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Mar 12, 2013

Carried Away

I'm watching Mumford and Sons: The Road to Red Rocks, a documentary/concert short film following my new favorite band on a tour of festival-type stopovers they played last year. 

I wish it were longer.   

I wish I could afford to see them play live.

I wish I would have known about them when their tickets were more affordable.

I'm loving watching them play.  I can see the music moving them, literally and not.  It's in them.  It can't help but come out.  I don't know what they're like in their lives, day-to-day.  Maybe they're boring bigots or lovely souls or everything in between...but as they play, they're elevated beyond a simple group of gifted musicians. 

They are joy.  They are pain.  They are love.  They are aching hearts and gut-wrenching regret and relentless hope.  They feel every word they sing and note they play with every lift of their voice and pick of their guitars and stomp of their feet and too-long blink of their eyes.  And they make me feel every bit of it.

I love blues and folk and jazz and rootsy music for that reason.  The raw, stripped naked beauty of it.  It gets down to it, the heart of what makes us the beautifully flawed humans we all are.  No weird computer sounds.  No auto-tune, over produced, meaningless, emotionally void noise.  Just real people singing and playing real music driven by real emotions and passions that demand to get out. 

Not that I don't enjoy cheesy 80's music or good old rock and roll.  It's fun and crazy and not much is better than dancing around with the kids on a Saturday morning to My Sharona.  It's good times. 

But it doesn't move me. 

Like several months ago I was on an all too rare solo grocery shopping spree at Kroger.  Since I had no kids to mind, I was listening to Babel, Mumford & Sons latest album.  Below My Feet came on and, though I'd listened to it several times before, I'd never heard it with my earbuds in, which is to say I'd never heard it so clearly with my attention so focused on it.  The song was building and I was swept up in it.  I forgot what I was looking for.  Why was I in the organic section again? 

Then the last chorus comes, the band feverish, the vocals pleading "Keep the earth below my feet, from my sweat, my blood runs weak, let me learn from where I have been..."  and, bam, I stop breathing for a second.  I stop my mindless organic wandering, rewind that part and play it again, my skin awash in gooseflesh.  I did that three more times, lost in the absolute and, quite literally, breath-taking moment before I remembered where I was and that I should probably get back to my grocery list.     

That band, that song, that moment in that song made me lose myself.  There are so few precious things in this life that can do that to me.  Music is near the top of that list, as I'm sure it is for many people who allow themselves to be carried away...

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