One of my favorite singer-songwriters is Lyle Lovett. He has the most fabulous voice, a great band, hilarious lyrics, and songs with a beginning/middle/end. He never lets me down.
And when he performs with his “Large Band” – mingling jazz with country, and sometimes just enough hand-clapping gospel – well, I’m smitten.
(Plus, any cowboy in a suit is going to impress me. …)
Here’s Lyle Lovett’s “Church.” Turn it up, clap along, and listen to this singer-storyteller weave the funny tale about a congregation trapped in church, starving, while the preacher goes on and on and on and on …
Lyle Lovett’s “Church,” YouTube
Road trip! This weekend. I’m excited. It’ll be nice to get away, and road trips are the best kind of getting away — there’s all that open road, good music, and your own thoughts to keep you company. While I’m packing the Pringles chips and Jack Links beef jerky, my husband works on oil changes and the all-important playlist.
We’ve come to realize how critical the playlists are to our trips. Whatever songs we choose seem to become the soundtrack for that moment – the background to all our memories of that certain stretch of road – so we choose wisely.
To this day, Van Morrison’s “Madame George” instantly brings me back to a certain curvy road (and heavy pine scent) of Tahoe. James Taylor’s “Carolina on My Mind” flashes me right to the highway near Oak Glen, and coming back with bagloads of fresh-picked apples, saltwater taffies, and three wiped-out kids in the back seat.
Some of the memories aren’t so great – Jason Mraz’s first album, unfortunately, now makes me think of the bridge and harbor leading to the oceanside hospital where I took my mother-in-law for chemo treatments for a year. But, on a brighter note, the Black Crowes make me think of her and my husband’s second-youngest brother when we caravanned to Vegas; my young brother-in-law had had a lucky winning streak at the blackjack tables, and whenever I hear “She Talks to Angels” I can see him slouched in the back seat with a big grin on his face, that desert horizon zipping past. …
So take me on a road trip down your memory lane – what songs do you associate with certain roads?
All right, let me start this one off with a disclaimer: I am, under no circumstances, a huge Elvis fan. I don’t have any kind of velvet painting in my home. I don’t have a shot-glass purchased in a roadside stand in Memphis that says “I Brake for Graceland.” (I swear.) I don’t even know all of his songs by heart. (Well … okay … except “Blue Suede Shoes” … because Steve Porter sang that song in the 6th grade, and we 6th grade girls swooned.)
Anyway, now that my non-huge-fan status is solidified, I do have to say: There’s this one song of his …
I was borrowing my husband’s car the other day and this song came on his iPod: “If I Can Dream.”
My husband and I saw a documentary about Elvis about a year ago (because, ahem, I’m not a big fan, did I mention?). And, in it, Elvis performed “If I Can Dream” in front of a live audience. And, I have to say, I can’t remember ever seeing a more moving performance. Continue reading