Once, we made mix-tapes on cassettes. (Compact Audio Cassettes, to be precise.)
Then, we burned mix-CDs.
Now, we assemble playlists.
Last year at this time, I put together a playlist that I called: The Best of 2011: Discoveries & Resurrections. The collection contained 17 tracks by 17 different artists/groups. Bob Dylan, The Decemberists, Gillian Welch, Joe Liggins & The Honeydrippers, Pat Metheny, Sierra Noble and Erma Franklin were among those who made the cut.
Being an “old school” kind of guy, I burned the playlist to a CD, printed out a label for the disc, typed up a track list and tucked it all into a new, clear jewel- box case. I made two additional copies of the finished package and gave one to each of my two children for Christmas.
This year, having listened often to the Best of 2011 CD and receiving positive reviews from my daughter and son, I assembled a new collection for 2012.
As in 2011, many of the year’s “resurrections” were a direct result of my writings in this blog. Many of my “discoveries” came about (again) thanks to my guitar students. One student in particular, A, introduced me to the music of Ben Howard and his wondrous song “Old Pine.”
In the Fall, A had first mentioned Ben Howard and I helped him try to learn to play a song of Ben’s called “The Fear.” In November, at the end of one of his guitar lessons, A asked if I’d like to hear another Ben Howard song. Plugging the patch cord from my stereo into A‘s smart phone, we sat and listened, smiling, as “Old Pine” danced around my teaching studio.
I was dazzled.
“As the old pine fell, we sang… just to bless the morning.”
(If I may suggest: don’t watch the video. Close your eyes and just listen.)
Ben Howard is a 25-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist from West London, England. He first released “Old Pine” on a self-produced EP in 2010 and then included it on his 2011 Island Records CD Every Kingdom.
“Old Pine” is high on my list of the Best of 2012.