Friday, September 4, 2009

Married to It

Marriage was, for me the culmination of a process. My wife and I began as you and I, and became we. At some point, it stopped mattering who paid for what. We stopped taking turns deciding what to do when we were together, and began to discuss and come to an agreement. And, as the relationship deepened, we began to share music with each other, until it became our music collection. Even so, there are, to this day artists who are my artists, and those who are hers. We both enjoy listening to them, but one of us more so than the other. And there artists who have become favorites of mine, but who I can definitely thank my wife for bringing to the relationship.

Jethro Tull: Cup of Wonder


Like everyone I knew at the time, I had heard the song Aqualung. But that was as far as my knowledge of Jethro Tull went. That was not enough to make a connection to the British folk-rock of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. But that connection is real. Some of the same musicians who drifted into the lineups of Fairport and Steeleye later joined Ian Anderson’s crew. But it was my wife who introduced me to the Tull albums Minstrel in the Gallery, and especially, Songs From the Wood. And that’s how I made the connection.

Billy Joel: Summer, Highland Falls


Billy Joel was a little different for me. I knew his music pretty well, so I thought, before my wife and I ever met. How could I not, being in high school in the mid-seventies? But my wife’s love of his music made me reassess my own feelings about him. I had regarded him as pleasant pop, but my wife taught me to really appreciate his song writing.

Dar Williams: You‘re Aging Well


We used to listen to the radio a lot in the car. There is a very good public radio station in our range, that has introduced us to many fine artists. Since my wife spends more time in the car than I do, she often learns of an artist this way before I do. Dar Williams was one of these. Williams’ duet partner here is Joan Baez. We both knew about Baez before we ever met.

In time, we gave in and joined the CD generation. Later, we started burning our own discs from mp3s. So we don’t listen to the radio as much any more.

Tori Amos: Crucify


Tori Amos was another artist who my wife heard on the radio and brought to my attention. But, this time there was a twist. Crucify comes from Amos’ debut album, in 1992. The album had a great sound which my wife really liked. But, in subsequent albums, Amos’ took her sound in a direction my wife didn’t care for nearly as much as I did. So Amos began as one of my wife’s artists, and became one of mine.

Richard Thompson: Beeswing


I was the one who brought the music of Richard Thompson to our relationship. But my wife took to him right away, and I have come to rely on my wife to let me know what Thompson is up to.