Friday, July 23, 2010

Music for the Writer's Soul - Patty Griffin

My younger brother introduced me to Patty Griffin's music. And I thank him for it! If you haven't heard of her, she's an amazing artist. A singer/songwriter, her music is Americana with a touch of soul. As well as singing her own songs, a lot of well known artists have recorded her music.

And some of her lyrics can be haunting. What more could a writer ask for when needing inspiration for the muse?

On the long drive to the evil day job, I plug my iPod into my car speakers. Driving is usually the only time I pay attention to lyrics. Most of the time, music is white noise to combat distractions while writing or at work.

I commute on a very curvy backwoods state highway. Lots of critters pass through the route. I've seen at least ten deer in the last few days and a dozen smaller creatures who didn't survive the crossing. I can't exactly take my eyes off the road to check the iPod and see which song is playing.

The highway is also very narrow. And there's not a shoulder to pull off on. More like--white line, dirt. Not that I haven't hit the dirt when avoiding a log truck on the wrong side of a yellow line! But to check the iPod for a song title...well, I do have some sense! *cackle*

But one line of lyric in particular caught my attention one day.

Blew out the light in my soul

There it is... "Blew out the light in my soul".

O.M.G.! The muse took off and had me reaching for the voice recorder. Took me two days to find the song again on my iPod but the refrain is even more inspirational. That's what I get for having way too many songs loaded!

Cold As It Gets

I know a cold as cold as it gets
I know a darkness that's darker than coal
A wind that blows as cold as it gets
Blew out the light in my soul
Blew out the light in my soul

Someday, I'll have time to write the story this song inspired. I wonder if it's appropriate to thank a songwriter in a book's acknowledgments?

Here's a really great profile on Patty Griffin. The song she's singing in the beginning is Cold As It Gets. A song later in the piece is called Mother of God and is another of my favorites.


Jeannene Walker said...

Thanks for sharing this Shayla. I love music and the discovery of a new artist that inspires is exciting. I have found a group through my Pandora station. I think they are Altran. It is an Irish group and the words to their songs moves me.

katsrus said...

I love finding new music/artist as much as I love finding a new author or book. Thank you.
Sue B

Shayla Kersten said...

@Jeannene I really love Patty's style. I'll have to check out Altran. I think I've heard of them. I find a lot of music from YouTube fan vids and television shows. The trend to have popular music as part of TV soundtracks has netted me a bunch of new favorites.

@SueB Hiya, girl. Patty Griffin is a great new artist to find. My little brother has been a fan of her almost since her first album. I'm late to the bandwagon but I'm grateful I didn't miss it entirely.