Sunday, September 11, 2011

When I Woke Up This Morning...

When able, I like to orchestrate my Saturday evenings around a few programs on the local public radio station KUMD. Highway 61 Revisited is John Bushey's weekly Dylan-fest of rare cuts from concerts or themed interweavings of Dylan songs and covers of Dylan's work by other artists. Whenever possible I like to be painting in my studio during this program.

After the Dylan hour is a four hour stretch called Folk Migrations which is simply a gift. There is so much great music out there and you just don't hear it on the mainstream stations which dish up a lot of the same tripe year in and year out.

Last night on Folk Migrations I heard a wonderful version of You Were On My Mind by the original artists Ian and Sylvia. The strum of the acoustic guitar on this original version of the song is really dynamic and pulled me in. The guitar/autoharp interplay is especially rich. And it quickly sent me to my office so I could find it and listen once again on YouTube.

The lyrics were a little different from the version popularized by the group We Five, which I also loved way back when. Ian and Sylvia's version expresses pain, talks about going to the corner and getting drunk and sick to deal with the pain and finally decides in the end that it's time to move on.

The We Five version is a cheerful, energizing folk/rock anthem with a wholly other sound. Even though they sing of troubles and wounds to bind, you get a completely different feeling. It reminds me of what Cirkle did to Paul Simon's Red Rubber Ball, another song about pain and loss that is transformed into an upbeat hippie-era la-dee-da pop chart success.

It was fun watching Beverly Blivens in her white mid-calf boots, dancing and singing and getting into it. The We Five harmonies are wonderful and the recording they made was tight, nicely assembled, building to a proper crescendo of energy and then pulling back for that soft landing. Really special.

Truthfully, I love both versions of the song. If you go to YouTube you can read all kinds of debates about why this version or that is better. Well, each has a place and it was fun last night escaping for a short space of time into some of the good music of the Sixties.

And when I woke up this morning, some of that good music was still on my mind. Thank you, Ian & Sylvia, We Five and all the other musicians who contributed to the Sixties experience.

Have a wonderful day... Let music carry you through.

No comments: