Showing posts with label Madison Cunningham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Madison Cunningham. Show all posts

Monday, February 13, 2023

Trilogy of Love

This post just kind of came together in my head after hearing about a father's illness, and then my thoughts about family love.

After hearing about this illness, three songs appeared to me in a clear sequence. I'm not a scriptwriter, but I saw these songs as three connected themes that could provide a treatment or outline for a story or movie.

The first song is Father and Daughter by Paul Simon. It's song is about Simon's hopes and dreams for his daughter Lulu who was seven years old at the time he wrote it. I'm a father of two daughters, two step-daughters, a daughter in law and four granddaughters. The song is an ongoing favorite of mine that keeps its relevance to me from Simon's first recording of it in 2002 for the animated film, The Wild Thornberrys Movie.

Father and Daughter

If you ever awake
In the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second,
You can't remember where you are
Just open your window
And follow your memories
To the meadow in the mountain
Where we counted every falling star
I believe the light that shines on you
Will shine on you forever
And though I can't guarantee there's nothing scary
Hidin' under your bed
I'm gonna
Stand guard
Like the postcard
Of the golden retriever
And never leave
'Til I leave you
With a sweet dream in your head
I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you always know
As long as one and one is two
Ooh ooh
There could never be a father
Love his daughter more than I love you
Trust your intuition
It's just like going fishin'
You cast your line and
Hope you get a bite
But you don't need to waste your time
Worryin' about the marketplace
Trying to help the human race
Struggling to survive
It's as harsh as night
I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you always know
As long as one and one is two
Ooh ooh
There could never be a father
Love his daughter more than I love you
I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you always know
As long as one and one is two
Ooh ooh
There could never be a father
Love his daughter more than I love you

I picked this live version because it's done so wonderfully, but also was recorded with Paul having a few less hairs and a few more gray hairs on his head.

The second song is Blue Heron by Sarah Jarosz written in 2021 for the album, Blue Heron Suite. This album and song struck a chord with me as Sarah reflects on the many walks with her mother on the southern coast line and their sightings of blue herons. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 (now in full remission in 2021).

In a 2021 interview in Paste magazine Sarah states, “I’m very symbol-oriented, and a lot of that comes from my mom. She’s the one who believes in good omens and bad omens and all these personal things. And the blue heron has always been a good-omen symbol for her and for our family, so I kind of gravitated toward that symbol pretty naturally.”

In 2021, my wife had a new medical condition for a short time. Coincidentally, One day on a walk together through our neighborhood I spotted an actual size 3D replica of a blue heron in a front bay window of a house. I thought, "Now that's a very interesting display." I told my wife, Mary Kit that this random walk-by was a sign of fantastic good luck for her and told her about Sarah Jarosz and her mother. For the next several weeks on our walks, we made it a habit to walk by that bay window and feel the blue heron's positive vibe. Several months later, Mary Kit's condition was gone. 

Blue Heron

We were walking
On the coastline
And I wondered
If this could be the last time
Then I took your
Fragile hand into mine
And we talked of
All the good times

It was early
Morning sunrise
When we caught that
Shimmering in her eyes
And she told us
Everything would be fine
And we walked together
In the low tide

Blue heron
Flying overhead
Keeping watch over you
Blue heron
Standing on the shore
While we wandered all along
That southern coastline
We were walking
On the coastline
And you told me
It wouldn't be the last time
Then I took your strong hand into mine
And we walked together in the low tide

Blue heron
Flying overhead
Keeping watch over you
Blue heron
Standing on the shore
You never know if there'll be more
So we'll wander all along
The southern coastline

The third song is Life According to Raechel by Madison Cunningham from her 2022 album, Revealer. However, I first heard this song in January of 2021 as she put it up on YouTube as a Covid home recording. I then put it on a #NewMusicMonday post and my friend, Paul Hobbs went bonkers over this song. Needless to say, we're now both big fans of hers, but it was Paul's great ear to get me back listening to this song many times, on a much deeper level. 

Life According To Raechel is a very personal song about Madison's grandmother passing. Madison has now sung this song many times on various media outlets and TV talk shows and for me, it was my favorite song of 2022. 

Ever hear a song that makes you cry no matter how many times you've heard it, well Life According to Raechel does that to me. I can now get through the album recording and TV versions, but that first home demo is the take for me, it slays me everytime. 

It also completes a life cycle through song of this little trilogy of love.

Life According To Raechel

Once your girl
I'm always your girl
When I'm here or when I'm there
Or on a plane headed somewhere

You were staring down the cars
Hoping it would be one of ours
Children and grandchildren writing you cards
But how long were you waiting for me
To make a left down your street?

It's not if, darling it's when
Was there something left unsaid?
Were your eyes green, were they blue?
What was it that I forgot to ask you?
Busy hands, I'll set 'em down
To say I love you right out loud
I'll bet you're making heaven laugh
But it feels like tears and memories are all we have

Once I knew it
I was always a know it all
Too busy too stressed out
To take your call
Thought I would always find you there
Sitting in your TV chair
While time is in a bar having a laugh somewhere
The nurse said you were waiting for me
To let go, to let it be

It's not if, darling it's when
There's always something left unsaid
Were your eyes green, were they blue?
What was it that I forgot to ask you?
Busy hands, I'll set 'em down
To say I love you here and now
Did God need a new lead in his band?
When this world and its people
Are all we have

Once your girl
I'm always your girl

Happy Valentine's Day love to our families.

