Monday, February 3, 2014

Witch Fight!

Anybody with their compass pointed in the right direction knows that Feb 2, 2014 was Imbolc. Yes, it was also Groundhog Day and the day the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl.

While most of us were either tuning into the game, or doing anything else, spring -- real spring, not that Gregorian calendar impostor due in March -- quietly stepped onto the season cycle and began pedaling.

And we get it: It's ugly cold out across North America and throughout the Northern hemisphere nobody's about to step outside in tank top and sandals to sip iced tea and feel the sun's heat.

But do go out when you can and have a look around. Trees and bushes are budding. Bulb flowers are rocketing through the soil, arms of defiant green reaching for daylight that grows longer each evening.

We don't report this in a desperate grab for anything to stave off winter gray. We share this old world information because if you relax and let it in, the feeling of spring is there. Nature is waking up.

Here are two versions of a song written and made famous by Scotsman Donovan. The test of good songcraft is how well a composition holds up to different interpretations. The original has the nip of autumn about it that, when combined with the chorus, recalls October.

But Lou Rawls and his band find the Hammond B3 funk under the pile of leaves and loosen the tune up, adding considerable warmth:

[courtesy of marmalade166]

While Super Session takes it further still, opening the song up into a lengthy California stoner jam that skews closer to simmering blues and jazz while still landing, like Rawls, on the secret funk rhythm that has always been the backbone of the song:

[courtesy of jaquenuno]

Neither of these has anything to do with the Imbolc, but we dig 'em and used this post as an excuse to share. Happy spring to you.