Sunday, September 11, 2005

"Walking in Memphis"

Once in a while a song comes along that burns, literally, with soul, love and a respect so deep for tradition that it takes you back in time to that nameless era when everything was just.... right. When you could access that soul and express it in such a way that you radiated love for your fellow man, when legends walked the earth and when you felt so powerful that you could stretch your arms out and cradle the moon.
At the right time, this is that song. Marc Cohn tapped into something so basic, so fundamental here that he raised music up into something primeval. A force that cures, that revives, that strengthens. "Saw the ghost of Elvis/On Union Avenue/Followed him up to the gates of Graceland/Then I watched him walk right through/Now security they did not see him/They just hovered 'round his tomb/But there's a pretty little thing/Waiting for the King/Down in the Jungle Room." He invokes the healing power of music, he celebrates it, he lives it in this song, and for just a few minutes you eat from the table of the immortals - Elvis, Al Green, gospel, the Delta Blues legends - until you too feel that nothing is impossible, that all is right with the world. Cohn's deep soul voice fits the song in a way that Cher's can't, resonating with the power and the inner strength that music, good music, can bring. This is like going to church every day of the week.

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