Monday, August 29, 2016

Thank God For Muriel On Piano

Marc Cohn is a one hit wonder.

At least some people would call him that.

I wouldn't. The man has written some songs, baby.

I, on the other hand, am a zero hit wonder. No fame and fortune here. However, collaboratively, I am a two hit wonder. Mega hits.

Carol and I gave to the world Keith and Craig. What the hell else do you need? Carol and I are the Lennon and McCartney of procreation.

Of course the one song that will be eternally associated with Cohn is "Walking In Memphis." And rightfully so. The song is so goddamn good.

You've heard it a thousand times, so have I, so has every friend and relative you have ever met. For Christ sake, your dead grandmother used to sing the song out loud and off key as she danced around the kitchen preparing her special bread pudding for your next visit.

To me it is an ode to the blues, and anybody who knows me even superficially knows that the blues fuel me. But the song is as much an ode to Memphis and Elvis and a specific lifestyle and gospel as it is to the blues. Zero in on what ever makes you happy, baby but do zero in.

He is sporting blue suede shoes, he is walking on Beale Street, ten feet above Beale Street because it is so iconic; he sees the ghost of Elvis walk into Graceland to meet a pretty little thing down in the jungle room. They got catfish on the table and gospel in the air, and the Reverend Green ready to offer up a last chance prayer for you.

Christ they got Muriel on piano. And when she asks : "Tell me are you a Christian, child?" and he responds : "Ma'am I am tonight" I always belt that line out with him because he makes you feel it, he drags it out of you; there is no way you cannot belt it out.

He captures such a delicious mood and the song is so damn singable.

While you're at it dig on "Silver Thunderbird". Also by Mr. Cohn. It will grease up your Monday so good that before you know it you are sliding home from work almost before you get there.

The song makes me think about my father. Anthony Testa. Tony.

Cohn talks about his father behind the wheel of his silver Thunderbird: "Man it looked just like the bat mobile with my old man behind the wheel, well you could hardly even see him in all of that chrome."

My father drove Cadillacs until he moved on up to Mercedes Benz. He was five foot five and he looked small behind the wheel of those big, beautiful cars.

But he had a presence, baby. His aura was not small by any means. My father belonged in Cadillacs. He wore them well.

My favorite reference in the song is the God thing. His Dad tells him "Don't you give me no Buick, son, you must take my word, if there is a God in heaven, he's got a Silver Thunderbird."

That image is so cool. God driving around heaven in a Silver Thunderbird. Windows down, beer in hand, Beach Boys on the radio, cigar in the ashtray, hair blowing straight back.

Now that is a god I could dig.

You can call Marc Cohn a one hit wonder if you want to.

It just proves you have no perspective, and maybe too damn high an opinion of yourself.

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