musical musings

Musical Interlude #1: Jose James & Charles Holt

I love music. I am a ravenous fan of music, consuming anything that moves me in any way at all. So, as part of our (r)evolutionary musings here, I’ll be sharing songs and albums I love, long favorites and recent discoveries, every 3 weeks or so. Please leave a comment with your thoughts/feelings. What do these songs evoke for you?

Up first, Jose James. “Bird of Space” is a beautiful record from his new album “No Beginning, No End”.  He’s been around for a minute. His style is an interesting combination of jazz, sometimes easily recognizable as such, and hip hop sensibility. I first heard his beautiful voice on Jazzanova’s gorgeous track “Little Bird”.  I enjoy “No Beginning, No End” all the way through, but this is one of the standout tracks for me. I find myself moved by the lyrics and the intensity of his vocals. Truthfully, this is kind of an Only Grape song: -) When talking about the impetus for the song, Jose says it was inspired by the impact of touring on his relationship. “I wanted to talk about the loneliness of the road but still have it sound romantic.”

In joy!

The next selection is Charles Holt’s cover of Nicole Nordeman’s “River God”. I hadn’t heard the song until a couple of weeks ago. A minister at an interfaith gathering I attended quoted some lines with such passion, my curiosity sparked. She recommended I look up Charles. His passion in combination with the lyrics moved me deeply. Sufis tell the story that in pre-eternity, Allah said to all souls: “Alastu bi-Rabbikum? (Am I not your Lord?)”. The souls cried out in response. The memory of this question is imprinted in the core of our being and some music can evoke its memory. “River God” reminds me of that. Have you had the experience where your whole being reacts to a song? It feels as if every cell is crying out in response. My cells cried out.  Here are the lyrics:

Rolling River God, little stones are smooth

Only once the water passes through

So I am a stone, rough and grainy still

Trying to reconcile this river’s chill
But when I close my eyes and feel you rushing by

I know that time brings change and change takes time

And when the sunset comes, my prayer would be this one

That you might pick me up and notice that I am

Just a little smoother in your hand
Sometimes raging wild, sometimes swollen high

And never have I known this river dry

The deepest part of you is where I want to stay

And feel the sharpest edges wash away
And when I close my eyes and feel you rushing byI know that time brings change and change takes time

And when the sunset comes, my prayer would be just one

That you might pick me up and notice that I am

Just a little smoother in your hand
Rolling River God, little stones are smooth

Only once the water passes through

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One thought on “Musical Interlude #1: Jose James & Charles Holt

  1. Have to check out these songs. Many artists (book authors and lyricists) often reveal their state of mind or experience on their work. And equally so. those who gravitate toward their work are usually in the same mental or emotional space. Such is human/ animal nature.

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