Saturday, January 13, 2007

Just when I'm as low down as I can get these days, it is music that lifts me up.

The weather has been good, so I've been taking the little guy to the park. About mid-week, when we were there, I could hear some faint strains of a violin coming from a nearby park shelter. Seems two guys were doing some outdoor practicing with a violin and a rhythm guitar in the shelter closest to the kids' playground. They were attracting a number of kids to the shelter in a Pied-Piper-ish effect, but I found that I didn't have to go all the way there to hear it. It was nice having the violin wafting over the playground as the kids ran like crazy, climbed up the slides, hung from the rungs of the twisted ladders, spiralled their way down the dizzy pole (I wish they'd invented those about twenty years earlier) and just generally had a good time.

I popped into the local Whole Foods, and while I was trolling the aisles, I heard some kinda mean sax playing. It was too loud to be on the piped-in music speakers, and after a few more bars, I looked up and behind me at the market offices and beheld an employee doing his thing on the balcony outside the offices. It was so nice hearing that music as I shopped, but what really got me was when he made it a point to get on the speakers and dedicate a short medley of "Amazing Grace", and "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" to those who had been murdered recently. It hurt my heart, but I needed that music.

A day later, I took the little guy to the same park. We have been continuing our soul music experiment, and I have found that, aside from Sharon Jones and James Brown, my son likes the Soul Sides Volume 1 CD that this guy puts out, but, much to my father's chagrin (and mine, a little), the little guy gives a big thumbs-down to Otis Redding. As we were getting into the car after a big afternoon of getting goofy on the playground, I heard the little guy doing these grunts that I chalked up to basic kid noises. And then he sang this:

That's the sound of the men
Working on the chain

And gave me a big smile. And I smiled back.

That's how I knew he was hooked on Sam Cooke.

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