When I first got Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald‘s Fool’s Paradise CD, I couldn’t listen to it all the way through in one sitting. It’s so powerful, so beautiful, that it was just too much to take all at once.
(How do music reviewers do this? I know how to grab someone, shove headphones on their head, and say “here, you’ve got to listen to this”, but how do you write about it, and make sense, and get the feeling across?)
Paul and Eleanore have been performing together for twenty years, and have released seven CDs, recorded for the most part in their home studio. There was a time when I would have added some sort of disclaimer about how it’s really well recorded and mixed, not just some home recording, but anymore I’ve come to love the feeling that I’m listening to something made by hand, by someone who loved doing it, so much that I won’t. It sounds lovely, and they made it for you with their own hands and voices and hearts.
I would have said that 9/11 no longer had much left to move me, that it had been so over-exposed and over-examined that there was nothing left, but I hadn’t heard their Josephine:
Josephine was born on the north side of town
on a warm Tuesday morning with the sun streaming down
The red leaves of autumn had yet to fall
and her Daddy went missing when his ladder got the call
“There are fires in Manhattan
like a war on TV”
And a nation staggered bleary eyed
From its blind reverie
When all at once, tomorrow came suddenly
Like a shot heard around the world
like the only piece of news
It choked any other thing that might have spoken true
Just rally ’round the flag, boys, and demonize the foe
When our hearts have turned against us
Like the fury of the sea
And thoughts of Josephine
are all there should be…..