There seems to be a growing trend back to songwriting that has some depth beyond sexual predation. I really like it. It isn't that everything should have a deep meaning- humour is more than appreciated too- but there should be some humanity involved somewhere. To speak from the heart is to be honest and straight forward. I love the hooks and the playfulness, the short sweet little pop tunes and the ones that can grow into musical adventures that even the artist did not anticipate. It is a thing of fascination to me to watch the artist stretch out and find new places to go with a piece. It is the sign of the best among them, truly.
billy harvey @ the Broadway Bar, San Antonio
A recent addition to my repetoire of soulfull songwriters is, of course, billy harvey. I have now seen him 3 times and each wa quite different. Acoustic guitar only, full band, and one-man band. He is not afraid of doing any of his music in any of these settings either! I think he had a little more fun when he had others to jam with, but last evening was still impressive.
The Broadway Bar is really new- so much so that I had to go find it. I have worked in this city with various bands for more than 20 years, so that was a bit of a shock. Apparently, SA is trying to grow again, actually a good thing.
While bh set up more than I had anticipated him with, it still looked bare bones on that pretty good sized stage. I was tempted to get on one of the couches behind him but didn't. Didn't need to make the guy paranoid; besides that, it was a minimalist PA, no monitor and I probably wouldn't have heard a whole lot.
As it was a very warm crowd of Buttercup loyalists greeted billy, and even sang a couple of songs with him. I think he was a little surprised. I guess he doesn't realize how bloody infectious those tunes of his can be. They are as bad as buttercup for getting stuck in my head and invading even dreams! Quite irritating sometimes!
I am not going to give away his set, or some of his approaches. Instead I thoroughly recommend anyone interested catch him in both formats- band and alone.
I had such a neat time, even during the slower songs that lost many people to the normal bar distractions. It's no fun feeling like a jukebox for much of your set.
i would like instead to talk about Billy's CDs. He has three out, the latest of which is Pie. I happen to think it is by far the tightest and best produced one he has done, but that's what happens as you grow artistically. I went backwards one CD at a time. Toast, #2, is a trip and a half, and seems to be a little haphazard. I will have to see if he will chat with me about that sometime. Last evening, I bought his first effort- More Happy Than Sad.
That's what first albums should be. I have gone through it at least five times since last night. As a matter of fact, the title of this entry is the last song on the CD.
It really touched me.....I even may put the lyrics up here. They are quite heartfelt and moving. I know where he is coming from completely.
There is movement back to the spiritual creatures that we truly are, and it seems to be finding voice in the music world in particular. Del Castillo , Billy, even Buttercup are all indicitive of it. We are all searching for what makes us feel like we are not alone out here, and music is crossing that barrier. We are, if my imagination is to be believed at all, the canaries of the universe. there is no more important instrument played by anyone,anyhere, than the human voice. Raised one or many to the Creatour, it uplifts us more than anything else. And it isn't about religious worship- it is about giving voice to our Oneness with the whole of Existance. This probably belongs on my other blog about esoteric stuff, but the two subjects ar every connected. i am not always certan where to end one and begin the other. As I move into this new phase of musical changes, the lines are blurring even more. I feel often that I have been through a kind of worship after a gig, and no, it isn't just alcohol talking. I often don't drink at all.
anyhow, it is getting late and I have a busy day ahead. go out there, find bill's site, watch the vids, and listen to the tunes, then find the CDs. He has them with him where he plays. I think he will go far soon, so be quick.
more later- must sleep.