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--Cont. (Interested in the influences part 4)

 

If I want music, per se, I’ll go to absolute music, to the composers. But in addition to having the personality factor down in spades (an old American saying), you’ve created Art songs, folk music (if you like) with musical muscle. That’s a heavy thing to have achieved during the degraded cultural times of the last few decades. I think I understand what you mean about perhaps having oversung on some of those early recordings, but I think that if it’s in some cases true, it set the stage for your ultimately having your thing more completely together. In other words, when I hear you sing “The Art of Giving a Toss” (on You Tube - and an intriguing song, by the way), I can hear that your singing is perhaps more controlled in some way than might have been the case in ’82, but there’s a clearly detectable razor-sharp edge just under the surface which hints at the former, more demonstrative style, and which invokes its memory, and therefore its power. It’s the same with every great singer. When you hear his current thing, you experience not just it, but the cumulative effect of all he’s sung before. And I’m sure you’re aware that almost every great singer has at some point repudiated the early performances. So don’t experience significant discomfort re those recordings; an adage could be ‘Ask the fans, never the artist.’ The guitar, notebook, pen, and tape recorder concept makes me think, a lot. I think I’d almost forgotten that that was the way these things were done, traditionally. The loss of those values is tragic, but there seems to be nothing to be done about it. Most people do seem to have moved on, and without discomfort or regret (that’s the confusing and painful part.) The digital world has virtues of its own, no doubt, but I’m also very much caught between the two worlds of the way things were and the way they are. Future Shock, big-time. But hey, whatever you’re doing seems to be working for you, and, ironically, paradoxically, their digital world (the computers), will make it a lot easier for us to preserve what is still your analog one. To wrap this out w/some miscellany, I was glad to see you list RVW’s name first among the British composers’. Tho’ it be a clichéd thing to say, he is for me the greatest name in English music. I always wondered whether he was still alive for people over there, but of course it had to be - Their day is coming, but They haven’t gotten rid of all of us yet. We can still be stirred, and that’s a great word for it. One last thing. I know the guitar myself, and am curious about what you play. I see the acoustic/electric in the live clips but can’t make out what it is. I’m also (more) curious about whether you’ve got a straight acoustic at home, and if so, what it is. Are you a ‘particular maker’ - type guy (a ‘Gibson’ guy or a ‘Martin’ guy, etc.) or have you just chosen your guitars based on their respective qualities? Etc. Thanks again for your response. Good to talk to you.

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