Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day Six: Smooth Sailing with Martina McBride and Dave Barnes

One thing I can definitely say that I've learned today is that music, and even holiday tunes, is greatly affected by a sense of context.

Let me explain.

Today began with a bit of a jumble, unsure if my wife, who'd stayed home the previous day sick from work, was going to be up and at 'em this morning.  Therefore, I was rushing around a little bit more than usual, gathering the kids' things together, making lunches, and trying to take care of some of my own business in the meantime.  Thankfully, my wife was feeling better (although, as we speak, she's sitting on the couch sniffling and breathing more through her mouth than nose) but by the time that knowledge was secured, the damage was done.  The day was begun in middle American chaos.

So, without breakfast in my belly, I hurriedly grabbed a random handful of Christmas records on the way out the door, hoping for the best.

As fate would have it, God was on my side.

Here's where context comes into play.  If I had grabbed something wicked engaged, overwrought, and super-upbeat, I might have not made it.  However, the first album to hit the CD player was none other than Martina McBride's White Christmas. For those who haven't heard the album, it's a very sophisticated, very smooth record.  McBride's powerful vocals weave themselves in and out nicely with the orchestration, keeping things on an even keel throughout.  And with the morning I had, that's just what I needed, smooth and even.

The beauty was that it helped smooth out my nerves as well, preparing me for the day that was to come.  Which, of course, was befitting it's full moon notoriety as we ran to and fro like the proverbial chicken with it's head cut off.

So you can appreciate, if even for a bit, as my second album of the day, in between jobs, was Dave Barnes' Very Merry Christmas. While not an album that took my breath away when it released last year, today it fit the bill, with Barnes' cool, romantic holiday tunes soothing the weary soul, making me long for that cold snowy night (something I've frankly never known as a Florida native) "trapped" with my special girl.  Again, it fit that smooth bill just fine.

Barnes' carried me through Work #2 and onto my small group night, which was great.  And, again, context being taken into consideration, after our warm and engaging conversation, I finished the night off with Sugarland and their Gold and Green. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush's vocals ooze warmth, home, and the full-on holiday spirit and capture the sense of family, and yes, fun, with the best of them.  A great finish to a roller coaster of a day.

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