A few things hit me today…
The first thing is the new Bruce album… When you write a post or a review, at least for me, it is a kind of walking away. You put it out there, and while you will continue to listen, it is essentially done for a spell. But many of your comments had me go back… after I posted the blog… and explore again. Thanks, Dan (Bruce week on Kimmel was great… watch it on the web) and Jason and Pat and Tawny and Don and anyone else who took the time to comment… for talking about horn arrangements and backing vocals and things I did not pay as much attention to as I should have… This album is now grabbing me by the literal wrecking balls!!!
“This Depression” was the song that blasted out of my car’s stereo as I turned the ignition on this morning… I stopped it, restarted the track, rolled down the windows and was almost bawling by the time I got to the gym.
We are all in a literal depression… the country, the economy… but I know that we are also living the other definition of that word… the more human and personal and painful definition. We are depressed… At least many of us are…
And not to use this as therapy, or some roundabout way of me airing things out that I should, perhaps, be speaking to a therapist… but to be open and share and identify with all of you, I will admit it here and loud… I, too… am depressed…
So Bruce’s song, which perhaps I pushed away and kept at a distance, landed fully in my heart and soul this morning. That is damn powerful.
At the gym I was talking to this great guy named Richie. We bonded over Chicago food the last time we met… deep dish pizza, Italian beef, sausages… Today it got deeper. We talked about being artists… and the need for us to serve others… and to give as much as we can of ourselves… and share the gifts that we have been given. As much as I write for myself, and because I need to… I have to… I write because I want to share with all of you. I write to serve you.
He mentioned that he works for a motivational speaker who has no arms and no legs and I immediately told him about Peter’s song… how much it meant… how much it meant to me… and thus this became today’s album.
Peter Himmelman – From Strength To Strength
This is one of my favorite albums… EVER! Every song has significance and meaning to me… This is one of those rare records that is a true gem… from first to last. I cannot believe it has not been done before. Wow.
The outside voice… the editor says, dude… you just did Bruce… you just did a Rock The Vote blog… you just did your first “commercial” blog… if you do someone people might not know you are going to blow your lead in… lose readers…
Folks, if I did NOT introduce you to this artist and this album in particular, or just open the discussion and the dialogue… then I would not be doing what I am supposed to do!
Each and every song will take you on a journey and give you a better grasp on the human condition.
I am going to give you the basics here… He was born in Minnesota… He is Bob Dylan’s son-in-law… He is deeply religious and spiritual… and his songs reflect that deep contemplation and spiritual yearning. His music is amazing and seeing him live is great as he also has a wonderful sense of humor.
Pay special attention to “Impermanent Things“, “Only Innocent”, “Mission Of My Soul”, “This Too Will Pass” and especially the brilliant song that broke his career… “Woman With The Strength of 10,000 Men“. If this song does not help you put life and things into perspective, then I don’t know.
He reminds me of Leonard Cohen lyrically… but his voice is far more melodic and pretty, if you will. This is a great artist and a great album and it is my utmost honor and pleasure to share it with you.
“Some days seem to drag on forever
You need all your strength just to keep your head together
Soon you’ll see, things are gonna get better at last
This too will pass”
“Susan I owe you an apology
Susan I owe you an apology
For all the days I just let slide right through my hands
You are the woman with the strength of 10,000 men.“