WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Stories in music


Once in a while I land on a piece of music that gives me a big time catharsis. You? Man, I hope so.

The other day I bought the CD of a record I’ve been listening to for ages but never owned. It tumbles around in my mind at unpredictable moments, brings me to places I haven’t been to in eons, hauls me deep into my own shit, and tosses me out on the other side redeemed. If you can find some music that does that for you, grab it, use it, never lose it.

This one, for me, happens to be Beyond The Missouri Sky, by Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden. It’s basically a duet. Guitar and bass. But it’s so rooted in heart-anchored emotion that just a few notes of just about any number on the album will get me tearing up, and I find myself talking to the universe as the record runs through its humble hour. Maybe it’s the sound of a guitar and bass together – mostly nylon-string guitar. Classical. There’s something softer about the sound of it. Something caressing. But the way these two men play together – that’s the main thing. The moments of space between them. The communication. The dance. It’ll melt you.

Representative of the whole is “Two For the Road,” above. I’ve always liked this song, but this version of it is so sublime it inspired me to work out my own chord melody version on guitar based on Metheny’s sweet chords. What a joy it is to play.

Both Metheny and Haden were born in Missouri, as was I. It’s nice to imagine the place evokes such a poignant response in artists like those two, but maybe they’re talking about a state of mind more than the real thing. Country boys, they were. Suburban St. Louis didn’t offer much by way of inspiration for me.

Yet, I can always visit the fond, ethereal place they were thinking of by putting on Beyond The Missouri Sky.

8 comments on “Stories in music

  1. kingmidget
    September 21, 2017

    Can’t listen to this right at the moment, but look forward to when I have a few minutes to do so.

    As for stories in music and what some songs can do to a person … yes, absolutely.

  2. Audrey Driscoll
    September 21, 2017

    I’ve owned that CD since the ’90s. Should go and listen to it right now; thanks for the reminder.

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 21, 2017

      How great! There are so many great moments on that record. I’m glad I finally dropped a few bucks to be able to listen to it in all its high-fidelity glory.

  3. Vincent Price
    September 22, 2017

    Love this song. First came across the tune watching Cinema Paradiso.
    One of my favourite movies

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 22, 2017

      This particular song is from the movie of the same name, “Two For the Road,” but it just so happens that both “Cinema Paradiso” songs are on the same record! I see the similarity …

  4. Ilona Elliott
    September 22, 2017

    That’s a lovely piece of music Kevin. I’m quite sure that navigating this life would be a much duller experience without the joy of music that speaks to me. I find ELP’s more string oriented work with Greg Lakes superb vocals very mesmerizing lately. Thanks for sharing that.

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 22, 2017

      My goodness, it’s been a long time since I’ve listened to ELP. I’ve been bingeing on Crosby, Stills & Nash lately, though. Pretty good stuff.

      • Ilona Elliott
        September 24, 2017

        Another extremely talented trio. All good stuff.

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This entry was posted on September 21, 2017 by in Music and tagged , , , , .
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