Turning 40 was pretty painless thanks to The Beautiful Wife. Film and pizza on the day (Slumdog Millionaire - very very good, if you're a Danny Boyle fan then you will enjoy it and the cast is excellent); then my favourite Thai restaurant on Sunday with friends, organised in secret by TBW. Highlight of the day was surely singing a duet with my best mate's 9 month old daughter.
Monday finds me in acoustic reverie with a random selection from iTunes that are running on repeat currently in this house.
Firstly as a result of his passing I've been digging into John Martyn's earlier works and, in one of those funny little connections I find myself posting John The Baptist a week after posting Salome. It's a song I know, but you know sometimes tunes just make sense at a particular time. Well this just gets me right now, I love the opening lines:
"I'm John the Baptist
And this is my friend Salome
And you can bet it's my head she wants
And not my heart only
If you see me smiling
And you wonder why
You can bet it's a private joke
Between her and I."
And when John and Beverley repeat the verse as a duet halfway through I just melt. And the harmonies over the end are just beautiful.
Next up on the playlist is Kevin Mcdermott and a little tune from a little solo album (Slow Time And Temptation) he made back in the mid 80s called Farewell To Jenny Lynd, which I think is one of the most beautiful little songs ever, with a gorgeous melody and some great vocals.
Give Me Another Chance by Big Star has been a favourite around these parts in small bursts for a couple of years, a big Beatley melody that sparkles across slow strummed acoustics. It sounds like the sun coming out on a frozen winter morning.
Then a very random little tune, a demo of the song I Start Counting by Basil Kirchin which comes from a compilation called Fuzzy Felt Folk. Basil Kirchin had a long and interesting career, big band jazz, film soundtracks and experimental found sound albums and is well worth investigating. There are other versions, for instance you may know one by Dusty Springfield. But this is lovely.
Finally Sally Free And Easy by Davy Graham from his album Folk Blues And Beyond. A hugely talented and influential musician who passed away last December and whose death should have gotten just as much attention around the blogs as John Martyn. This probably isn't hugely representative of his work but it's a cool little folk pop tune all the same.