Friday Favorites 3/15/2013

daryl's houseA number of years ago, my wife and I were in Salt Lake City and visited the LDS Temple there.  We were fortunate to find the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsing.  Listening to them live was truly a breathtaking experience, made more interesting by the fact that it was a rehearsal.  Periodically, in the midst of what seemed to me to be a perfect passage, the choirmaster would stop the choir and correct certain errors I’d never have heard.  It was an interesting insight into the creative process.   As a dabbler in making music (at best), I’ve always wondered what it would be like to participate the development a musical number … and to be part of a performance that truly comes together.   As a lover of live music, I sometimes feel like Antonio Solieri, the patron of Mozart in the film, Amadeus, who agonized because he could hear Mozart’s genius, but never experience it.

Recently a friend introduced me to Live from Daryl’s House, a monthly web-cast featuring Daryl Hall … of Hall and Oates fame … with his own group of musicians and guests artists, essentially jamming live in the historic homes he restores and preserves in the U.S. and England.  Now, I have to admit, when I first heard about the series, I said, That Daryl Hall?  I’ve enjoyed most of the hits that Hall and Oates produced over the years … Sara Smile in particular … but considered them a lightweight pop group.  It turns out that Daryl Hall is an excellent live performer and music aficionado who seeks out relatively new artists and groups to perform on his show.  Each show includes banter between the artists, rehearsals as they decide how to play each number and a half-dozen or so musical numbers, usually including both songs written by the guests and  old Hall and Oates hits.  I get to learn about the new artist and witness the creative process to satisfy my Solieri-like longings.  I’ve discovered new artists I like and their music (like Almost a Miracle by Diane Birch, which I featured in Friday Favorites 3/1/2013), as well as finding live versions of iconic Hall and Oates hits that are better than the originals.

More examples? Well, here’s KT Tungsall, performing her composition, Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, with Daryl’s guys.

And as much as I love the original of Sara Smile, this version featuring acoustic guitar virtuoso, Monte Montgomery, is way better.

If you love live music … and want a peek at how it comes together, you should try Live from Daryl’s House, here, where you can choose from any of 62 episodes.  It’s this week’s Friday Favorite.

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