What album to review first?
Those who know me in person know that music figures prominently into my life. I have to agree. Music expands my imagination and takes me to internal emotional and psychological landscapes of experience that for me are akin to mind altering drug use. I can feel the meaning in a chord, I can hear the emotion in a note, I can see the visions of the melody in my head.
In my parent’s music room, there is a black Steinway baby grand piano bearing teeth marks made by my baby teeth. My mother would play church hymns and classical pieces on this richly tuned beautiful 1917 model (or thereabouts) piano. Later, as I grew, and my siblings left the house, leaving me alone with my parents, this piano and me became even better acquainted, through piano lessons, and my own improvisation. When alone in the house, instead of doing what many teenagers might do, I improvised on this piano. Even when my parents were home, I would spend hours just trying out melodies, chord progressions, attempting to translate the cacophony of emotions in my head, into sound. When my mother, from the adjacent kitchen, would call out “play a song!”, my father would, from his chair in the living room, say “let the boy play.” And I would continue. I think my father, though not as musically talented as my mother, understood where music came from, and what I was doing.
Having said all that as a short introduction, it has been difficult to decide what album to choose to be the first album review here. There are so many that I enjoy, so many that are meaningful to me. There are albums from almost every genre known. Given my own emotional oddities, I tend toward music, and albums, that I feel are complete works of art. Not simply albums with twelve mildly connected songs, but albums that have an over-arching depth of meaning, story, and art style contained within the music, and the packaging. This is not to discount albums that are encapsulations of songs indicative of where a group or band is in their current career path. No. Those albums have their place and I will be reviewing the ones I find significant. For this inaugural review, however, I wanted to choose an album that represented as many genre’s as possible, and had a relevant story line for this category. I have chosen The Shaming of the True, by the late Kevin Gilbert. I’m formulating and writing the review over the next few days, and it will appear here this week. If you’d like to join my mental voyage through this album, spin it up on whatever device you have, if you have it. If not, go out and get it, it’s worth your money.