Something happens to me every spring as the weather begins to warm, and the chances of snow become fewer and further between. I’m sure I am not the only one who gets the overwhelming sensation of newness, of starting fresh, shifting concentration to health and well being. It’s hard not to feel this way when you look around and see that all of the plants and trees are sharing in this experience. It’s undeniable, and after decades of experiencing it year after year, it never gets old to me. Music, much like everything else, can be a living, breathing thing. It can be planted in a musician at an early age, but it has to be nurtured. If treated with care, it can grow into a beautiful thing that can germinate and give life to the people, places and things that are close enough to it to absorb its seeds as they scatter into the air.
Fittingly, this week’s broadcast/podcast features a dear friend of eTown who is equal parts gardener as songwriter. We are lucky to have Gregory Alan Isakov living in our neck of the woods, and even luckier to have been able to have him as a guest on the show several times in eTown’s more recent history. Just as a gardener takes great care to plant in fertile soil, and provide attention to his or her crop as it grows, it clear that Gregory takes the same great care in his songwriting process. You can hear patience in his music. The leaves are trimmed so that the plant can grow into something beautiful, without carrying the dead weight of elements that may drag it down. He sings about landscapes. He sings about the weather. His music is organic. Here at eTown we find his musical crop to be the perfect compliment to our conversations about common sense stewardship and living sustainably. It’s a great fit.
Also with us this week is Denver-based singer/songwriter Nathanial Rateliff, who brings his own unique voice to the program. This was Nathaniel’s second visit to the show, and this time he comes stripped down to the bare essentials – his voice and a guitar. Nathaniel’s music is powerful in any format, and his sense of humor is keen and sharp. Both times I’ve heard him interviewed by our host Nick Forster, I’ve found myself cracking up behind the camera. It’s clear that Nathaniel takes his music seriously, but when he puts the guitar down, he can be a really funny guy too.
Along with the great music this week, we’ve got a really interesting eChievement Award story about a New Hampshire man who has come up with a creative way to reduce waste on college campuses by keeping reusable materials out of college dumpsters and getting them into the hands of people who can use them.
Very cool program all the way around this week. Be sure to tune in, podcast and watch the videos from this week’s episode.