An Unexpected Gift: Music From The Supposedly Destitute

Last week when I came in to work at the bakery, a colleague handed me a note. “Someone left this for you.”

“This” turned out to be a New York Times article about a group of musicians, all refugees, in a camp called The Jungle in the Parisian outskirts known as Calais. “For Gretchen,” was all the note said–unsigned.

I read the article, titled “Musicians in a Refugee Camp in France Record ‘The Calais Sessions.'” I was so moved by the story, I immediately went to the musicians’ website to buy their album.

I listened to one song before buying, but honestly–I didn’t need to. The idea of people crawling out of evil and hatred and misery and death to come together to produce music–that ultimate expression of humanity–that’s all I needed to know. That, to me, IS music.

I imagine some of you might feel the same way. To read more, and/or to order your own CD or digital version of The Calais Sessions, click here.

And to the person who left me that article? Thank you. You rock.

What’s Your Happy Song? Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow”: Not Too Happy, But Boy it Works For Me

Do you have a happy song?

You know what I mean. That song that shoots a stream of energy into your blood and makes your body start moving no matter how tired you are at work, or how long you’ve been sitting in traffic.
It doesn’t have to be happy. Mine isn’t. For some reason, whenever my co-worker Ty plays his “Stompgrass” playlist in the bakery and “Barton Hollow” comes on, I have to dance in the middle of rolling out butterhorn dough. It’s a pretty bleak song. Doesn’t matter.

I’m not going to analyze a thing about beat or harmony or the effect of those Southern lyrics on my North Carolina soul. I’m just going to share the song and let you see what I mean:

And then of course I have to ask: What’s your Happy Song? Maybe I can get Ty to add it to his playlist.