Songwriter Melody Moon Reviews Episode 2
Another wonderful review from Melody Moon for Episode Two featuring Kris Kristofferson, Randy Owen, and Patty Griffin:
What a treat to review these three legendary songwriters! I appreciate the opportunity to do so. Thank you Legends and Lyrics!
First off, what a unique group to listen to, all songwriters, but all so very different in my eyes...
On (Kris Kristofferson)-
Most of us recognize Kris Kristofferson as a Texas native with iconic good looks on the silver screen, and his infamous songs he wrote for others to sing that made him an influential songwriter in
the music industry. In my opinion I feel he's most known for his descriptive song "Me and My Bobby McGee" recorded by Janis Joplin, which he sang at the end of the show.
I've got a great story I heard about Kris Kristofferson that I'll share...He flew helicopters in the army in his early years (he was the rank of Captain in the Airborne Rangers), and he wanted to get George Jones's attention to hear one of his songs. So he used his helicopter flying skills to land on George Jones property to get him to listen to it, lol... I don't know which song it was though, wish I did. Pretty clever networking there!
I know his songwriting got him in the door first in his career, then his acting followed. I also remember him rising and making a mark of his own in the music industry with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings in the group called the Highwaymen, they were very well know in country music. Kristofferson won 3 Grammys with that group.
I know he is one of the most well known songwriters in my lifetime, but it still hurts me to hear him sing, as legendary as he is, singing isn't one of his best assets, lol...If you notice he kind of speaks most of his songs...
But he made it to the top of the music industry, and won many Grammys for his songs and many awards. So that just proves anything in this world is possible if you want it bad enough!
I researched him a bit after watching this show. Finding out he was a Golden Gloves boxer at Pomona College in California and studied creative writing, and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to study literature at Oxford University, and he also turned down an assignment to teach at Westpoint. With his intelligence he could have done anything he wanted career wise, but he chose to be a songwriter and actor. By 1987 it was estimated that 450 artists had recorded his songs. Kris Kristofferson has one incredible life story if you ask me!
On (Patty Griffin)-
Patty has such a beautiful soul filled voice with lots of dynamics that draw you into listening to every word that she sings. I loved hearing the story of her listening to her mother's beautiful voice growing up, I'm sure she was a great inspiration to her as she said. And I thought hearing her say she decided she wanted to be a singer at 12yrs old was pretty epic to hear from the gifted songbird.
I loved the first song "Top of The World" she sang about a maybe family member, or not :-), It sounded like someone really tried to break her Spirit as a singer/songwriter, and boy did she prove them wrong! At least that's what I got from her song. And that's the cool thing about songs, we can interpret them any way we want, no one really ever knows the truth unless the songwriter speaks of the story behind the song.
Well I'm from Austin where Patty Griffin has played most of her years, and I've always known her as one of Austin's great female singer/songwriters. But I feel after playing with Robert Plant in his (Band of Joy), and also having a relationship with him really got her the recognition as a singer/songwriter she deserved finally... She's amazing at her craft, but everyone needs a hand up in the business, and I feel Mr. Plant truly helped her along with that. Wish they wouldn't have split up, we had one of my all time favorite singers living in our fair city of Austin for a while, to me, it kind of gave our city some musical mystique essence when he was here.
Her second song "No Bad News" was a little more of an aggressive style, I personally like her ballads better. But as a human being and songwriter we all have so many different emotions we go through and need to write about.
Her third song was completely beyond amazing to me! She said she has a hard time being brave...And she was inspired by watching Martin Luther King's speech she had heard before, but said she really paid attention to it the time she wrote "Up to The Mountain". Glad she felt such an inspiration, because such a beautiful song came from it, with her lovely voice soaring from low to high notes with melodic ease. She got a well deserved standing ovation at the end of that song. Keep writing those beautiful songs Patty!
On (Randy Owen)-
His band Alabama was huge in the 80's and early 90's with their string of country hits. I remember hearing his songs play in the country bars, which were always immediately identifiable because they had such a full sound with catchy melody's and beautiful harmonies, and were produced so very well. There was just a different sound when one of their songs played in the dancehall bars.
When Randy played his songs in the round for Legends and Lyrics you could feel the mood of the song in an instant...And that's the true gift of a great songwriter to me.
I liked when he said his father used to read the bible and poetry to him as a youngster, you can tell that meant a lot to him to speak of that time. And I'm sure it helped to nurture his natural songwriting abilities
And I also liked when he said that no one really told him he was good, and that made him strive to be creative and do his best on every song. He's a very wise and humble soul in my opinion.
His first song "Tennessee River" is such a cool country folk type song, he sings of his love of nature and the river and making his plans for his life there, and it was played with such a great rhythmic beat.
His second song "Feels So Right" is the epitome of a beautifully written heart felt love song...That song makes you want to fall in love, if love can make you feel such beautiful thoughts as in that song.
His third song "Mountain Music" told the story of listening to his grandma and grandpa play songs from the south, with a happy upbeat rhythm to it. An anthem to his family's cajun roots in Alabama, and music.
All of his songs are written with such heart and meaning, whether they are up-tempo tunes or ballads, they are all well written songs!
He just seems like a well rounded down home country man, that just happens to be a world renowned songwriter to boot.:-)
I have to say, when this show was over and they were standing together smiling from ear to ear listening to the admiration of applause for their songs, I got goosebumps all over both my arms. It's like you could feel the exchange of love in the room, from the songwriters to their appreciative audience...so beautiful... Great show, loved it!!