The song this cycle is Who Can Deny the Spring, written for the wedding of my son Jesse and his wife Lisa Sandoval. It was a co-write with Lisa who provided a lot of the insight into the themes and images.
Music from Brian Dyer Stewart
The song this cycle is One of These Days, co-written last June with May Lily Lee, a musician and videographer in Virginia. It has been a year when the deep, festering wounds of racism and inequality have been too painful and raw to turn away from, though such turning is the long habit of White culture. The eruption of anger, rage, solidarity, sorrow, suffering has so many voices they knock on the doors of our hearts and demand an audience with our nation, a reckoning and commitment to change.
My mom died a year ago on March 10th, 2020 just as the pandemic shut things down. We were fortunate to be able to be with her in her last weeks and days - memories and music were such a part of those visits. I've been thinking quite a lot lately of how our ancestors are here with us, how we are the growing point of all who came before us. I wrote I'll See You Again this week and recorded it yesterday. May all of those we have loved and lost stay near to us.
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.
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.