Thursday, April 11, 2013

A-Z Challenge: Just a Little Light

I'm going to focus on one of my favorite singers and songs for "J."

Brent Mydland joined the Greteful Dead in 1979, and played with them until his death in 1990.  It wasn't sex or rock-n-roll that killed him, it was the other one.  He has a hard-drinking, hard-partying kind of guy, and he overdosed on a speedball (an injected mix of cocaine and heroin).  I don't know why it is that the most tortured souls have such a soulful sound, but he's not the only case.

His voice captivates me.  He has a scratchy growl that can't be imitated, it must be lived, but he also sang with passion and range.  "Just a Little Light" is very fitting for him, the lyrics seem personal:

Well there ain't nobody safer than someone who doesn't care
And it isn't even lonely when no one's ever there
I had a lot of dreams once, but some of them came true
The honey's sometimes bitter when fortune falls on you...
I love the imagery here:
It's even harder to be heartless when you look at me that way
You're as mighty as the flower that will grow the stones away

This video is taken from a live show I have on CD, and this version of the song is great:


D.G. Hudson said...

It's interesting to know that behind the scenes info. My BIL is a musician and we hear lots of backstory from him.

Too much experimentation with drugs costs us many a good musician.

Anonymous said...

A very telling line: "The honey's sometimes bitter when fortune falls on you..."