guitar-wise, this was me paying homage to some of my biggest influences, David Torn (whom I was becoming friends with at the time and was advising me a lot), Terje Rypdal, and Ry Cooder (especially his Trespass soundtrack).

I used a G&L Legacy for the whammy bar stuff and Larry Pogreba guitar for the slide, through Lovepedal Eternity and Wolfetone Chaos fuzz pedals and the Echoplex Digital Pro for the loops/delays, into a VHT Pittbull 45 amp.

 

ACB
Yeah, and I used a single index finger on the low end of the synthesizer, on the tonic for about 16 bars, and then on the dominant for about 16 bars.   Very complicated stuff on this end, Ken.   Don’t feel intimidated.

 

KEN ROSSER
Angela, I thought you might find this funny, as I don’t think I’d ever told you. When I did that melody instrumentally I was really trying to fixate on getting a vocal phrasing and for some reason the actual voice that popped in my head was Sinéad O’Connor’s, because I imagined that a song about the sea would work well in her Irish brogue, with this slightly angry sneer to it.  There’s even one of her little pet vocal tics that I snuck in there, that sorta cracks me up a little when I hear it now.

 

ACB
Sinéad O’Connor should record this song!!

 

KEN ROSSER
If that makes you a butt load of money, you owe me dinner.

 

ACB
From now on, when I listen to Bells (Of the Blue Sea) I’ll be listening for Essences of Sinéad.

So, the funny thing on MY end about your Sinéad inspirations is that I’ve always had a tug at me from the Irish when it comes to my songwriting.  (Where the hell does that even come from?  I’m a black chick from Compton!)  But if you think about Far Above Rubies, and a couple others of mine, there’s definitely an ancestral tug of some sort there.

 

KEN ROSSER
Yeah, it’s funny how that is.  And well, I figure – you go back far enough, we’re all from East Africa a few hundred millennia ago . . . the black American and Irish experience are just different shades of the human experience, taking the long view.

 

ACB
Anyway, what were we talking about?

 

(End of Facebook transcription).

 

I know that we could go on and on about this.  It was such a fun recording process for us.  But I’ll stop here, and I hope you enjoy Blue Sea of August / Bells (Of the Blue Sea).

 


Click here to listen on Bandcamp

 

There is a calm on the blue sea of August
There is a balm that anoints my head
It is the promise that my one true love
Will find me before I’m put to bed

There is a haze on the blue sea of August
There is a gaze that shines its eyes on me
It is the warning that I’d best be ready
When my true love beckons tenderly

There is a gleam on the blue sea of August
There is a dream that settles on the foam
It is that love will ne’er again falter
When my true love comes a-marching home

There is a gust on the blue sea of August
There is a lust all other seasons lack
‘Tis in the heat of a summer’s high noon
When the sea swears to bring my true love back

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

Art & Me

 

This girl is happiest in an artful world, so she does her best to do her part.

 

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#writer    #writing   #novelist    #author   #books    #words

#paint   #painting    #painter    #photography    #digitalart

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Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.