Triggered by a PBS link on my Facebook wall this morning about David Rawlings, I soon found myself revisiting one of my very favorite artists' music, that being the duo of Gillian Welch and the aforementioned Mr. Rawlings. If you're unfamiliar, do yourself a favor and look them up. You might be familiar with them from the movie "O Brother Where Art Though" but they've been around for a long time, and no one performs better live. As I've gotten older, I rarely listen to anything that isn't stripped down, and that's all they do pretty much is do great voices in harmony and two guitars.
They do my favorite version of "Long Black Veil," originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell, and this little gem, which is perhaps my favorite of theirs.
I soon ended up listening to another favorite, the great and original Merle Haggard. It's hard to find a song of his that I don't truly enjoy thoroughly but especially like "Tonight, The Bottle Let Me Down" and "Think I'll Just Sit Here And Drink." Those songs always make me think of my father, who loved Merle and loved his drink even more, which is how he found his demise at the young age of 52 (story for another time maybe). But I'm going to share a different Merle song with you, one that perhaps you haven't heard. Again, it makes me think of my dad because it's a song asking for a moment of peace (that's what strikes me the most, though it's a song about death and salvation)...a song that has the rare ability to bring a tear every time you hear it with that taps-like trumpet at the end.
Another version of this song worth finding is by Keith Richards (yes, that Keith Richards)
Are we seeing a trend? Yes, I like the melancholy -- deep, dark, stripped down and unabashed, which is why I tend to gravitate to the singer/songwriter, people whose music comes from their hearts and souls.
(Sorry I'm not smart enough to make these videos fit correctly)