“Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup
And ride that highway in the sky.”
It’s funny how the subconscious works… These lyrics just popped into my head and I wasn’t even thinking about Dan Peeks, one of the founding members of America who wrote this song (“Lonely People”) and just passed away… I was thinking of a good friend of mine who just lost his father on Monday. His Dad had a pretty good life, and while his death was unexpected, his achievements were great. I can say that he definitely drank from the silver cup.
This is not the first time this song has popped up… nor will it be the last… but why now? With so many songs of sadness and loss, why did this one enter my brain and start me humming in my mind? Maybe it wasn’t for them at all, but for me… feeling a little down and lonely lately. We are funny creatures, but our brains and souls usually know what they are doing… and usually direct us in the right way.
“This is for all the lonely people
Thinking that life has passed them by
Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup
And never take you down or never give you up
You never know until you try.”
If that one was for me, then this one is for Gregg and his dad, Marty.
George Winston – Autumn
We all have comfort food, and we all have those albums we turn to when we need solace, or focus or relaxation or… comfort. For me there are many… it could be something classical like Brahms or jazz like John Coltrane or a combo, like this one.
Winston takes elements of both genres and melds them seamlessly and beautifully. His music moves me.
Yes, there are many, many more like Bruce and Robert Randolph… and folks making what I call Joyous Music that lifts my spirit and sends my soul afloat, but for today, I think we needed some soothing and calming comfort.
I was curious so I Googled the words “comforting albums” and on a site called The Sound Hole (hit #5) there was a nice thread discussion about those albums folks listen to over and over… I started to read, but before I got too far, George Winston popped into my brain. Sure enough December was on someone’s list, but for me the song that was already playing was “Color/Dance.”
This is his second album and came out eight years after his first, 1972’s Ballads and Blues. I remember being all over this in college. It definitely was in the first 10 CDs I ever bought! I would listen to it to study or relax or yes, probably even get romantic… Not that I was overly successful in that, but still…
In my senior year we used the song “Color/Dance” as the basis for a piece we did in the Mime Show. It is absolutely poignant and gorgeous… but so is this whole album. “Woods”, “Longing/Love” and “Road” are just some of the other highlights.
I won’t bore you with a bio, but it is worth checking out… Seeing his influences is interesting (He did a piano solo album of The Doors!!!) and so is the sometimes huge gap of time between albums… After the amazing and very well-known December he took another nine years to put out Summer. That is one long thaw!
With all that said, for anyone who needs comfort and a soothing of the soul, I give you Autumn… And for my good friend, Gregg, I hope this helps in some small way. My friendship is here for you… Whatever you need… At the very least I can give you some music.