Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Grace of Beth Wood 

At least 5 years ago, my friend Ray and I had gone to listen to this cool folky acoustic chick named Beth Wood and I was instantly hooked. She is passionate about her music and writes her songs in a way that really speaks to me. I love the way she explains where her songs came from. She was introducing her song, "New Blood" and explained that it was about this musician/songwriter that she really admired named Jeff Buckley and how his untimely death had touched her life. The song is really beautiful and evoked in me a lot of emotion about someone I didn't even know about.

Before long, I was out at the record store and saw Jeff Buckley's CD, "Grace" on the shelf. I was torn about whether or not to buy it since I hadn't hear one song off the whole CD, but Beth's song was still haunting me and I wanted to know more. The CD went home with me.

I began listening to it and was absolutely amazed at this man and his music. It instantly went into my "Desert Island" collection as one of my all time favorite CD's EVER. His voice, his lyrics, the instrumentation - EVERYTHING - was just gorgeous to me.

Fast forward to last week as I'm motoring home from work on 285. I have on my favorite radio station, Dave FM. Margot, the DJ on the 7-10 shift, is always playing the coolest music, so I love to listen to her show. I hear a voice that I KNOW is Jeff Buckley, but I don't recognize the song! Unfortunately, Jeff is dead, so he isn't cranking out the songs anymore. I immediately grab my cell phone and call the radio station and Margot picked up the phone. I don't even think I said Hello to her but instead just blurt out, "Is that Jeff Buckley?" She says it is and explains that they have released a "Legacy edition" of the Grace album that includes several previously unreleased songs. HOW COOL!

I now own the Legacy Edition and it was worth every penny! Not only is the original album remastered, not only do they have previously unreleased songs, but there's a DVD with a documentary and videos!

The next album that Beth put out included a song called, "My Miles Davis Kinda Blue." At her CD release party, she explained that she had a "Roommate from Hell" that borrowed her copy of Miles Davis' album, "Kinda Blue" and then promptly lost it. The song was her way of dealing with the loss of one of her favorite CD's by imagining the journeys it may have taken.

Since I had such good luck with buying the Jeff Buckley CD on her "recommendation," I figured I'd try again. I went out and purchased "Kinda Blue" and again had another experience of, "How have I gone through life until now without this CD?" It's an AMAZING CD that anyone who even has thought about liking Jazz should have in their collection.

I find it so interesting how it played out that a musician explaining the inspiration for a song led me to go out and discover the inspiration myself.

Thank you, Beth!


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