Sunday, November 2, 2014
Track of the Week: Gordon Lightfoot, "The Way I Feel"
As if by clockwork, when November hit yesterday the temperature dropped and a cold, bitter rain fell. November is less autumn than it is pre-winter when the trees lose their last leaves and harvest has come and gone. It is a time when I turn to the warmth of folk music, its simplicity and tradition as comforting as a plate of shepherd's pie on a cold day. I first established this tradition during my first, brutal winter in Michigan, which seemed to last forever and brought no sunshine or solace. Right around that time I started listening to Gordon Lightfoot, and first heard his sixties folkie stuff. I'd known his 70s hits, but was intrigued by the mood of these more spare, less poppy songs.
"The Way I Feel" is among the best of them, and certainly evokes this time of year well with its talk of empty nests, tall oak trees, and loss. While he later electrified it, I really liked this earlier, moodier acoustic version. The guitar is dark and ethereal, his voice low and brooding. It is the sound of a cold whispering wind rattling the dead leaves on a dark November night.