This month I have a significant birthday. Over the last few weeks I have been creating a playlist of 60 tracks for my 60 years – songs which in one way or another have been important for me. Some have particular memories; some are simply tracks I love. I’d got to 60 although it’s a work in progress – there are plenty on there I’m not sure about and many I am sure I have missed. But last night I added this as a 61st. Marie Courtney Andrews’ ‘Honest Life’ is the most recent record I’ve bought and I’ve been playing it a lot these last few weeks. She’s 26, my daughters’ generation. It must be hard to be original at that age, certainly if you’re ploughing a country singer-songwriter furrow. Listening to the album I can hear echoes of plenty of older artists who are either on my playlist or could be – Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Nanci Griffith. So there’s nothing especially new here.
Except that nobody has written these exact words before, and set them to this particular melody, and sung them in this particular way, and set them to these particular » Continue Reading.