Posts Tagged ‘Martin Simpson’

GC Myers Strange Affair 2010I had this video, Strange Affair,  on the blog about four years ago and just wanted to share it again.  Good sound for a cold and quiet Sunday morning.  Plus the image that I used to accompany the post (a painting that is, of course, titled  Strange Affair)  is one of those images that both sticks in my mind and meshes well with June Tabor’s beautiful interpretation ( accompanied by one of my favorites, Martin Simpson, on guitar) of the Richard Thompson song.

There’s something stark in both the song and the painting that appeals to my sensibilities.  A sort of joy found in certain moments of melancholy.  There was a moment like that last week when I was walking through the woods to the studio.  It was extremely cold with the sky a flat gray slate and there hardly another sound other than the trudge of my footsteps in the snow.  It seemed like such a bleak and sterile moment but then a single snowflake drifted down, dancing delicately in the air, and I was suddenly filled with a joy that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  It wasn’t happiness.  Just the joy of feeling connected to the world in that moment.

Joyous melancholy.  A paradox.  A strange affair, to be sure.

So, pardon me for showing this image and this video again.  It was four years ago  after all.  Enjoy and have a great Sunday.

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GC Myers- Bluesunblues I was on the road yesterday, going out to Erie. The drive out there takes around three and a half hours, most of it on wide, empty highway going through some of the more sparsely populated parts of New York.  Many people don’t think of NY as having such emptiness and space.  It’s an easy drive, one that allows you to listen fully to music. I spent my drive listening to a lot of things, really taking them in. I listened a few times to Michael Mattice‘s new CD, Comin’ Home, that I have mentioned here recently.  It’s his debut effort and really showcases his special talents as a singer-songwriter  and a top flight guitarist wonderfully.  Mike creates an amazing full and deep sound with his playing on this CD  which has it gathering a lot attention as it’s #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases for Acoustic Blues.  I urge you to check it out.

I also listened to one of my favorites, guitarist Martin Simpson.  Like Michael, his work is marked by its full and rich texture.  Just great stuff.  Here’s She Slips Away, a song that I think really captures the essence of his playing.

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When I wrote about Custer yesterday, on the 135th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, I forgot to mention the one thing that always comes to my mind when I hear anything about Custer: the song Garryowen.  It’s an old Irish drinking song that was adopted as the marching tune for Custer’s troops and is legendarily regarded as the last song played as they entered battle.  It remains the official song to this day for that same regiment, the US 7th Calvalry.

I was doing some genealogy and found that my grandfather, who had died when I very young and of whom I knew very little, had served as a  Sargeant with the 7th Calvalry during and after WW I.  They were stationed in El Paso so they didn’t see battle overseas but they continued their forays into Mexico in search of Pancho Villa as they had done under Black Jack Pershing before the war.  The first thing that I thought was that he might have heard Garryowen playing as he rode across the Mexican plains. 

And that made me happy.

Here’s a great version of Garryowen by one of my favorite guitarists, Martin Simpson.




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We’re deep in snow now, a couple of feet now built up over the ground outside my studio and coating the trees, making the evergreen limbs bow deeply .  When I go outside there’s wonderful stillness, the blanket of whiteness muffling all sound.  There’s a very meditative quality in big snowfalls as though time even trudges slower through the deep snow

‘Tis beautiful.

I don’t feel like writing today.  Feel like painting.  Here’s an atmospheric song from June Tabor, accompanied by one of my favorite guitarists, Martin Simpson.  It’s called Scarecrow and is wonderfully understated.  The quiet and the pauses give this song great weight.  Like the morning after a big snow.

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I’m not sure if Strange Affair is going to be the title of this piece.  I’ve had this painting, an 8″ by 18″  image on paper, done for several weeks now and I’ve been waiting for a title to come.  Something that speaks of it’s starkness of detail and stillness.

Then I heard a version of a Richard Thompson song, Strange Affair, sung by June Tabor accompanied by Martin Simpson on the guitar, and this piece came to mind.  It was as though the character in the painting might very well be playing this very song.  Really evocative.

You be the judge…

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This is a short film that I put together one day last week.  It was a little project that I took on at the request of my friends at Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, OK.  They, like many galleries around the country, have taken a hard look at how they interact with their clients and are making a real effort to provide more information about the artists they represent in their gallery.  To this end they are putting together a multimedia website that will give their clients a better look at the work and thoughts of their artists.

They asked that I provide them with some film of me working in the studio with some dialogue.  It was pretty difficult deciding what I wanted to say in the film.  I wanted to give an idea of what I see in my work and to tell a little of how I came to painting but I didn’t want to say too much.  Wanted the paintings to be the focus.

As I was putting it together and I was inserting narration a theme came around.  About the idea of finding one’s home.  It’s a concept that I’ve been seeing a lot in my work as of late and one that I think can be applied to most of the work through the years.  I think it fits.

The music is from the great acoustic guitarist Martin Simpson, a longtime favorite.  I had the chance to take lessons from him many years ago when he resided in Ithaca for a while, after coming to the States from England.  Carried the little classified ad from the Ithaca Times around in my wallet for the longest time but, like so many things in life, never got around to doing it.  I’m not big on regrets but I do wish I’d taken that opportunity.

Anyway, this is the film that I came up with.  I hope it works in some way…

To see the film in higher quality please click here to go the YouTube page.

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