Thursday, March 27, 2008

How Everyone I Know Feels

Monday night I put my head beneath the sheets to batten down all hatches for the sickness to come. And come it did, with all the perks thereof. Now, a few days later, I have finally summoned the wherewithal to check my messages. I perused a few pages of folks I know, and was reminded of what a blessing it is to work beside my co-laborers, and of that for which I must strive.

I am a coffee-monger and bard-in-training among the talents of both Rob Laliberte and Britta Adams. These two wonderful people are songwriters around whom I feel that I "grew up" as a writer, of songs and otherwise. Britta is one of the best female vocalists I know of - reaching for a par with her heroines like Patty Griffin and EmmyLou Harris. Her ability to hold a pure note without vibrato until it makes your heart ache is something I strive for (even with a strained, somewhat sand-like male voice). Rob's ceaseless creativity ebbs from an endless spring. He loves rhythm and mismatched chords laid down in layers of Pollock paint.

Both of these guys like to dabble, as well. And they seem to find success wherever they do so. Britta recently got into woodworking with a gorgeous box she made for a wine bottle, seemingly on a whim. Rob takes amazing photos and paints abstract pieces and does graphic design work. His latest project that I've seen finished is Greg Adkins' new album, Chase the Western Sky. They're both multi-instrumentalists and they both make a better cappuccino than I do (which isn't hard, but I'm still impressed).

I feel like I've spent a lot of time churning out an astonishing anthology of bad material and discovering a few cloudy gems in the coal seams. After bothering Britta and Rob for a while, saying I need to hear what they've been up to lately (about which they're always rather irritatingly vague), and finally deciding to visit MySpace pages to discover for myself, I see a geode's worth contained in a few songs upon which they've spent countless hours. It humbles me when people like this tell me that my music is worth a listen. I wish I could say that it always spurs me onward to new heights and horizons, but often I am not quiet enough to hear the grace which whispers possibilities to me.


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