The songs and artists on this playlist evoke a sense of hard-fought, hard-won, deep and rich joy. It is not a simple, one-dimensional joy. It has the sound of being churned about, tried and tested again. And now, just maybe, the joy being properly vetted, can be enjoyed. I look up to these artists, as they convey a message of calm and confident optimism.
We are all faced with the dualities of a temporal world…birth and death, gain and loss, pleasure and pain.
These songs speak to the strength of the human spirit amidst that world, and give me courage to carry on regardless of what’s happening, good or bad. They also provide a glimpse at an eternal reality of peace and balance (that has nothing to do with time, space or duality) that is hard to see or believe in when I am churning in the opposites…fear of loss, a craving for more and more solidity, and the dread that I will never have or be enough.
We need artists for this very reason; to go beyond our normal, conditioned ways of thinking about life, and to give us a new perspective with which to test our old and sometimes outdated paradigms.
My area of expertise is bluegrass and old-time fiddle. Though I am not a vocalist or pop artist, I gain inspiration from all styles. The feeling and sound of the above mentioned “hard-won joy” is what transcends specific genres for me. A goal of mine is to take this base emotional element, and with it, transfuse my fiddle playing and songwriting.
My hope is that you can find some joy and something to relate to in these songs as I did. Thank you for listening.
Photo Credit Louise Bichan
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