by Doug MacRostie
The fact that Centerstage MN this week falls on Christmas Eve is a big deal. Huge, really. And with a mix of non-traditional and semi-traditional Xmas tunes and an interview with Amy and Adams I've got enough holiday cheer to break an elephants ankle (oh snap!).
Amy and Adams new CD "Dancing Through Time" is their best yet as this husband and wife duo continue to evolve and grow musically. They write positive music (even when it's a negative topic) with a goal of helping spread good in the world. If that wasn't enough to justify a Christmas Eve interview, Mark also wrote a holiday song called "Got a Candle In My Window." With beautiful harmonies in songs like "Just Blowin' Round" and "I Keep Knocking" they've got a real good thing going here. My favorite track on the album is "Hippie at Heart" which expounds on the Woodstock Generation's loss of vision as they aged. I completely agree - with all the freedom, love and equality, saving the plant and saving humanity - things like taking care of the earth and the sick and the poor and the young... that 'everyone was doing' back in the 60's & 70's, I often wonder wth happened??? But, I'm under 30... Apparently, Mark has wondered the same thing and the song sings about the feeling back then that things WOULD change, that future generations wouldn't have to fight for clean water and food. Mark thinks it isn't too late to recapture that spirit of youth and use it as a powerful and lasting positive impact on the world. More power to 'em.
We'll also hear an original holiday tune from the Pitbull of Folk; Paul Metsa's "Christmas at Molly's" and a brand new song from Stacey K with POGMATONE called "On and On" from a new CD called Christmas Jam II, which is a compillation of MN artists being sold to raise money and awareness for MN food shelves. I'm not 100% sure that's an image of the album artwork...I've been having trouble finding an official website for the CD, but a lot of different places are talking about it...
We'll also hear Amy Marie, a wonderful pianist with Spiritwood Music by Ely. Her holiday CD is called "Simple Gifts" and she's joined by cellist Matt Turner and voilinist Randal Harrison. And the MN Music Gods will kill me on the spot if I don't play something off of Bob Dylan's new "Christmas in the Heart." Have you heard it? What do you think? There seem to be two camps; those who hate it, can't stand it and say the singing is aweful... AND those who say, "So?" and enjoy it anyway. I am in the "So?" camp, fyi - and if you weren't already disturbed enough by Dylan's Xmas album, check out the inside cover artwork on the right... classy, right?
Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at www.KAXE.org; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at www.KAXE.org and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.
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