Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another in the Musicians I have known series.




I've played in a band called the Georgia Mudcats forever, it seems. Not so much, anymore, as life gallops on down the trail, leaving the lame and halt old time string bands to sit on a porch and pick out their tunes for those passing by on the road to somewhere else.

www.georgiamudcats.com. will fill you in, if it's still up and running.

When we were bigger frogs in an very small pond, we worked pretty much every weekend until 911. Something strange happened to the American physche. The need for live music seemed to die. It would make someone a good subject for a doctoral dissertation to explain what happened, but the bottom just sorta' fell out of the market.

The Mudcats proceeded to proceed on a path of finding other lives for ourselves. Better jobs, boyfriend/girlfriend. grand younguns', other musical outlets, banjo building, garlic farming, music, music stores...whatever it takes.

I'm gonna' write a "media  guide' for each of the Mudcats, IE. bottom feeders of the music world. I feel the need, as I approach the teenage years of old age, to write 'em as I remember 'em .

The subject for this week's dissertation is LD or Lisa Deaton; the Girl With the Golden Voice. LD  has a dry sense of humor...understated, in all cases. She's a minimalist by nature. She doesn't have much truck with new fangled things. She hung her clothes on a clothesline for years. Why buy electricity when the wind blows free? I think her affinity for minimalism creates a singing style that puts exactly what's needed into a song.

We used to do a lot of "background" music jobs, you know, live Musac. During these rather boring jobs,  some one of us band members would need a break, or have to go for beer.  LD would do one of her "specially crafted to kill" Capella numbers.When she started to sing, talking would die to a murmur, and a few people would begin to wander our way. As the song progressed, the room would become almost quiet, all eyes on LD. The  Pied Piper of Cleveland would draw 'em in. It was pretty amazing to watch. It happened time and again, to a sprinkling of damp eyes. I think it's that clear, uncluttered, honest, approach that draws people into her songs and personality.

Legends grow around people of LD's statue. One story is that someone of importance, or not, from  Nashville heard her sing, and asked if she might like to come to Nashville for a "sound test". Her response to him. "Well, I would, but I can't find nobody to feed my dogs and cats". Classic LD.

She is the wedding/funeral singer for the world. The Mudcats have played many weddings and LD always has a special song for the couple. Funerals are hard, yet she consoles the bereaved with her presences and her singing. The hardest funerals to sing, says LD, are funerals for friends.

 LD is a  private person. She has a special place for everyone in her life. You don't need to know about the rest of her life, unless she wants to share. A very uncomplicated way to dealing with people. It fits the minimalist theme. She chooses her music in the same way...and makes a song her own before sharing it...like a story teller.

I suppose she is the one person I have been the most uncomfortable singing with.  Her voice is even, powerful, has the timbre of a 200 year old tree, it's clear as crystal, haunting, playful, and direct. I have a big voice, full of cracks, pitch issues, growls, and the sensitivity of a 16 wheeler steam engine. It makes me work to sing with LD. We both have the power, but harnessing is hard for me...ain't for her. We can pull it off but train wrecks are always a possibility.

Should you ever get the opportunity to hear LD sing somewhere, do so, you'll not regret it. Oh, she's completely approachable, and loves to talk about dogs, cats, music, food, shoes and most anything else. She performs with a group called LD and the Blind Dates, the Georgia Mudcats, Mulligan Stew, and a few incarnations of the past and present. She has a couple of CD's, if she can find them, as they represent the past. LD is moving foward with her music, and doesn't look back.

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