Tag Archive | Southside Chattanooga

Working Hands

Here’s a little gospely number I wrote in the shower the other day.  Seems like something that could’ve come out of the Unitarian hymn book, and no surprise there.  This song has some of my favorite things in it– playing the piano, lots of fifth intervals, and invented words (“feelya”, “walkya”, “growya”, and “giveya”).  I’m not that crazy about the quality of the recording… Still on a search for a good digital recorder, I suppose.  This one makes the piano sound muffled, my voice sound unreasonably clear, and is overall too quiet or something.  It could just be that I need a good microphone.

Anyway, all technological critiques aside, I’m pretty happy with the song… It sounds to me like a conversation between a person (ok, me) and the universe.  Just some happy thoughts passed back and forth, you know, a little small talk, me and the universe.

“Working Hands” recorded at 524 East 18th St., Chattanooga, June 8, 2009:

Working Hands, by Christie Burns

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Chattanooga Choo Choo

Well if you’re going to have a city-themed song stuck in your head all the time, I suppose this is the one to have.  I can’t help it!  There’s a neon sign I see from my porch that says “Choo Choo”— (or sometimes just “oo Choo”, or sometimes “Choo Ch”, or sometimes “h Choo”)…. And there’s just something so inviting about that little chromatic walkup on the words, “Pardon me boys,” that gets the tune going in my head before I have a chance to stop it.  I’ve heard Glenn Miller’s rendition, of course, but I’ve never seen this little production before today.  How awesome is this?!!  And how about that slippery dance floor routine at the end?  Wonderful stuff.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re a really cool person and if you ever find yourself going to visit (or stay at) the Choo Choo, drop me an email, because I really do live four blocks from there, and I really would meet you for a beer or a walk around town.

Mbira for a Rainy Sunday

I’m sitting on my futon with the hot pink tee shirt sheets and an incredibly soft brown faux fur throw on top. Cymba, my gorgeous new kitten is kneading my chest and purring away. His eyes are closed like he could drop his little head and fall asleep at any moment. I’m so glad I took the time to sew silk flowers onto the bottom edge of my curtains, because now when they’re twisted back they make this bright floral frame for the picture outside. It’s not a particularly nice picture otherwise. Lookout mountain is there, sure, but so is the big muddy field recently cleared for townhouses that have yet to be built. And word on the street says we’ll soon be seeing a cell phone tower planted behind our properties…how’s that for beautification? Maybe when it comes, I’ll go sew silk flowers on it.

But it’s beautiful inside my room. The warm, magenta glow as all the pinks and reds and oranges soak up the daylight, even during this morning’s storm. The minidisc recorder seems to have gotten lost in all the commotion here at the house, so another way to share this track from mbira player Forward Kwenda is to link to this YouTube clip someone else posted. This is the music I want to be hearing when I’m taking my last breaths.

Tadzungaira, “We Are Suffering”, played by Forward Kwenda on his 1997 album, Svikiro.


Blue Skies

I was too busy making mojitos to fuss with the camera (or a fiddle, or a dulcimer) while the big part of the party went on. But when it all died down, I found myself in a fairly odd–but totally fun–jam session with Ken Doyle on Irish flute and Ken Harrison on saw. This is our rendition of Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies”. A rather soulful ensemble, don’t you think?

18th Street “surprise” party for Rick Davis, July 5th, 2008:

The Lovely Lisa Ferguson

I’m glad this blog is about all kinds of music I encounter on a daily/weekly basis, so I’m free to post a clip of someone else playing the hammered dulcimer. Lisa Ferguson and I got lucky with two last-minute gigs this weekend. The first one, Saturday night, was at CreateHere on Main Street. Then we went to Ken Pritchard’s new building (formerly the OCI warehouse on Main St) and playing for an open house he was having there. We spent two hours playing out on the sidewalk to try to attract some passers by, and then rewarded ourselves by going inside to a big open wooden room, all frosty-lit with big walls o’ windows…

I asked Lisa to play her newly composed tune for me, because I felt myself just falling more and more in love with it (and today, still falling). I recorded it with my iPod, which I still haven’t quite figured out, so the sound is a bit rough. The levels were too low, so I boosted them a bit for the sake of this blog, but it all ends up a bit noisy, sounding like it was recorded on a cassette recorder. The other noise you hear in there is me and Adelle dancing behind Lisa, loving every second of the music. When we finished dancing, I sat down at my dulcimer and joined in with a few notes towards the end of her piece.

The piece is still a work-in-progress for Lisa, but she said I could post it anyway. This is currently the most beautiful piece of music in my world.

Thanks to Philip Luckey for the photo!