As most know the world lost Amy Winehouse last week. Clearly it is too easy to speculate why… because it is. Simple. Painful. Sad. Music is powerful stuff. I believe that power is due to music’s source within our deep core selves. At least for me music has a direct line to my emotional self. So this week I found myself listening to her music a lot (my favorite song being:” Love is a losing game”). Take the power of music; mix it with a troubled soul, money, fame, addiction… and some do not survive. Her loss this week was an all too eerie reminder of the “27 club”… Robert Johnson, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain (to name some of the more famous) and now Amy Winehouse… all dead at 27.
This blog short post at the No Depression music site was great and hooked me up with this moving clip. (embedding of this clip was disabled by request so off you go to YouTube). FYI...the title "No Depression", refers to a song written by southern gospel pioneer J.D. Vaughan called "No Depression In Heaven.". Truly one hopes there is “No Depression in Heaven” for Amy… RIP.
Given I am cursed with the need to seek balance (I figure I could be cursed w/ much worse)…I eventually found some musical balance and was uplifted today when I ran across another talented singer - Y’akoto. (her website is in German w/ some English Translation). She is German/Ghanaian & mixes deep soul, blues & Jazz coming up with (to my ear) an authentic fresh sound . I hear Billy Holiday’s phrasing at times, with an African soul/blues feel. Music like wine defines language… it must be experienced. So with that note… check her out. I have listed a few resources because I’ve struggled finding good sound quality samples. The only full song I found where “Baby Blues” and “Tamba” on this Okayafrica profile (found via this brief but good Spotlight in the Afropop blog). Definitely someone worth keeping an ear out for.
More later - robward