Favorite Duet?

So it’s Friday and I need to write a review / recommendation today….I know you’re counting on me! 😉 The one tune that hit me on the way to work today was a Sugarland song: “These are the Days.” I had heard it before, but I had to listen to it twice because it was so good (that’s my measure of good). I love Kristian singing…it was a true duet.

Country music has such a rich history of duets: George and Tammy, Conway and Loretta, Kenny and Dolly, and on and on. There’s definitely something about the harmony, particularly when it’s a male and female.

Do you have a fav duet? Country or not. Maybe you can turn me on to some I don’t know about!

Mirrors Everywhere

Olivia and I lived in Boston for three years.  We loved it: the city, our schools, the culture, all of it.  One of the most famous buildings in Boston (and the tallest in New England) is the John Hancock tower in Copley Square.  The architects said they could not improve on the beauty of the surroundings, including the amazing Trinity Church.  So they built a building with mirrors so more of theat beauty could be reflected.

I must admit that it is striking.  But as I was walking through New York recently I noticed that so much of the new construction is made of mirrors.  There’s even an old, pre-war building close to Columbus Circle that is being renovated and covered in – you guessed it – mirrors.  I got to thinking, “What if all the buildings are covered in mirrors?”  “Would there be anything left to reflect?”

I find this as a songwriter sometimes.  I get so busy observing and commenting on life that it seems like I’m not living it.  I think the same goes for journalists, painters, photographers, etc.  There must be something beautiful, something meaningful to convey in our work for it to have meaning.

So, calling all creators: mirrors can be effective, but only if they have something to reflect.

Hancock Tower Boston

The Big Reveal

youtube sessions

A big shout out to my friend Arthur for inspiration on this new country (again!) song.  We worked this very intense job back in March and we would try to make it bearable by talking through anything and everything.  He was telling me about this new girl that he really liked but she didn’t quite know it yet.  Now, we won’t talk about how it turned out…but, the inspiration he provided produced this tune.  Enjoy!!

Download the MP3 here.  Play: [audio:http://benwardmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Big-Reveal.mp3|titles=Big Reveal|artists=Ben Ward]

Crossroads

One of my favorite shows on TV is CMT Crossroads. It pairs a country artist with an artist from another genre (usually pop/rock). They sing each others’ songs and chat it up about their various musical experiences. There are a few duds, but I love a lot of them. One of my favorite games to play is “Who would be your Crossroads artist?” I love thinking about doing the show and what artist I would get to meet and collaborate with…cool. (a few possibilities: Springsteen, U2, Coldplay, James Taylor (he was taken by the Dixie Chicks, though))

Here are my favorites and links to videos.

Little Big Town and Lindsey Buckingham – Best by far!! “Bones” is basically a modern day Fleetwood Mac song anyway.

Brad Paisley and John Mayer – Both amazing guitar players although you feel a little bad for Brad because it seems John isn’t really into his music as much.

Dixie Chicks and James Taylor – Their version of “Carolina in My Mind” is one of my favorites that comes up on shuffle. Just James’s guitar, voice, and harmonies by the Chicks.

Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie – Went to the taping of this with my HUGE Lionel Richie fan sister-in-law Norah. Their chemistry was awesome. They should do an album and tour together.

Jason Aldean and Bryan Adams – Brand new one, but what a hit. Their voice sound amazing together and Bryan should do a country album!

Do you have a favorite??

Withholding

Have you ever had a falling out with someone in your life?  Have you parted ways with the possibility of never speaking to them or seeing them again?  The fault may be yours, it may be theirs, or (most likely) the blame could be shared.

I have.

And then, later on, I decided I was wrong in so many ways and it was ridiculous that we weren’t friends anymore.  I called to apologize and say what an idiot I had been and could they please forgive me.  But, that wasn’t enough.  They couldn’t forgive.  They weren’t even interested in talking about the situation or the relationship.

This was painful.

Now it has been seven years.  This seems crazy.  We were like best friends!  I sent a little note the other day and got no response.  It’s possible they didn’t get it, but more likely they feel the same way they did years ago.

At what point is it too late?  What constitutes the line that, after you cross, you can never go back?  You see it all the time: husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, mothers and daughters, friends.  Why can’t the offenses be overcome?

Jesus said it’s in my best interest to forgive:

Matthew 6:14-16
14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 18:20-22
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Why is it so hard?  What’s going through people’s hearts and heads when they withhold forgiveness?  Especially when someone asks for it.

The hardest part of my situation is that I miss the friendship.  I miss the laughter, the crying, the boring, the crazy times.  Maybe they feel this is the price I must pay for my offenses.  But I still hold out hope that the forgiveness I long for won’t be withheld forever.

And, even more urgent: Can I somehow give forgiveness when it’s deserved and even when it’s undeserved?

You can come undone

youtube sessions

This is the sixth week of the YouTube Sessions!  I’ve got another country song for you.  This one has quite an interesting inspiration…I was watching an interview with Jessica Simpson last week on TV.  It struck me how she had been through so much — some self-inflicted, some not, but yet, for those few minutes in that studio she could just talk about music and leave all that stuff outside.

This got me thinking about how a person can do that for someone else.  How “In Here” the outside world can just disappear for awhile. 

Obviously, this song is just inspired by Ms. Simpson, not directed toward her :).

Download the MP3 here.