I’ve never been sure why new music is cyclical. Business, of course, has its seasons. Likewise the planet. Music happens in a state of spontaneity, like any art form. Nevertheless, mid to late summer, like the New Year, invariable sees a lull in activity, nationally speaking. This week, more than any other in recent memory is an advantageous one for local artists.
Two in particular:
Chanteuse and guitarist Diane Jarvi is a staple of the music scene in the Twin Cities. What’s impressive about that is that she’s gained that status very much on her own terms. Emerging years back in a sort of Franco-crossover style she’s become associated with, she has evolved in many crafty ways over the years. Her New cd: “This Ordinary Day” may well be the perfect soundtrack for this sleepy mid-summer.
That’s not to suggest a soporific, vibe. What struck me was the lyrics. Adaptations from poetry like “I’m a Volcano” (Helmi Mattson), and Originals like “Lucky To Be Alive” (co-penned with John Reinhard) should be on many a seasonal playlist.
Session guy, label “exec,” instructor, composer-guitarist and family man Zacc Harris just sent us “Small Wonders,” (Shifting Paradigm). It’s his role as a father/husband that serves as one of his inspirations for this group outing. Of course family can also extend to the wider music community, especially with Harris. Friends and compatriots John Raymond, Brandon Wozniak, Bryan Nichols and the Bates brothers, Chris and JT lend support. As a very recent empty-nester, this was a nice memento for me of the early joys of parenthood. Especially “A Beautiful Life” and the bittersweet “The Void.” Parenthood is not a pre-requisite for enjoyment, of course.
Kevin O’Connor: Host of “The Afternoon Cruise” and “This Just In.”