As a surprise for our wedding anniversary, Mark Zane graciously agreed to add a song to his show at the Blue Frog in Cortland on Friday night. He sang "In My Life", the song my brother Alan played when Chris and I were married. I was honored that he did this for us. I had expected that song to be the highlight of the evening for me. We've seen Mark perform live and on tape now, and I've listened to his CD almost every day for a couple of months now. You'd think the music would get too familiar after awhile....that doesn't seem to be the case.
His songs become "friends". I missed not hearing him perform "Ruby" at this show. And was delighted to hear my favorite tune from his "American Hunger" CD, the song "Casualty Officer" about the man with the job of coming to your door to inform you of the death of your child serving in the military. As I've said before, Mark's lyrics haunt you. In this song he forces you to consider multiple definitions for causalities of war.
His cover songs at this show included some Neil Young, Townes VanZandt, a couple of very well done Dylan songs and Cohen's "Hallelujah" again. I enjoyed watching my brother, a musician himself, delight in Mark's music, and had to laugh when my cousin whispered in my ear that she'd like to take him home and cook him a good meal, which is similar to foreplay in our family.
The surprise of the evening came for me with an original song I had not heard before that has stayed in my head. I've hummed it all weekend....on Saturday night as we sat through a dinner theatre of Joey and Maria's Italian Wedding and all day Sunday as we drove out of town to help the son in crisis-mode (at least he's out of jail) , a day that ended with renting a U-Haul, loading up his furniture, and....yeah, he's on the couch downstairs.... but more about that another post.
That song, "Is There A Banjo in the House?" is about those times when your muse arrives and you're doing something else. One verse is about trick or treating with the kids and asking someone "is there a piano in the house?" I often have this issue myself......how lucky I am to only need a scrap of paper to write down a few words......musicians need paper and something to pluck out the melody that's running through their head. I hope to hear that song again soon.
Thanks, Mark, for another great performance.