...some things about it make me feel so young."
"Sonnet 46," Roman Candle
Billy Reid last night, with a mason jar of Buffalo Trace (one cube) and standing shoulder to shoulder with smartly dressed, bow-tied, pomade-slicked, red-lipped, tall-cuffed friends and strangers, I was fortunate to give audience to a dialed down recording session by a threesome from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They are Roman Candle. Skip's voice pierced and soothed at once, Timshel's (Skip's wife) sparse vocals and calm keyboard pads filled the void, loose and lovely, and Logan's (Skip's bro) voice and gentle undertone -- on whatever he was playing, there was a rack of shirts obscuring my view -- slid along in true familial style. That little hour and a half, it was short, sweet, perfect. I was transported to a slower space, one where all there is to worry about is the temperature of your bourbon and how well those lyrics suit that melody. Comfortable, low-impact, unfussy, and with room for jokes between songs, a little laughter and walks to the bar for refills. Friendly, cozy.
I'm relatively late to the Roman Candle party -- and even more delayed in singing their praise -- but better late than never.
Here's a snippet from the store recording last night. It's kinda magic.
And here's their sonnet song which I quoted above (from their 2009 record, Oh Tall Tree In the Ear), which they sang last night, and which I think is beautiful:
Some freezing rain is falling on my shoulder
and a winter wind is blowing through each lung
Some things about this weather make me older
Some things about it make me feel so young
There's a quarter moon that knows the hours I'm keeping
and a glittered highway showing back its light
There's a baby at home in my room sleeping
and a woman that won't be alone tonight
So let the lads and lad-ettes keep Ibiza
morning walks home, cocktail on their chin
I'll spill my own drinks listening to Aretha
with my girl and a fireplace in our den
If being young is one prolonged farewell
I'll find it undiminished somewhere else.