Sunday, February 20, 2011

Songs From Poems -> The Hammond Organ: Tavern

Kris Delmhorst: Tavern


Kris Delmhorst's 2006 album Strange Conversation is an especially literary one, comprised entirely of songs based around or adapted from poems. The set includes a full range of performances, from full-on electrified folkpop to sultry singer-songwriter narratives, from dustbowl americana confessionals to soft, almost jazz-folk mood pieces, all of which hew close to the poetic moods established by the like of cummings, Byron, Browning, Whitman, Rumi, George Eliot, and other names generally less well known outside of the world of English Lit, making the album one of the true gems of any well-read audiophile's collection.

Like the album itself, this song - which varies not a whit from the original poem of the same name by American poet and feminist Edna St. Vincent Millay - is both ambitious and beautiful, made all the more so by the bluesy bass, brush drums, and organ which accompany Delmhort's whispered alto and deliberate guitarwork. It is also one of the few uses of the Hammond Organ I know which appear in the world of folk music. Expect plenty of Jazz, Blues, and Rock, especially from the 60's and 70's, and perhaps a few surprises to boot, as we feature songs which use the unique instrument in the week-to-come.

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