Allow me to share one of the finest works of art yet produced by Western Civilization

We haven't heard "Mary Didja Knowwww?" at Mass yet, but IF WE DO . . . … [Read more...]

Listen to this! Son Little


Heard this guy for the first time on the radio this morning, and it made this sleepy white lady's hair stand on end.If I heard right, Son Little descrbes his music as a Wu Tang Clan sea chanty with Beatles singing backup. I haven't bought an album in about ten years, but I think it's time to change that. Woo! … [Read more...]

Sam Rocha’s new spin on spirituality

sam rocha

From my new article in Our Sunday Visitor about Sam Rocha and his new album, Late to Love:[Rocha] experienced his first high liturgy at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and a whole new aesthetic world opened up. “I felt like I walked out of the folk tradition and walked into a marble hall,” he said. “It helped me process the idea that there is a bigger Church out there.” But stark aesthetic contrasts can sometimes be deceptive. “Whenever I heard a High Mass,” Rocha said, “I … [Read more...]

Sam Rocha sings . . . Augustinian Soul? (an interview with Sam)

sam rocha

   In contemporary Gospel music, people like Israel Houghton are making amazing music with the best studio and stage musicians around. Consider this: most popular artists in soul music honed their craft in the Black church. Perhaps the question, then, is why do Catholic churches not produce artists of this calibre in any popular medium?Read the rest of my interview with Sam Rocha at the Register.    … [Read more...]

Dolly Parton. Still.

How did I miss this? Dolly Parton has a new album out -- her 42nd studio album! -- and it is great, of course. Blue Smoke was released this year, and it is solid.  Here is the song I'm fixated on at the moment: her utterly natural take on Dylan's "Don't Think Twice":  Love Dolly Parton. 68 years old and hasn't started phoning it in yet. The older I get, the more I admire people who know how to work and keep on working, and who know exactly what their gifts are and how … [Read more...]

My earworm for the morning . . .

could be worse!  Steely Dan, "Pearl of the Quarter" (from Countdown to Ecstasy, 1973)What a perfectly constructed song. What's popping around in your skull today?  … [Read more...]

What did you dance to at your wedding?

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No reason, just curious! We really wanted "I Walk the Line," but with a music budget of zero, and in those dark pre-internet days, I couldn't find a copy of it in time. It would have been a good pick, though.  My husband told his friends that we were planning to dance to "Under My Thumb" (and it's possible that it even made it into the local newspaper's wedding page this way. It also said that we honeymooned at the Hotel California. Ah, y … [Read more...]