Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Stirring Song: Gather by Jay Farrar

I'm a music lover -- always have been, always will be. But lately I'm finding too much new music boring or uninspiring. There's some good stuff out there, no doubt, but seldom does it seem lasting. It's good for a few weeks or months, but soon forgotten.

However, I recently heard a song -- now 9 years old -- that just floored me and made me recall why I love music so much. It's from the Jay Farrar produced "The Slaughter Rule" movie soundtrack. The song is Gather. I never saw the movie and can only barely remember ever having heard of it, but recently, Amazon offered a Bloodshot Records sampler ("Bloodshot Records Spring Cleaning Sampler") and Gather was the second track. I listened to the whole sampler one straight though before starting another listen. On the second listen, driving home from work, Gather played again. This time I was riveted. I played it over. More riveted. A third time. More riveted; more moved.

Simple. Soaring. Beautiful.

At home, I put the song away for a few hours until I could sit down with my wife and I told her "You must hear this song. I love it. Turn off Twitter, shutdown Facebook, and just sit here and listen with me for the next 4 minutes." She did. By minute 2, my eyes had watered up and I could barely talk. Verklempt, I said "I don't know what it is about this song that moves me so much. It just does!" And together we listened until the song was over. I think she liked it too, but wasn't used to the chordal progressions the way I was.

I discovered that the song has a video to go with it (I don't think it's official) and the video is nice, but I think the visual stimulation in this case hinders rather than helps the song. This is a song best appreciated with eyes closed and just taken wholly in by the ears. Also, tinny PC speakers don't do any song true justice. If you'd like, the whole sampler is still available as a free download from Amazon (click on the link above; it's got many good rockabilly songs on it too). Get it and play Gather through your highest fidelity set up. I'm sure you'll be moved too.

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