Eleven Songs I Write To and One Guilty Pleasure
This month I'm joined by my first guest from across the Atlantic. Gae-Lynn hails from East Texas and she is the author of the crime novel "The Devil Of Light" featuring Detective Cass Elliot. When Gae-Lynn is not writing the second novel in the series, she is looking after her herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle. You can learn more about her and her work at http://www.gaelynnwoods.com.
Thanks for letting me visit your blog, Sinclair, and especially to talk about music! I always, always have a song in my head (at the moment, it’s Saturday Night at the Duck Pond by The Cougars). Even my dreams have a soundtrack. I’m married to a jazz musician, so our house is full of tunes by Joe Pass, Lennie Tristano, Charlie Christian, Nat Cole, and many other jazz giants.
I’m a moody creature when it comes to music while I write, and quite variable in what I select. But there are a few old stand-bys that help me put words to paper on almost any occasion:
1. Lola by The Kinks: There’s such innocence in Ray Davies’ delivery of this song that I can’t help but smile every time I hear it. It’s the perfect antidote to an overcast day.
2. Deepest Darkest by Patti Plinko and Her Boy: My husband and I saw Patti and her boy perform at a club in Covent Garden. To my ear, she’s the female Tom Waits.
3 Goin’ Southbound by Stan Ridgway: Lyrics are important to me, and Ridgway is a great storyteller. Listening to him is an education in delivering a full story about a heist where even the cops are on the take in just a few verses.
4. Mozart: The String Quartets performed by the Hagen Quartett: They say that Mozart is brain food, and when played by the Hagen Quartett, I agree. Their box set, Mozart The String Quartets, is brilliant.
5. Right Through You by Alanis Morissette: When I think of the number of times a man has symbolically patted me on the head, dismissing me as he assumed that I was a sweet little gal with no potential – I could scream. Morissette’s answer to such condescending behavior is so sweet: phenomenal success. This one reminds me to keep the violence on the page.
6. Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing by Chris Isaak: Isaak’s voice is pure sex in this one – a great backing track for a hot scene.
7. Goody, Goody by Julie London: I listen to the “Julie is her Name” album for peace. London’s voice, Barney Kessel on guitar, and Ray Leatherwood on bass. Gorgeous.
8. Creeque Alley by The Mamas and The Papas: This song describes the lineage of The Mamas and The Papas, and reminds me that you never know where life will take you.
9. Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed: Stan Overheart, one of the characters in The Devil of Light, is a bit of a hippie. He owns The Golden Gate Café in imaginary Forney County and plays music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. This is one of Stan’s favorites. He says that Herbie Flowers’ twin bass lines – upright and bass guitar – is ‘straight from the fridge, dad’, as is the sax solo by Ronnie Ross. In my opinion, both make the song.
10. One Vision by Queen: Freddie Mercury’s voice is one of my all time favorites. As is Brian May’s guitar. And May’s hair. This song and its ‘fried chicken’ ending lifts me!
11. My Funny Valentine by Chet Baker: In honor of the holiday of love this month, here’s Chet’s vocal version. His ‘Deep in a Dream’ album is balm for the troubled soul.
Tom Sawyer by Rush. Geddy Lee’s bass line, his unique voice, Neil Peart’s drums. Mmm. Makes me giddy every time I hear it.
Thanks to Gae-Lynn for an eclectic mix of music that I'm sure everyone will enjoy. Your love of music is clear in every track and your comments. Also a big public thank you for all your kind retweets and the conversations we've had on Twitter.