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Feb 14th
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Seeing the Light

event Muriel AndersonMuriel Anderson’s new double album puts a rockin’ spin on children’s lullabies

A lot can happen in 25 years. Just ask Muriel Anderson. In 1989, the guitarist/harp-guitarist released her debut album, Heartstrings, and became the first woman to ever win the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship. Since then, she has been part of more than three dozen albums, compilations, DVDs and music books, and her music was featured in the Woody Allen film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

For Anderson, continuing to pursue music after all these years is only natural.

“It’s one of those things where you’re like, ‘What keeps you coming back to eat another meal?’” she laughs. “It really becomes a part of who I am, and, at a certain point, there’s an obligation to share that joy and fullness of the music with other people.”

In March, Anderson will release her latest effort, a double album called Nightlight Daylight. And that idea of sharing music was the foundation for the project.

“One of my very best friends had his first baby, and I thought, ‘What do you give a best friend’s first baby?’” Anderson says. “And I thought, ‘Well, she needs her own lullaby CD,’ so I composed a CD’s worth of lullabies, recorded them, and gave it to him as a gift.”

That collection of songs now makes up the Nightlight portion of the album, but that wasn’t her original goal. In fact, she had only intended to press two copies of the lullabies. But then her friend welcomed another child into the world, and it got her thinking.

“The second baby is going to need music to wake up to if the first baby had music to go to sleep to,” Anderson says. “So that was the idea behind Daylight. I put them together into a double CD figuring, ‘Not only families with children, but everyone can use beautiful music to go to sleep to and fun, optimistic music to wake up to.’”

The overall tone of Nightlight is both calming and soothing. “Lullaby for Leo” and “Ferryboat Crossing” are delicate guitar ballads, while “Night Lights” is one of many tracks which features echoing, ethereal vocals to augment its serenity.

But Daylight is a different story. “Perfect Ten” is downright funky, and the title track is tailor-made for dancing around the breakfast table.

For Anderson, that variety is the beauty

of this double-album. For it, she was able to experiment with numerous creative endeavors, from the unique album art—which features embedded LEDs—to covers of classic songs, like “Superstition.”

“With ‘Superstition,’ I thought it would be fun to do it with [drummer] Danny [Gottlieb] as a duet,” Anderson explains. “But I had my favorite singer in the world on the album, Mark Kibble [from Take 6], and I wanted to give him something he could really let loose on. Then I said, ‘Well, it’s going to need bass on top of that,’ so we called in Victor Wooten. So it turned into this really fun, big piece.” 

Muriel Anderson performs at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9 at Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. Tickets are $16/adv, $19/door. For more information, call 603-2294.

Photo: Rusty Russel

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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