Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
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.