I've been admiring the songwriting on Grant Peeples new release Okra and Ecclesiastes, which has to be one of the best CD titles ever, and it got me thinking about what makes a great song.
How many times have you been listening to a tune, found your feet tapping, and then lost all interest once you heard the lyrics? The other side also happens: you find a tune uninteresting but the lyrics draw you in and the more you listen the more you appreciate. It seems that great songwriting is a balance between avoiding cliches but also avoiding artistic isolation.
I can't stand seeing a movie (or reading a book) when I know exactly where the story is going to take me. On the other hand, a film that makes no point and/or seems so self absorbed that I have no ability to own a piece of the story, bores the crap out of me.
More on this later, but for now lets say that songwriting has to leave room for listener interpretation without spelling out the emotions were supposed to feel.
Holy crap, my job isn't to pontificate but to play tunes, I'll shut up now and put on a cd.
Till Next Week
Song - Artist - Album
Song In My Head - Jeff Martin - Gold In The Water
Amanda and The City of Blues - Green Whiskey - Triple Shot High
Vegas - Two Tons of Steel - Vegas
Ain't My Fault - The Black Lillies - 100 Miles Of Wreckage
Cinco de Mayo In Memphis - Guy Clark - Workbench Songs
Lower 48 - The Gourds - Blood of the Ram
Sun Comes Back - Raina Rose - When May Came
Crescent City - Lucinda Williams - Lucinda Williams
Streets of Brooklyn - American Babies - Flawed Logic
Kiss You Down There - Hackensaw Boys - Love What You Do
Take This Bottle - Billy Manzik - Billy Manzik
John L. And Helen - Grant Peeples - Okra And Ecclesiastes
Closer to You - Christabel And The Jons - Custom Made for You
Mississippi - Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs - Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006
Here Lies My Love - Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs - No Help Coming
Another Like You - Hayes Carll - Kmag Yoyo (& Other American Stories)
Clan of the Sunflower - Boris McCutcheon - Wheel Of Life
Blue Sky And Sunshine Again - Tyler Fortier - This Love Is Fleeting
Can't Be Wrong - Travel By Sea - Shadows Rise
Looking at the World Through a Windshield - Son Volt - Retrospective: 1995 - 2000
Guacamole - The Texas Tornados - The Best Of Texas Tornados
Mr. Slim's Blues - Eric Hanke - Factory Man
Train Whistle - Hotels & Highways - Lost River
I Could Die Looking At You - Jordie Lane - Sleeping Patterns
Ballad Of A Plain Man - Jeff Finlin - Ballad Of A Plain Man
Lakeside - Blue Mountain - Tales of a Traveler
Bird in Hand - Blame Sally - Speeding Ticket and a Valentine
Please Speak Well Of Me - The Weepies - Be My Thrill