I was the last patient seen by my dentist/friend last night after waiting two hours. I think the dental assistant saw how content I was in the chair with my Sudoku. And she had some not-so-content patients to deal with.
When I got home I was desolate to hear that James Taylor sang the National Anthem for Game 2 of the World Series. With his guitar! Desolate that I missed it.
Then I remembered: we live in America where any media event is soon available to one and all. So I’ve been checking YouTube and was finally rewarded with this.
I am an opinionated National Anthem critic. Here’s what annoys me: trying to do something new that has never been done before; note-bending which goes on and on; screeching on the top notes; poor breath control. The very worst, the most excruciating performance is where the performer(s) slip off the pitch.
I loved JT’s take on it. His chords were varied and pleasing to the ear. He picked a low enough key that was comfortable to sing in and comfortable to listen to. His singing was wonderful, straight-forward, simple. The guitar playing was a folk-style with broken chords. There were no dramatic codas, no “look-at-me” theatrics, just a pure, simple, gracious, unadorned National Anthem.
Thanks, James Taylor.
**Added Later: Do you want more James Taylor? Go to this video and move the cursor to 1:30. He’s doing a sound check and sings a gorgeous “America”. My husband liked this even better than the National Anthem. Not only is this guy’s voice pure mountain water – he is a first rate musician. Those chords!! Those full rich augmented and diminished chords. I think the essence of chords (maybe of life itself) is in the thirds and sevenths.