Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lianne La Havas

I was listening to 4 star and up in iTunes (~4200 tracks) and this song came up. What a beautiful song, I made it 5 stars in my iTunes - 5 star count is now 126.

I tweeted, which posted through to Facebook. Got 0 attention either place. But I have more to say about the song and artist, so I will say it here.

That tasty guitar lick has only 5 chords. For those of you keeping score, they are Cmaj7 C6 G Gmaj7 C#7. I recorded the lick. Unusual to be playing on only the bottom 3 strings.

The song gobsmacked me. I must have listened to it 20 times. I kind of obsessed on this artist last week. Lots of good videos. Her guitar playing is distinctive and lyrical. Her band is excellent, and the live performances have great engineering, as seems to be the norm now.

I watched one interview of her where she talked about this song. She is from London. The song is about the heritage she got from her parents. Her mother is Jamaican, "Green & Gold" are the colors of the Jamaican flag. Her father is Greek, "ancient stone" is a reference to the classical Greek ruins.

I assumed that like most songs this was a love song. These lines seemed inappropriate in that context:

Those eyes you gave to me
that let me see
where I come from.
But the "you" in the first line is her parents. So a touching tribute. It really is a personal song, it would seem odd to cover it, but I'm sure that won't stop people

England, and in particular London, has lately given us some great female singers: this woman, Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone, Corinne Bailey Rae, Adele, Rainy Milo. The US doesn't seem to producing anyone comparable. My friend Michael Boggs likes Pink, I have listened to some of her stuff, nothing struck me. The new Beyoncé album has gotten rave reviews, I sampled a few tracks and was not getting much. I will probably get the album and see if it will burn in.

We do have Annie Clark (St. Vincent) and Janelle Monáe, and all the great Brooklyn bands. But it still seems like we are mostly missing the nuevo-Motown singers, who somehow seem to have all wound up in London.

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