[portrait is a challenge to take a photo of your self each week for one year]

We are fortunate in Grand Rapids to have a summer series of concerts at Meijer Gardens outdoor amphitheater.  They are rain or shine shows… and I’ve been to both.  Indigo Girls in a full-on thunderstorm?  Two-stepping with Lyle Lovett and his Big Band at dusk?  Yes.  Yes, I have.

When H’s husband decided (ha!) to go out-of-town on business instead of use his ticket to see Brandi Carlile, I was happy to step in and be her date.  Every one… and I do mean EVERY ONE, has been talking about this girl.  Her voice.  Her stage presence.  Her history.  Her soul.  And I thought, well… I’ve been around a lot of music in my life.  Honestly.  How fantastic could she be?

She’s pretty great.  She’s actually maybe the best thing I’ve seen or heard.  I know that’s saying a lot… and I’m not giving up Patty or anything ridiculous like that.  It’s just time, I think, to make some room on Patty’s pedestal.  I do not think she would mind one bit.  This girl, well, she’s good. 

I was so very happy last night.  Happy.  Happy to be out with a good friend.  Happy to eat a picnic dinner with live music serenading me.  But happy, especially, for that old feeling of familiar music.  It’s been on a break, I suppose, and possibly vacationing with whoever does the dishes around this joint.  Not singing regularly with those greater than I has taken me out of a loop of practice and theory and inspiration… and it shows.  When I look back over the last couple years… it shows

Last night it just came sauntering back, a little smirk on its face and a serious rhythm in its step.  Welcome back, Friend.  I’ve missed you.  Come on in and stay awhile. or Forever.

Do I know who you’ve been listening to lately?


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

29 responses to “revival

  • kateohkatie

    Wow – HOW have I never heard of Brandi Carlile before? I just read her wikipedia (me = dork) and her music sounds right up my alley – I’ll have to give it a shot! 🙂

    I’ve been really adventurous with my music lately – I’ll listen to pretty much anything that somebody recommends. It doesn’t always work, though. A friend recommended Jane’s Addiction so I tried that and…NO. After a miserable few minutes on my walk home that night, I literally stopped in my tracks and switched my iPod to Josh Ritter. Much better 🙂

  • Julie

    I gotta say it again….I love Brandi Carlile. She went sooooo far up in my book after seeing her live. (and she was already way up there) I mean, dang, that voice! I thought about making a comment on your facebook about how you might really wish you were “seeing” her after the show but I thought people might not appreciate a good ol’ lesbian joke as much as me! hahahaha

    I have been on a Nanci Griffith and Emmylou kick lately. Nothin’ new, actually pretty old, but I am loving them!!!! “I Wish It Would Rain” “Working in Corners”

    • texasnorth

      Hey. If she asked me out I would not say no.
      Seriously- her voice. HER VOICE. It’s so different. It really is incredible.

    • texasnorth

      AND, I’m seriously affected by voices. I mean, a singer’s voice gets me before anything else…

      So, sometimes I can’t handle Nanci. Is that terrible? It’s true. But I have tons of her stuff. And Emmylou, well, that’s just classic.

  • Mandi

    I love the creative self-portrait. Really nice.

  • shanna

    So the boy took me on a date last night to ACL. It was Bob Schneider, who is pretty awesome if you haven’t happened upon him yet. But the huge awesomeness of the night came when our dear PATTY joined him on stage. I love surprises!! AND THEN, when we were leaving, the band AND PATTY passed right in front of us. Three feet. I think we made eye contact. AND, AND, AND, I caught the pick he threw out to the crowd. But I gave it to a drunk chick next to us because she was just so entertaining.

    and you’re real cute.

    • texasnorth

      SHUT. UP. Even I haven’t been to ACL yet! LUCKY. And I’m jealous of you being bffs with Patty now.

      But I know if I’d been there, youwould have given me the pick, right?

