The Kitchen Musician ~ September 2017

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Hello friends,

Like many others, I think I may be suffering a kind of emotional trauma about our national leadership. The problem is not just at the top. This month I share a song addressed to members of Congress and others who can change our national course, yet fail to use their power and influence to do so. Let’s discuss this in the kitchen.

  This Month’s Music: Another Crack in the Cornerstone
  Upcoming Shows
  Featured Non-Profit: Southern Poverty Law Center

With Kim & Reggie Harris at Javawocky Coffeehouse, where I will share a show with Tom Irving on September 23rd.
Photo by Joanne Corsano
Please click this link for more photos and a review of the show!


I am pumped about several great shows coming up this month, including Club Passim in Cambridge, a return to the Javawocky Coffeehouse in Brockton (split bill with Tom Irving), and a mini-tour with Martin Swinger and Amy Kucharik in Cape Cod and Somerville. Martin and Amy are terrific and award winning singer songwriters. Please check my Upcoming Shows page for complete details on these and all shows past and future.

This Month’s Music
Another Crack in the Cornerstone

Another Crack in the Cornerstone
© 2017 Tom Smith (ASCAP)
Click the image above to play the video.

Sometimes I process my emotions by writing a song. Writing and singing can be a kind of cleansing breath when dealing with negative feelings like anger and fear. I typically keep those songs or journals to myself. With a little trepidation, I break that rule this month.

As I observe the actions and non-actions of many members of Congress (and other influential people) in the face of what I consider overwhelming evidence that our national leadership is taking us down a destructive path, my anger spilled into this song. The saber rattling on the international stage, the pardon of a sheriff convicted of criminal contempt of court for mistreatment of many innocent immigrants, the threat to shut down the government if the southern wall is not funded, the failure to put health care for all citizens above tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, the refusal to act upon the real and imminent danger of climate change, the failure to take a strong stand against racist demonstrators (and the list goes on and on, ever increasing) have me outraged. Our nation and our Democracy is crumbling before our eyes. It is time to take steps to repair it – to awaken the best we have in ourselves. Our children are watching!

“Can’t you hear the castle crumblin’?
Another crack in the cornerstone.”

Thank you for listening. Music Helps.


(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)

Upcoming Shows

September 2, 2017 @ 4:30 pm: Club Passim, Cambridge, MA
Returning to the Campfire Festival at this wonderful old Cambridge folk club. The Campfire Festival runs from Friday through Monday of Labor Day weekend. I will be in the round with Chris Capaldi and Carl Cacho.

September 23, 2017 @ 7:30 pm: Javawocky Coffeehouse, Brockton, MA
Splitting the evening with Tom Irving at the Javawocky Coffeehouse at the Unitarian Church in Brockton, MA.

September 30, 2017 @ 7:00 pm: No Place Special, Mashpee, MA
Splitting the evening with Martin Swinger and Amy Kucharik at this great house concert series on Cape Cod. Join us! Suggested donation $15.

October 1, 2017 @ 7:30 pm: House Concert, Somerville, MA
Another split bill with Martin Swinger and Amy Kucharik at this house concert and optional pot luck supper (starting at 6:30, show at 7:30). Contact Persis Thorndike for details.

October 21, 2017: Poetry in the Garden, Natick, MA
I will be one of several performers at the Common Street Spritual Center in Natick, MA.

November 4, 2017 @ 8:00 pm: Arts at the Armory, Somerville, MA
Joining the Songwriter Showcase at the Somerville Armory, with Kirsten Manville and Joanne Lurgio.

November 5, 2017 @ 1:00 pm: Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA
Joining some great artists to pay tribute to Michael Troy, a good friend and one of the world’s great songwriters. He is sadly missed.

November 9-12, 2017: Northeast Regional Folk Alliance, Stamford, CT
My first time at this conference of musicians, venue operators, and publicity folks. I hear that there is not much time for sleep at this four-day “hotel festival”.

November 18, 2017 @ 7:00 pm: Not Just Another Coffeehouse, Sharon, MA
I will be joined by my very talented collaborator Seth Connelly at the Unitarian Church of Sharon, MA. Great venue to listen to acoustic music!

Click to view details for these and all upcoming shows.

Featured Non-profit: Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.

Please join me in supporting the SPLC.

  • Tom
    August 31, 2017

    Another Crack in the Cornerstone
    © 2017 Tom Smith

    Can’t you hear the castle crumblin’?
    Another crack in the cornerstone
    Every day, bad news comin’
    There’s a fool on the golden throne

        Take a swing at the crown
        Lock the door when you go
        Pull your head from the ground
        You can’t deny what you know?

    Another war, another made up reason
    Another ego on the line
    Another lie, another treason
    Measure blood with dollar signs

    What you’re sellin’ I ain’t buyin’
    Another win for the wealthy clan
    Can you close your eyes to the dyin’
    And the rape of the common man?

    Can’t you hear the castle crumblin’?
    Another crack in the cornerstone

  • linda havel
    September 2, 2017

    Thanks Tom,
    Yes, I feel better (if it’s possible?) reading what you write and sing. Worst is my inaction/anxiety/cynicism but music always brings me back into my whole self-quandry or not, and your words remind us to keep our righteous anger strong. 🙂

  • Elaine
    September 4, 2017

    Dear Tom,
    Always the music to guide the way…
    Been surprised recently to realize that my Dad taught me this!
    Love this! It helps, for sure.

  • Ruth Vadi
    September 11, 2017

    Hi Mr. Smith, I was introduced to your music through my music history professor, Dr. Lindsay Johnson at UMBC. We are studying the role of women in the Civil War and WWII. I love banjo music and folk music, but unfortunately I don’t get to New England very often. My husband is a professional guitarist, so I understand the trials and tribulations of life as a professional musician. I am glad you’re still performing. Keep doing what you’re doing! The world needs more people who understand the importance of keeping folk music alive. It’s an important insight into our culture and history. – Thank you!

    • Tom
      October 7, 2017

      Thank you, Ruth! I am pleased that my music is being used by teachers and students. Thank you for the encouragement! Sing on!

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