Thursday, August 7, 2008

Back home: Oh sister, Oh brother,
I haven't any other


More than once on this blog I have used the forum, however public (and noticed?) it might be, to plug a book or an article that deserved attention. Allow me to do the same for the oral tradition. This is John Schindler's song


Back Home in America

World of the world shakers, home of the homemakers
Kings and queens in blue jeans,
Saints and sailors, junkies and jailers
The rich, the poor, the in-betweens
This is my neighborhood from Harlem to Hollywood

Oh, I thought I was all alone but I was back home in America
Oh, I thought I was all alone but I was back home in America

Poets and preachers, substitute teachers,
The bright, the best and all the rest
Maids and hairdressers, plumbers, professors,
The well-dressed, the dispossessed,
Oh sister, oh brother, I haven't any other.

I thought I was all alone then I was back home in America
Oh, I thought I was all alone but I was back home in America

So don't wave the flag for me. I don't need lessons on Liberty

I thought I was all alone but I was back home in America
I thought I was all alone but I was back home in America

Old ones and new ones, the red and the blue ones,
Sons of former Klansmen, daughters of former slaves,
The old and the new there, there was me, there was you there,
alone and afraid in the land of the brave.
I was sick at heart but now I'm healed
I saw a farmer weeping in his flooded field.

Oh, I thought I was all alone then I was back home in America
Oh, I thought I was all alone then I was back home in America
Oh, I thought I was all alone then I was back home in America


John Schindler and Deborah Rocha will be performing at the Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham on August 16th. These are two truly amazing, truly independent artists (who happen to be friends of mine).

By the way, if you click on the link at the song's title you can give John's song a listen. The first time I ever heard him sing this was at a venue I used to host in Framingham. There weren't a whole lotta people in the room, but I know there was something like a healing going on for all of them. For me, too.

John is just an amazing artist : all unassuming and self-deprecating humor one minute (he deprecates everybody and everything else pretty effectively, too) —then before you know it you find he has your heart in his hands with one of his perfect depictions of imperfect beauty.

Both he and Deborah Rocha are outside the normal mold of a singer songwriter in these parts. I think it has something to do with their honesty —and the fact that they both play nylon stringed classical type guitars: Deborah in the mode of the Brazillian art/folk song tradition she's embraced and transformed into something very much her own: and John, with something of a cross between classical technique, folk fingerstyle and funky funky slap bass.

Anyway —give John a listen here and then go see them both in the flesh at their show on the 16th. The night is being billed as a "Night of Classical Guitar Abuse" —but believe me it will be a healing.

1 comment:

John said...

Wow, Tom, thanks for the build-up...I hope I will be able to meet your expectations!
J