      • shanna

        no question. the pick would have been all yours. in fact, i should have mailed it. i apologize for my stupidity.

        when will you come back? i’ll find a way to get ACL tickets again!! All you really have to do is stand in line…and they’re FREE!!!!!!!!

  • estef

    you know Patty’s way up on my pedestal…but i discovered and downloaded 2 of Brandi’s albums a few months ago and i LOVE them. her lyrics are amazing. “Turpentine”…”My Story”…speaking to my heart and soul! i want to go to an outdoor concert with you and have a picnic dinner…just to two of us. sigh.

    • texasnorth

      Yeah. She really is an amazing songwriter… and I think that’s one of the things that makes her so great. Both she and Patty have this totally unique voice both on paper and in song. Love. Love love LOVE.

  • Erin

    Delta Spirit (band) Ode to Sunshine (CD). I love the lyrics and his voice, and the music. Pretty much the whole thing. Their second CD was NOT very good, and that hurts me to say, but it’s the truth. Really like the whole Ode to Sunshine CD, but if I were forced to single out a few songs, I’d point you to “People C’mon” for energy, “House Built for Two” when you are feeling deep and lost, “Strange Vine” for a good time, and “Streetwalker” for an insight into how your life could have been so different, and how some people get to the places they are in life.

  • LoLo

    My IPOD contains lots of random “stuff” but there are only two artists that I have uploaded the complete album(s) to it, Patti & Brandi.

    • texasnorth

      It’s because they’re awesome. And because you can turn their music up REALLY LOUD and sing your heart out, happy or sad.

      • LoLo

        Yes, unfortunately I usually subconsciously do this while at the gym and only realize I’m doing it when I start getting really weird stares from the person on the treadmill next to me :).

  • Amy B.

    So it cracks me up that I was looking forward to new music recommendations from your commenters and the first comment mentions Jane’s Addiction! Talk about old school. I didn’t discover them (and come to love them) until I was in college, but there best known albums were made when I was in junior high and high school. I still love singing along with “Jane Says”, soulfully, with eyes closed.

    It’s not particularly new, but my husband had on Austin City Limits with The Swell Season a couple of weeks ago and I remembered how much I love their music. If you haven’t seen the movie Once, run, don’t walk, to do so…

  • claire

    I really enjoy Crooked Still–the voice of their singer, Aoife O’Donovan is just wonderful.

    Also I’ve been listening to The Infamous Stringdusters’ new album–Things That Fly. Very good–I really enjoy the songs that are sung by their Dobro player and their bass player.

  • madjeepgirl

    What have I been listening to lately? the new David Gray, faded paper figures, minipop, the new pornographers (who are coming to Calvin…), and my fave Irish band Lunasa. I just don’t dig Brandi… to chris’ undying disappointment 😛

  • Chris

    Katie, you must must must try out Audrey Assad. She has such a lovely voice and her songs are wonderful! My favourite songs are The House You’re Building, and Known.

  • beckyswann

    Oh I love nights like that when you remember your love for music, and then you go home and drive JEremiah crazy saying how much you wish you could sing on a stage and just play your guitar all day…oh wait thats me:)
    Love Brandi, also been loving the weepies and the Be Good tanyas lately…I like to keep them in my back pocket for some wonderful harmony in my kitchen

  • Margie

    Love Patty, love Lyle, love the Girls. And now I’ve been introduced to Brandi. When you first mentioned her, I thought, “Isn’t she from way back?” But I’ve finally figured out that I was thinking Belinda Carlile, and I’m sure this reference dates me. (“We’ve Got the Beat” was sung in my junior high hallways.)

    I’ve been humming to Lucy Kaplansky lately, and recently popped in some old Liz Story (whom I’m not sure has produced anything new in years), but currently have in the kitchen CD player Disney music tunes, with an emphasis on Princess solos. Go figure.

  • Carley

    I too have never heard of Brandie Carlile before… huh… gonna look her up now. Oh… and I love the photo! Great idea!!

  • hursmi

    i love patty and brandi.
    the new weepies album came out today and I can’t wait to hear it!

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