I don’t know about you, but I am suffering from virtual meeting Internet fatigue. This is the result of 107 days of isolation during a pandemic, with most of those days spent online for 5 hours or more. Today I officially declare in song that “I’m Goin’ Off the Grid” – sort of. This month, I also share another new song on a very different subject. Join me in the kitchen and I will explain.
Photo: Neal Braverman (2019)
My new album “Planting in a Drought – New songs of struggle, protest and encouragement” is doing well on folk radio stations throughout the country. Stay tuned for a new music video of one of the songs on this album, scheduled for release later this summer!
THIS MONTH’S MUSIC 1
“I’m Goin’ Off the Grid”
“I’m Goin’ Off the Grid” © 2020 Tom Smith (ASCAP)
Lyrics in the comments below.
Like many others isolating during this COVID-19 pandemic, I have been attending many virtual meetings using Zoom (and other services) and since March all of my live performances have been virtual. I find that I have to take frequent breaks, walk around to clear my head and stretch my muscles between meetings, some of which go on for hours. To be honest, some of these meetings are wonderful – connecting me to family and friends. I am so grateful to be able to see, converse and even play music with them. From time to time, however I just want to cut the cord and go off the grid – back to a simpler time and place. That is where this song comes in.
THIS MONTH’S MUSIC 2
“Made-for-TV” © 2020 Tom Smith (ASCAP)
Lyrics in the comments below.
On a very different topic, I can’t let this month go without commenting on the murder of a black man, George Floyd, in the streets of Minneapolis by white police – one of many similar terrible events. And now “the simmering pot” has finally boiled over and we are seeing Black Lives Matter protests not only in our country, but around the world.
Although I do include songs about current events from time to time in The Kitchen Musician, I hesitated to include this one because I was uncomfortable singing it – thinking that my listeners would prefer to avoid discomfort that has assaulted them in TV news and the front pages. And truthfully, when I share songs that have a strong political focus, some folks unsubscribe from my mailing list. No musician likes to see their mailing list shrink; but in the end, my discomfort is the reason why I decided that I must share this song with you.
Like many others, I am shocked and outraged after viewing the horrific video of the killing of George Floyd – and following that, the spectacle of Donald Trump forcefully clearing peaceful protestors from Lafayette Square so that he could get a campaign photo holding up a bible in front of a boarded up church. He followed that with a speech in which he said that George Floyd would be pleased to see all of the demonstrations in his name – outrageous!
There is a lot of long overdue hard work ahead for all of us to get to the other side this.
“How many black lives will be taken
In the streets and in their homes?
How many deaths till we accept
The part of that we own?”
Thank you for listening. Some of you have been following The Kitchen Musician since it started in 2007! I can’t wait for the day when we can be in the same room again, sing songs together and embrace.
Until then… carry on!
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
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Greater Boston Food Bank
The Greater Boston Food Bank “works passionately to end hunger across Eastern Massachusetts by providing our neighbors in need the healthy food and resources they need to thrive… Your support enables GBFB to distribute healthy food to neighbors in need as well as nutrition programs and resources for sustained, healthy lives and healthy communities.” The GBFB has really stepped up its support for families adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – and there are a great many of them.