13 October 2008

I want you to be my love, ‘Neath the moon and the stars above, I want you to be my love…

So simple….so clear….so direct. There’s nothing complicated about today’s title lyrics. They are the words you wish you could put down on paper instead of trying to say more, or really, too much. They come from the band Over The Rhine – a Cincinnati, Ohio duo made up of married singer songwriters Linford Detweiler and Karin Berquist. She’s the voice. He’s the magician. Together they weave stories of love, angst, spirituality, and life questions and bring together a deeper meaning to the words ringing in your ears.

The CD I’m listening to right now is Drunkard’s Prayer from 2005 – it’s the only one of theirs I know even though they have a 17 CD’s out including one they released just last year called The Trumpet Child – no doubt as good as this one but for now, I want to get lost in this one. 11 songs – one cover – “My Funny Valentine” – and the rest of them originals. The songs that caught my ears are “I Want You To Be My Love”, “Bluer” and the oh so sweet “Born” (Berquist/Detweiler):

There’s something about her voice that pulls me in - she’s not your average female singer/songwriter – while her voice is smooth it has a depth that few other women out there have – she’s like Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies meets Barbara Kessler; I get lost in her notes and it makes me want to go running through a field of grain on a hot summer’s eve with some kind of reckless abandon I’ve long forgotten about. Some of the songs sound a little like what I would call ‘bluegrass jazz’, some are your out and out pop folk tunes a la Nanci Griffith (minus the country) with a crisp clear piano and swaying beat and others are well – just good music that I can’t pinpoint. All are catchy and have a simplicity and complexity that makes you want to just put the ipod on ‘repeat’. You really need to listen for yourself - they have a lot to say and they do it well. http://www.overtherhine.com & http://www.myspace.com/overtherhine

Sometimes the most perfect days are the ones you don’t plan. This past Saturday was one such day. It started with Abby putting on Drunkard’s Prayer and while I’d listened to a few of the songs before (I’m not sure how she discovered them but I’m glad she did) – I’d never really ‘heard’ the whole CD until Saturday morning. Ipod on, ipod on repeat, sour apples pancakes on the griddle, maple syrup, a cool morning, long jammies and suddenly before 11a it’s already a great day. With bellies full, dark blue jeans, short sleeve shirt, my keens and Red Sox hat on and we were good to go – with a purpose in mind we set out on an urban hike through the city to hit a health food store Abby had never been to – Erewhon on Beverly – to look for gluten free pizza crust mix. Yum!

It’s not a very far walk – 2 miles give or take each way - but the day was so beautiful it felt like you could walk forever. The air was clean, the sky pure blue (as opposed to the smog infiltrated blue we have most of the year) and the Hollywood Hills that feel so close you could touch them – it was a day long in the making as the heat from our eight month long summer slowly faded away. Perfect weather. Perfect day. After a rare (for me) soda break of Virgils Root Beer while we contemplated our Erewhon finds we hit The Grove and Farmers Market next door. We didn’t mean to go – it can be a little crazy touristy jam packed on a Saturday – but something in me figured – hey – we’re here – lets swing on by….glad we did. We ended up grabbing some lunch at Charlie’s in the Farmers Market – a place I’ve always wanted to try but wasn’t able to because I wasn’t eating meat until this summer. VERY TASTY burger and fries were had - add a Cider to the mix and you’ve got the perfect lunch. Next up – the perfect desert – Pink Berry and then ‘hike’ back home.

‘Perfect’ is hard to define. Sometimes I don’t think we know we’re having a great day until we settle in for the evening and think about our travels. I knew it while it was happening. I knew it as we made the pizza and put on The Red Sox game (even though they lost) that days like that are hard to come by. Days when you forget your troubles, when you realize that life is good even if the circumstances aren’t always good. Sometimes it is as simple as a great walk on a clear day, as simple as great music in your ears or as comforting as a hand on our shoulder and the presence of a loved one long departed. However you define it – I hope you find it. I hope you each have that day whatever it means to you and whatever you do. Sometimes the best days are the days you don’t plan – the days when you allow yourself and those around you to just ‘be’.

Thanks for tuning in….Until next time…CHEERS! And GO RED SOX!!!!

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