Monday, August 29, 2022

#NewMusicMonday • August, 2022

Madison Cunningham doesn't dominate the playlist this week, but I'm already getting geared up for her next album release, Revealer on September, 9th. I have been following Madison for a couple of years now. In January, 2021 she released on YouTube a home recording of the song, Life According To Raechel that knocked the running socks off friend Paul Hobbs and I when it came out. She has now recorded the song for the new album and it's the first song of the playlist, and I hope it hits you like it did us. I finish off the playlist with Madison's recent appearance of NPR's Tiny Desk Concert with four songs from Revealer

Tedeschi Trucks Band finished their 24 song epic, I am The Moon this month, with Part III The Fall, and Part IV Farewell. I have included songs from these last two parts and just love how Susan and Derek feature all their band members, a real musical family that harks back to the Leon Russell and Delaney and Bonnie ensembles. You feel the spirit of this band and the love all the members have for one another. The late 60's and early 70's rock 'n' roll DNA lives on with this band with so many new original songs.

Speaking of that DNA, Marcus King is not related to Mountain's Leslie West, but the physical stature coupled with his kickass rock guitar chops reminds me of albums made from vinyl back in the sweet spot time period. King's new album, Young Blood with its southern blues vibe and rock guitar licks provide a nice mix throughout as my more subtle Americana tunes selection tend to dominate this week.

The Watkins Family Hour Vol. II are a big part of the Americana tunes featured in the playlist. Siblings Sara and Sean continue to make great music together since their early days starting with Nickel Creek. The album is sprinkled with guest artists including Madison Cunningham. 

Hopefully, a little something for everyone as so many great young musicians make new music or cover the greats with the time honored tradition of mixing something old and something new.

Enjoy my friends!

Monday, January 31, 2022

#NewMusicMonday • January, 2022

On January 14th, Elvis Costello released his 32nd studio album, The Boy Named If. Costello, born Declan Patrick MacManus, (August 25, 1954) is 67 years old and was part of the 'New Wave' genre that began in the late 1970's and into the 80's. As I was putting together the playlist this month, I came across new singles (for upcoming albums) from fellow 80's music stars, the Tears For Fears duo, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith (both 60 years old), and Colin Hay (68) who was the band leader of Men At Work. 

Now when I reached 60 years old and had retired from my teaching career, I received a letter from the AARP welcoming me to the club. F*** that! I had no interest in retirement other than getting a monthly check while not driving to a school parking lot five days a week. Around my 65th birthday, it dawned on me that I had in fact entered the same club called, "senior citizen" as my mother, who still is 20 years older than me! 

So, 1980's rock 'n' rollers who forty years ago were the 'new wave' are now probably seen by young people in their 20's as the same gray group of rock 'n' rollers who created music in the 1960's. Oh well, I guess that's the circle of things.

From the gray side of both sides now, music has always had young stars not only following their heroes who were 10-20 years older, but with their talent, equally shared the big stage at the same time. I just love the mix of younger artists like Madison Cunningham and older artists like Colin Hay releasing records and streams in the 21st century. Who knows, maybe someday they'll do a song together.

The gray haired musicians, no matter their age, are an inspiration to us all, to keep creating, to keep making stuff. It doesn't matter if you create something in your garage, on your dining room table, at a computer, or in a studio... never stop.

In looking for new music releases every month, I always come across singles or albums that passed me by the first time around. So as a bonus this month, I'm going to include Colin Hay's entire 2021 album, I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself. I just found this album last week and love Colin's voice and his versions of these classic covers. His new album, Now And The Evermore is coming out in March and I won't miss that one. Rock on Colin Hay!

Monday, February 22, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • February, 2021

Photo: Tom Greene from The San Diego Sportfishing

I search, review, and post new song releases or new song covers from a variety of artists. I also post new releases or covers that are several months old that my fishing line missed on the first, second or even third pass. As a boomer, I'm challenged just because I don't pay too much attention to young pop stars in the vast ocean of media. If you want to take a fun little music test, do the following.

The New and Old Game of Album Lists

New List

  1. Go to the Wikipedia website List of 2021 Albums for February. (I'll provide the link in #3)
  2. For February, there are 198 listings of album releases. I recognized 13 artists or bands total. For example I know who 'Robin Thicke' is because he had a hit once, but don't really know anything about him other than he is Alan Thicke's son.
  3. See how many artists or bands you can recognize on this list here - List of 2021 Albums for February.
Old List
  1. Go to the Wikipedia website 1971 in Music for February. (I'll provide the link in #3)
  2. For February, there are 29 listings of album releases. I recognized 26 artists or bands total
  3. See how many artists or bands you can recognize on this list here - 1971 in Music- February.
How did you do? If you like, write a comment below to share your new and old list scores.

One thing that's obvious in comparing the two lists month to month is that the new lists are always greater in number than the old lists. In searching for new releases, I get exposure to so many young singer-songwriters making great recordings whether they are studio albums, live in concert, or this year, live in the living room. If you're a rock 'n' roll or Americana fan of music, the beat goes on!

Here's a new list of young Americana artists that I had never heard of before starting my #NewMusicMonday search for February. From the six artists listed here, only one appeared in the List of 2021 Albums. So if you're into Americana music, you've also learned to fish in deeper waters.
The sheer volume of music being produced today has many more streams that lead to the sea of music. For me, it's a fun charter I take once a month to catch new songs, or board a yellow submarine to search for buried treasure as the deep dive for music from the past is still a great adventure. 
Speaking of the past, I also search, review and post old songs that have been 'newly' released.
That's my teaser for next week with none other than Mr. Neil Young.

Enjoy my friends, stay well and mask-up!