Wednesday, November 21, 2012

reasons to be cheerful the third part

Derrick Hart – Sown In My Heart 

Recorded while in rehab Sown In My Heart is from the ‘lost’ album Prodigal Songs and Derrick Hart, a former junkie and born again Christian with a penchant for troubadour ballads filtered through the sound systems owned by Sparklehorse and Neutral Milk Hotel has a style and voice that for some reason just draws me back in time and time again.  This despite the fact I’m an avowed atheist (even with my personally signed photo from Anton LaVey I’m still anti both sides), who has always been a country boy beer drinker with no time for smack or any other serious drug.  Hell, I didn’t have my first cone until I was twenty one and I ain’t never taken a trip so it ain’t the ‘romance’ of smack that holds me when he sings, that makes me play this album and this song over and over, no it’s the passion, the raw wounds, the truthfulness he shares with us that keep me coming back.  More than that though it may well be just cos I am getting older, cos I have a teenage daughter, cos I suddenly find myself nudging the big five oh but yeah, I admit it, I’m looking too, don’t know what it is I’m trying to find though, or where I’m gonna find it but for most of my life I’ve been looking in the songs, in the stories, in the music… that’s where I find my answers, my clues, my reasons… and Prodigal Songs is as good a place as any for me to search through the entrails, the blood, the bones… the raw, open, non heroic confessionals of a man who hit rock bottom and found his way back and who isn’t gloating or preaching or pushing his own barrow but simply telling it how he saw it, how he sees it, how it works for him… And let’s be honest, we all want some sort of redemption, some reason for being here.   
I say I don’t believe in a God but I’m still searching for something, waiting for some sort of reason for being on this spinning ball of gas and dirt and water, so I don’t begrudge anyone who has found their reason, especially when it means songs like Any Drug and Sown In My Heart come along.  This fucker has a heartbreaking, cracked tone, all confessional and what the fuck have I done but with just a hint of there is something better if I can just get to my feet, if I can just force open the goddamn door.  At times you are almost uncomfortable (especially Sown In My Heart) at his confessions but it’s all part of the plan, the life, the reason… otherwise what do you have? Top 40 pap by backroom boys and singalong Idol stars who will be forgotten in a week as the svengalis work on the next big thing. Fuck that, I want truth, I want honesty, I want a fucker who is prepared to admit to fucking up, to starting over, to needing something more in his life than just the drugs, the needle, the booze, the cunt… I want reality, not the tv version of reality but the real fuggin’ thing.  For mine, Derrick Hart is the real fuggin’ thing. You might disagree, that’s fine, I ain’t gonna force him upon you, anymore than he tries to force God on to me.  It’s a waiting game… I’m fine with that.  Until then I’ll keep digging thru the entrails and guts and pouring good, clean liquor down my parched throat with this album on repeat in the background (or is that foreground?) And no I wasn’t lying, I do have a signed pic from Anton.  I love a good carny man as much as the next guy.

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