As a senior in high school I heard a cover of Madonna ’s “Like A Prayer” by the singer John Wesley Harding and was immediately hooked by his version of folk, or as he sometimes calls it “gangsta folk.” I immediately dived into Harding’s catalog and discovered a plethora of brilliant songs that were intelligent, witty, tender, historical and sardonic. In college, I was fortunate to see him live and experienced not just a concert, but what felt like a dialogue between Harding and me. I scraped up the money to purchase a concert shirt (I still have it) and that summer my future wife approached me while I was wearing it because she was also a fan.
Throughout the years I have traced the path of who I consider one of the most underrated musicians of the past 20 years. I have read the two fabulous novels he has written under his real name, Wesley Stace, and purchased every new CD. Imagine my surprise when he agreed to participate in our long running concert series and speak about his books the following night.
I encourage you to come to hear Wes speak about his music and books on February 17 and 18 . You will discover an extremely talented musician who has shared the stage with such greats as Bruce Springsteen and has been praised by literary critics for his writing. Space is limited at both FREE events, so come early.
Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead
A mix of Santana and Yanni (and likely some Pink Floyd in there, too), Kitaro was a random pick of mine when I was recently browsing the popular music section in our audio-visual department at Central library. He is touted as a master of the New Age music movement, but I simply appreciate the music as being a combination of sounds and styles. It isn’t the space music/under the sea sound of something like Paul Winter’s Callings, but is instead a nice melding of all sorts of things right about music: orchestral flow, digital sound, traditional instrumentation, and long blues-based guitar strains.
A winner of numerous Grammy Awards, Kitaro’s music will be on my MP3 player for a long time to come. Downloads are available on his personal website.
An Enchanted Evening