Let’s Keep Walking

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but it isn’t for a lack of spinning. My life season is beginning to speed up and I have been enjoying music with no strings attached.

I’m also attempting to listen to EVERY vinyl in my collection and it’s taking a while. I’m discovering new jewels while relishing in favorites. I’m listening to my collection by artist.  By not writing about what I am listening too, I am sparing you 50 posts over Judy Garland.

Although, a theme has risen through the music I have been listening to at home and work. I have been gravitating towards songs and artists that I feel empowered through. I’m listening to songs that tell me “I’m worthy.”

I am not necessarily going through a depressed stage of my life, but it isn’t my happiness by no means. I need a pick me up. Here are some of the artists that have inspired me to keep walking lately.

As with all my lists, they are in no particular order.

1. John Legend

I have been a fan of Legend on and off for many years now. Recently I have been intently listening to his latest release, Darkness and Light and his first release, 2013’s Get Lifted. What I love about Get Lifted is its straight honesty and how Legend styles hip hop. Darkness and Light has become special to me as I have become more socially aware. Although I am a white male, when legend sings “There is power in the color of my face” in “I Know Better,” it not only brings awareness to problems our society is still facing, but it also reminds me that we are all unique and contribute to God’s vast world.

2. Beyoncé

Sorry B, couldn’t wait for an official release of Lemonade on vinyl.

Beyoncé strives to provide empowerment for women and African-Americans on her albums, especially with her last two releases Beyoncé and Lemonade, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a universal message. As a by-product of her mission, I have also seen that I can be comfortable in my own skin. I just feel pumped to be me when I hear the likes of “***Flawless” and “Formation.” Again these are songs that speak to me as I have begun to dissect my surrounds and become aware of our society. I am not discrediting this, I just think it’s beautiful that she can speak to anybody in any circumstance through her music’s message.

3. Reba McEntire

Now it is not everyday you see Beyonce and Reba in the same list, but my versatile ear is unpredictable from hour to hour. Reba’s latest album, Sing it Now: Songs of Faith and Hope has spoken to me in a way an album hasn’t in many years. Reba is very special to me (read about that here) and this album has helped me as my faith has been growing lately. There is not a more poignant message then her latest single “Back to God.” This world would be a better place if we just gave it back to the Creator and lived the true message of what it means to be like Christ (I will have a full post on this album soon). For unbelievers, I think the universal concept here is if we only would love each other and lay ourselves down for the goodness of others and the world, we could create a better place one action at a time. Below is my favorite lyrics and Reba’s conviction gives me chills.

“You gotta cry, rain tears of pain

Pound the floor and scream His name

‘Cause we’re still worth saving”

So although taking steps into the hurdles of our days may be burdensome and heavy, we have to realize we all have something to contribute to this world, we are all-powerful, and we need to love each other more. If we could realize these simple truths we would truly give this world back to God, and serve a higher purpose than ourselves. We would serve others.

Basically there is power in all of our faces, we must sing and act on faith and hope, and slay while we do it. This world is worth saving.

 

 

Cashin’ In

Recently I have been privileged to find copies of American IV: The Man Comes Around and American VI: Ain’t No Grave. I have not been able to carefully listen to them, but I am extremely excited to start my listening. These records are rare to find and are often a pretty penny.

So far I have only listened to LP one of American IV because it contained two of my favoritephoto songs, Nine Inch Nail’s, “Hurt” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Both tracks didn’t let me down in the least. Johnny’s voice aged with wisdom, optimism and hints of sorrow. It seems the full American series collection is Johnny’s lifelong musical epiphany. He was playing his own funeral fearlessly.

I’m especially biased towards “Hurt.” This song was released in 2002, when I was only 12 years old. I remember watching this video, with a cameo from June, and not really knowing how to feel about it. Today, I find it to be a beautiful piece of work that almost brings me to tears every time I watch and listen. Cash relentlessly gave all his emotions in this 3 minute ballad like I have never heard any artist perform. I then remember, nearly one year later, when the man in black passed away.

Also, I have oddly been finding Rosanne Cash records as well. It just seems quite photo (1)coincidental. I have discovered that she has amazing talent all her own. I have found Seven Year Itch and Rhythm and Romance. I will admit, I slightly had an instant crush on Rosanne as well. She is quite attractive. She has cited Wanda Jackson, fellow Okie, as one of her biggest influences and inducted her into the Rock and Roll hall of fame. That gives her huge kudos in my book.

What I have found is that her voice contains the same depth as her fathers. Talent was hereditary in their family. Rosanne’s voice possess the same depth as her father’s, but adds a since of vulnerability. Audibly her voice has the deep and “melatoness” of her fathers, but with all her own twists. She is definitely a legendary artist in her own right.

So lately I have been putting a lot of Cash into my collection. I find my vinyl to be my biggest investment, and nothing goes better with investments then good amounts of Cash. I am just now entering the world of Johnny and Rosanne Cash’s music, and for some reason every time I put one of their records in, I swear I hear a little ding.

Cashin’ in,

Gabe

One of the best song recordings and music videos of all time.

And the legend continues.