My sister just had a baby, so she has a new life now. Not like, "Wow, life is really different now." No, I mean it, she really has a brand spanking new life it's as if she were just born (again) too. She breast-feeds for two hours, every two hours in a 24-hour period. Can you imagine if you had to eat that frequently, woke in the middle of the night, every night, because you were so starving that you started crying? Being a newborn and the mother of a newborn is the closest we humans get to being animal. It's all on instinct the baby eats and sleeps, Michelle feeds and sleeps, that's basically it there's no time for anything else except natural bodily functions. So, I'm trying to help out. Most of the time I don't know what to do but bring her food and hold that little starving animal in those short spans of time that she's not starving. And then it dawned on me, the two of them, they just sit there in that chair all day, eating and feeding, feeding and eating there's got to be a soundtrack to this crazy, animalistic chapter in life. Music is the savior here. And given that she's a folk-lover with hippie tendencies (she hates when I say that, but it's true), Jim Guthrie will be my next offering. It's sweet and soft and quiet enough to play in the wee hours, and engaging and sweeping enough to tickle your (and the baby's) senses anytime.
Though Woody Guthrie comparisons are inevitable (and a little fitting), the focus
needs to be on the playing it's wonderfully moving, evidence of the hard
work and sweat that went into creating Now, More Than Ever. Immersed in
beautiful, stirring string arrangements, heartfelt melodies and an all-around
warm and welcoming down-home folk feel, the new album is sincerely soothing,
helping you swallow whichever chapter of life you face. Opener "Problem With
Solutions" is built on a breezy rhythm section, back-porch banjo and sitting-room
cello, while the light, tapping "Broken Chair" is textured with moaning viola
and violin and piano. "Time Is a Force" snaps, stomps and reveals a slight Modest
Mouse influence for its offbeat stop-start rhythms, building-and-reaching melodies
and Isaac Brock-like vocals. Given a restrained island feel with the ukulele
and slide guitar, "You Are Far (Do You Exist?)" is a quirky, minimal number made
out of curious passion and a beat that make you want to swivel your hula hips.
The fact that my sister has to have this little hungry baby attached to her half the time still baffles me. But hearing that her neighbors play horrible house techno beats throughout the night is even more disturbing. Let Aunt Jenny not those tasteless neighbors give that baby music, and her mom a little escape.