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Posts Tagged ‘Odetta’

I am kind of at ease this morning. It’s nice to not have any big obligations directly ahead of me after finishing yesterday’s Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery. It lets me unwind from the anxiety that those kind of events create, the kind that is always there even though I try to appear at ease when speaking in front of groups of people. Fortunately, the folks who come to my talks are really good people who make it as easy as possible.

I want to thank everyone who came out on such a gorgeous day with so many other things going on to spend a little time with me at the talk. It was wonderful speaking with so many friends that I only get to see once in a great while and to meet so many new people. It was a good day all the way around and I hope everyone there felt that the time was spent well. I’ve said this before but their willingness to open themselves to me makes it easy to open myself up to them.

And that is a gift to me.

Speaking of gifts, of course, the highlight of the talk came at the end when I get to share a gift or two with them. I can’t explain how much pleasure I get out of this part of the talk. I’m sure other artists think I am crazy for giving away my work but the way I look at it is that it’s just a small pay back for all they have given me. Without their support, without their encouragement and interest through the decades, there is no telling where I would be or what I might be doing. Of if I would even be at all.

So, in my eyes I am playing with house money and just sharing a bit with my friends. Thank you so much to everyone at the talk yesterday and thanks to my good friends at the Principle Gallery– Michele, Clint, Pam, Taylor and Pierre– for allowing me to be a part of their wonderful gallery. I am so grateful–thank you.

Now for this Sunday’s musical selection I was looking at the new painting above, Back in Time, and wanted an old song. While shuffling through older music I settled on the old folk tune, House of the Rising Sun. This version from the great Odetta came late in her life and delivers to the song great weight and grace. Just a great performance.

Enjoy and have a great day.

And thank you…

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I’m not a religious person and wasn’t raised with any religion in my life. Growing up, Easter was just another excuse to gorge myself on candy and boiled eggs.

But the idea of resurrection that this day represents is a potent theme, one that resonates deeply with me. I am not talking about actual resurrection, the rising from the grave type of thing. But the idea of rebirth, of washing away the past and beginning anew has always struck a chord within me.

Maybe that’s why I am a morning person. Each day is a personal resurrection of sorts. There is a new start each day the sun comes up, a new chance to redeem yourself in some way. So, in a way, Easter is just part of a continuum of  constant rebirth, one that transcends personal religion.

For this Sunday morning music I am choosing a song that concerns itself with a more literal form of resurrection. It is Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold This Body Down) which was written in 1934 by Claude Ely. He was twelve years old at the time and was stricken with tuberculosis. His family is said to have prayed for his health to return and in response, he spontaneously performed this song.

I can’t attest to that part of the story but it is a pretty well known gospel standard now. This version is from the great Odetta.

The newer painting above is a small 8″ by 8″ panel that I call Resurrection. It feels very Easter-y to me.

Have a good Sunday.

 

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GC Myers- Voyager Blue smToday there is none of that other stuff here– I won’t even utter the “P” word here this morning.  As promised, today is about art and music.

This morning I want to link a song and a painting and the piece shown above immediately came to mind.  It’s a 20″ by 10″ canvas titled Voyager Blue that is included in my current show, Contact, at the West End Gallery.  It has a definite narrative to it, with the small almost indistinguishable figure at the horizon serving as The Seeker, which is often the character that figures portray when they appear in my work.  The Seeker constantly searches for meaning, for purpose and for answers in this life.

The song I thought I would attach to this painting is the great folk classic The Midnight Special.  This song, whose lyrics first appeared in 1905, is about a prisoner who longs for his freedom and symbolizes it in the form of The Midnight Special, a night train that would carry them away from the despair of their imprisonment. There was an actual Midnight Special train that ran between Chicago and St. Louis but the one depicted in this song is considered to be more likely a train on the Missouri Pacific line, the Houstonian, that ran between Houston and New Orleans, departing just before midnight.

But maybe it simply refers to the night train that is nearest to the prisoner singing for his freedom.

This song has been recorded many, many times over the past century by artists from Leadbelly to ABBA but today I chose a version from the Queen of American folk music, Odetta.  It has a nice bluesy sway to it and seems like a good song to push off from on this Sunday morning.

Have a great day.  I hope the Midnight Special shines her ever-loving light on you.

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