The song this cycle is When I Was Young, written a number of years ago when we lived on Mount Desert Island. Leonore Hildebrandt and I recorded it in 2014 for our cd Something Else. She is on percussion and vocals.
Music from Brian Dyer Stewart
The song this cycle is Round and Round, which I wrote in 2018 after the release of John Prine's The Tree of Forgiveness, his first album of original tunes since 2005. John Prine is one of my favorite song writers and Round and Round came to me as a sort of JP look-alike; it brings something of his spirit to me. John died April 7th last year - we miss him. Leonore Hildebrandt and I recorded it in 2018. She is on percussion and vocals.
Dear family, friends, and fellow travelers,
It's Martin Luther King's birthday, born January 15, 1929. The events at the Capitol last week made me think of the difference between January 6th, 2021 and his March on Washington, in 1963, when a quarter of a million people came to the peacefully stand together and call the nation to embrace justice, equality and sisterhood. "By your fruits shall you know them." Does our activism bring more compassion, more equality, more brotherhood? By your fruits...
Happy New Year! This week's song is Crow Song, co-written a couple of years ago with May Lily Lee, a musician and vidoegrapher in Richmond, Virginia. I recorded it this summer. It's January in Maine - most song birds are long gone but the crows seem to thrive in the cold mornings, meeting in the garden for a short walk or raucous in the spruce trees. They have a kind of faithfulness that speaks truth to power - may we all!
This week's song is Common Prayer, written this past week as a carol of sorts, with a slight shaky recording just laid down. I know that not everyone shares the Christmas tradition, but here's a musical call to the miracle of life, birth, the power of women, the memory of hope. The darkest days are just past and the long cycle back toward the light is before us. Happy holidays and love to you all.
This week's song is Winter Light, written quite a number of years ago and recorded live with Leonore Hildebrandt on percussion and vocals and Kenny Pierce on cello. There's a gift in this dark season, when the light is extraordinary, the low slant, the way it reaches across and through the woods, the deep golden color. We're just about at the Solstice, the moment of turning again toward the light. Come thou and rest my soul.
promised some love songs weekly through the holidays. This week's song is Pearls, co-written with May Lily Lee, a musician friend and gifted videographer in Richmond, VA. The music came to me on a bluff overlooking Robinhood Cove in southern Maine at the songwriters' retreat - the morning light was sizzling in golden white chains across the water. She has a thing about pearls. I passed that line and a recording off to May Lily who came up with a lyrical draft that we then worked on together. I recorded it a couple of years ago, but added some extra instrumentation this morning. Walk in the light!
I promised some love songs weekly through the holidays. This week's song is one of my favorites, Rise and Fall, written in 2014 and recorded with Leonore Hildebrandt on vocals and percussion. Pammy and I live on the coast of Maine, on salt marsh along a tidal river. Such sunsets and rhythms of sea and sky!
I promised some love songs weekly through the holidays. This week's song is One Time One Place, recorded in 2015 at Catie Curtis' songwriters' retreat. I had come up with the piano music and Maria Elena, a singer-songwriter from Topeka, came up with lyrics with a little help from Christa Champion. It's me on piano and Maria Elena on vocals, recorded on another participant's iPad the day we were leaving.