Sunday, October 19, 2003
Wellstone World Music Day on 10-25-03 and Pierce Pettis on 10-3-03 at The Falls Church in Fall Church Virginia
Per this web site - http://www.wellstoneworldmusicday.com/ - the upcoming anniversary of Senator Paul Wellstone's tragic death, is to be celebrated with a number of concerts dedicated to his memory. If you are part of a musical event on 10-25-03, considering dedicating it the memory of Paul Wellstone by registering your event at this site - or a least mentioning him in memory at your event. The sites lists these area events already registered - and the web pages of the Grandsons and the Arlington VA Museum of Modern Art also cite the the commitment of these concerts to Paul Wellstone's memory.
Harrisburg, PA - JOHN MCCUTCHEON plays the Harrisburg Area Community College (717)763-5744
Silver Spring, MD - THE GRANDSONS at Half Moon Barbeque, 8235 Georgia Ave. 9 P.M., 301-585-1290. Grandsons bass player John Young was a student of Professor Wellstone at Carleton College during the 1980's
Arlington, Virginia - Musicians and poets gather at The Museum Of Modern Art, 1116 N. Hudson St., 8 p.m.-midnight.
Reflections on the Pierce Pettis Concert on 10-3-03 at The Falls Church in Fall Church Virginia I love hearing Pierce Pettis anywhere. This venue is a historic church - there was a wooden church on this site in 1732 and this building dates from 1769. Sitting in the pews, I remember the churches in Williamsburg Va.
We arrive before the doors open for the concert and so we mill about in a bookstore area for a C. S. Lewis conference taking place in the new church area. The couple in the bookstore are from Pennsylvania. He tells me he has a photograph he has in his office of Pierce Pettis and Brooks Williams from a concert where they were singing a Mark Heard song soon after Mark Heard died. The couple are huge Pierce Pettis fans, and did not know Pierce would be here tonight. They regret mightily their commitment to sell books. I hope they are able to take turn sneaking out to see part of the music.
Pierce's Songs include:
Neutral Ground - co-written with Fred Koller - a song about New Orleans and saints, sinners
Georgia Moon - Pierce wanted to write a song inspired by the area the Southern writer Flannery O'Connor was from - but this turns out to be in a different locale.
You Move Me - this is a one song medley of Greatest Pierce Pettis hits. This is a hit because Garth Brooks had a hit covering it.
Crying Ground - co-written with Tom Kimmel this is one of the loviest sad song I had heard.
A Mountaineer is Always Free - sings of the pride of the Scots-Americans in Appalachia. When Pierce was touring Scotland recently, this song got radio play in Scotland
Just Like Jim Brown (She Is History) - She Walked Away Just Like Jim Brown - a guy friendly love song with references to stuff guys like - football players and auto parts
You Did That for Me
Granddaddy Blew the Whistle - Pierce's uncle was a retired VP of Southern RR and his granddady Leon was a railroad engineer -in this instrumental how does Pierce get the guitar to sound so like a whistle?
Alabama 1959 - written after looking at home movies in Pierce's parent's attic.
At the break, someone comes up to talk about how moved they are by references to segregation in Alabama 1959. Pierce talks about a hero of his, Will Davis Campbell, who was one of the few whites in the Southern Christian Leadership conference and who tried to keep a dialogue open with whites - saying we have to know what is right and still keep talking to people we love (families and neighbors) who do not agree with our values (supporting integration). You don't agree with them, but you love them. That is tough love.
Songs after the break include:
Anybody's Girl - about grace from the point of view of an "untrustworthy" narrator -
The Black Sleep Boy - about loving the child who takes another path
You are mine - I will sing to you my song of songs
Outlaw - "I have been an outlaw all my former life" - I love this song. Yes other people may describe me as breaking their rules, but what are my values?
The Sad Smile of the Mona Lisa
State of Grace (he sang my request - yes!)
God Believes in You
We Will Meet Again
These are my reflections after the concert:
The group sponsoring the concert tonight is the young adult community here called Kairos, who are doing this as a benefit to raise money for some missions with AIDS victims in Africa. This church is so idealist and so conservative (which is not my perspective). This church's web site now talks about the coming potential Episcopalian split over a homosexual bishop, whose election I celebrated (though I am not Episcopalian). Civil rights issues did split American churches. How to keep dialog open around issues around the validity of a homosexual sexual preference. This is a huge "values" issue. Where are the Will Davis Campbell's on this issue?
P.S. - Lots of Pierce Pettis fans are fans, as Pierce is, of the music of Mark Heard. If you don't have Mark Heard collection - you can get one instantly for $10 - Paste Records has a special on - 6 Mark Heard Cassettes for $10 - see http://www.pastemusic.com/product/603