i wrote this a month ago, but an ongoing medical emergency in my family prevented me from getting this newsletter out to you any sooner.
“standing here before you, song upon my lips;
moving and twisting and turning; got that music in my hips.
now you done come and paid your money to be entertained,
seeking inspiration from my pleasure and my pain…”
thus begin the 1st four lines of the title track of our newest CD, “black lace freudian slip”, released october 11, 2011. these lines were written over 8 years ago, inspired by a wide-eyed woman who grabbed my arm just a little too enthusiastically after a concert, pulled me very, very close to her and said, confidentially, “i know EVERYTHING about you!”
prior to its current metamorphosis, there were several arrangements of songs with those above lines in it. one had a different bass line, one had a different groove, another slightly different lyrics and/or title. none of those incarnations seemed quite right. but this one – yeah, this one feels absolutely right. i’d always wanted to address the emotion behind what i felt when that woman grabbed my arm and spoke to me, more certain that she knew everything about me than i knew about my own damn self. i didn’t get her name, but – whoever you are – i was inspired by you. thanks!
which just goes to show you…uh…something.
usually i give a lot of thought to a newsletter – agonizing over expressing something catchy to say and the proper syntax when i finally do say it. my trusty thesaurus close at hand for those all-too-common occurrences when my insecurities compel me to try to impress y’all with some homespun erudition.
in other words, it takes me forever to compose the newsletter.
it’s because i care.
but not this time.
it’s not that i don’t care, but, hell, it’s stream-of-consciousness time, y’all. ‘cause i wanna tell you ‘bout this black lace freudian slip.
it’s old. a hand-me-down that i’ve had for more years than i care to remember. used to be ashamed of it – tried to hide it from everyone, including myself. tried to follow the advice of my “superiors” by covering it up with more ‘suitable attire’, pretending i wasn’t wearing it.
i started peeling away the layers of “clothing”, allowing myself the pleasure of the sun on my skin, the rain in my face, the wind on my bald head and the mud between my toes. to my delight, i discovered my black lace freudian slip was my natural covering. clothes were just a way of pretending i was protecting myself and others from what lay beneath.
to the casual observer, my black lace freudian slip is nothing to brag about. it’s tattered and worn in obvious places and frayed around the edges. there are even a few places where it’s held together by safety pins and duct tape. but now, rather than apologizing for its appearance, i understand that those are the best parts.
some explain a freudian slip as being a slip of the tongue, when we intend to say one thing, but our subconscious muscles its way past our filter and our real thoughts “slip through”. ‘excuse me, ma’am. your slip is showing.’
but what if what came out was a black lace freudian slip? what would that sound like?
i’m happy to hear your thoughts about this and to answer any questions about the “black lace freudian slip”. send me some questions to put on my Q & A page, why don’t you?
the CD dropped on october 11. there are 13 original tunes – a couple of which are re-makes that some of you may have heard on previous CDs. there are some original tunes by others i’ve always wanted to record, the most important of which is “deep in the mountains”, composed by my son, michael croan. if you know anything about my history, you know it was my son, michael, who encouraged me to sing in the first place. it is an amazing feeling for things to come full circle with him singing one of his own compositions on this CD.
another tune, “serenity prayer”, was inspired by my late friend, opalanga pugh. after pitching a fit at the idea of her telling me what i was going to compose, and when, i now appreciate so much that she had that kind of faith in me. i love the way this song turned out. thank you, opalanga.
there are three remakes:
rimshot – it was on “experiment in truth”, which had a marginal distribution in 2007.
rufast daliarg – originally composed for my youngest son, desmond, and released in 2004 on “serene renegade”, my last project on the maxjazz label. this latest version has a slightly different arrangement that is more energetic.
wishes – also released earlier on “serene renegade”, but this time around, it’s in a slow ? time with a blue grass/country feel – guitar and harmonica, no piano. whenever i sing something that really touches me, my southern country music roots (and a strong southern accent) asserts itself.
there are two songs – “free for a day” & “thanks, but i don’t dance” – by patti mckinney, a lyricist who’s songs are always arresting; composer is my good friend, andrew sussman. you could call “thanks, but i don’t dance” a re-make, but when i recorded it for my first release with maxjazz, it was as a cd-rom and i don’t think the majority of people who bought it even knew the video was on that CD! besides, with such beautiful lyrics, how could i keep from singing it again…?
musically speaking, there’s nothing that gives me a bigger thrill than being validated by another musician. this is what happened when i sent nils petter molvaer, a trumpeter from the netherlands, a recording of “ahn’s dream”. mr. molvaer composed the original tune entitled “on stream” on his “khmer” release with which i became so enamored that i added lyrics. i was so afraid he’d respond that he hated it and how dare i take his music and add lyrics to it, blah-blah-blah. instead, he said he really liked the song and would be happy for me to release my lyrical version of it. yay! the way it happened is that i loved mr. molvaer’s tune so much that one day, i just sat listening to it and started writing about what the music made me think of: a woman who has a dream the night before her wedding. and her future partner is dreaming that she is having this dream…
there’s “fallin’ off a log” which i was almost too scared to put in the line up, but reflects a significant aspect of my black lace freudian slip.
“this for joe” was inspired by one of the best teachers i’ve had: a club owner who helped me understand the importance of being myself when i compose and when i’m onstage. and in the process i learned that sometimes our most important lessons come in the least expected wrappings.
“gosh, look at the time” is a ballad which i started writing back in 2003 but was too afraid to finish because of its import. i finally got the nerve to finish it last year…
and the last song on the CD is “tired”, a tune with a message that’d been running through my mind for years. but one day, i walked past my mirror and i got a good look at my black lace freudian slip and that’s when i knew i couldn’t put off singing it any longer…
the lyrics for each song are in the CD booklet.
go to www.renemarie.com for details on CD release parties in
albuquerque, new mexico
rochester, new york
mamaroneck, new york
elmer, new jersey
hard, drenching masculine rains
gentle, steady feminine rains
it’s getting cooler
perfect weather for lounging in front of the fire
book in one hand, glass of brandy in the other
my shawl wrapped around me
gentle repose in my
black lace freudian slip…