I am not a connoisseur of music, I am an omnivore, and I think I recall Nietzsche pointing out that a person who will eat anything is a person who has no taste. That’s me. There are few kinds of music that I donâ€™t enjoy. I like Palestrina, Bach, PÃ¤rt (Jim Siebach continues to be my â€œclassicalâ€? conscience), Korean Buddhist meditation chants, Lyle Lovett, much Emmy Lou Harris, anything bluegrass, Bob Dylan, Dan Zanes, female jazz vocalists like Diane Schuur, Adrian Legg, blues, R&B, Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bonnie Raitt, and Black gospel music. I listen to these and others regularly. Probably because of my age and consequent inexperience, I donâ€™t care very much for most contemporary popular music, but recently Iâ€™ve been playing over and over again two CDs by a French-Arab group, Dezoriental. Very interesting stuff. You should give them a listen. My daughter, Rebecca, has been trying to convert me to Uncle Tupeloâ€”she may succeed; Mark Wrathall has made me think I should look more at U2. There probably isnâ€™t some thread other than my listening habits that stitches all of these together, but it takes little observation to notice that much of my listening list can be explained by a variety of connections to my red-neck, border-state gene pool, that and the fact that I was a teenager and young adult in the 60s.
Lately Iâ€™ve also been listening a lot to Johnny Cashâ€™s album, â€œMy Motherâ€™s Hymn Book.â€? I have mixed views on Cashâ€™s music, more than the above list suggests that I should. But I really like this album. I think I enjoy it because it is like comfort food, not necessarily the best thing for me, certainly not the kind of thing for which I pay big bucks and go to a fancy concert, but music that relaxes, nourishes, and uplifts because it takes me back to times and feelings from my past and my parentsâ€™ and my grandparentsâ€™ pasts. Some of the doctrine in these hymns isnâ€™t quite up to LDS snuff, but I donâ€™t care. It touches and moves me as a friend might, even if we disagree on some things. The truth of our agreement is deeper than whatever disagreements we have. Listening to Cash sing these Protestant hymns and songs puts me back into the community from which I came without removing me from the community in which I now find myself.