singer-songwriters tagged posts

Brilliant Songs No. 1: Tom Russell’s “The Eyes of Roberto Duran”

So many great songs and songwriters, true poets who weave the disparate shards of life happening before their eyes into something intense, insightful, and profound as that life, every life, deserves. Seeing what we see only dimly or not at all, marching up to questions we shy from and coaxing from them words and images of beauty and inspiration or dead-on-the-money, troubling truth.

So it’s time to have a little more sustained fun with all that, in the form of a series hosted here at Traversing entitled as you see in the headline slot above: “Brilliant Songs.”

I’ll aim for monthly, may slack from or increase that, who knows? (I’m old, and inclined to chafe at schedules…)

What we’ll do is give the song a You Tube play, present, admire and explore the lyrics for a bit (may probe some pure instrumentals as well), draw what we can from them and see where the whole enterprise takes us.

Yes, I’l...

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The Rhumba Man Sings No More: A Jesse Winchester Appreciation

I don’t know when the term “singer-songwriter” came into vogue, but it’s difficult to think of anyone who defined the very essence of that term as cleanly and clearly as Jesse Winchester, he of the impeccably rendered lyrics, near perfect diction, lovely simple melodies and sincere, affectless stage presence.

Winchester died on April 11, just about a year after I gravitated to his music for my shortest ever blog post in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. At the time, his soothing and tender balladry seemed just the prescription for a tormented national psyche.

Winchester engendered a deeply devoted following over his nearly 45-year recording career. That career took a distinctive turn very early on when he opted to go to Canada in 1967 rather than respond to a draft call that might have seen him pressed into service in Vietnam, a war he considered morally repugnant...

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