Luke and Dan

Luke and Dan indeed. Who might they be? The steamy central figures of my holiday romance? Cowboy twins with laugh lines and warm hands?

Well, no.

(That would make for an interesting entry though, wouldn’t it?)

Let’s start with Luke. My discovery of Luke Doucet’s music was completely and totally the doing of aos over at Revenge of the Castanets. He posted this and told me he had me in mind with the Luke songs. He’s good; -really good. I loved both videos. This kid is mesmerizing to watch, you can see that he means what he’s singing while he’s singing it, and he has that mastery over the guitar that allows a musician to sink into the heart of a song without losing touch with the words. Here’s a reprise of the video, ‘It’s not the liquor I miss’

* * * * * * * * *

Now Dan… Dan Wilson- my interest in him unfolded naturally over the week’s vacation (pictures pending). We were listening to xm radio during the long car ride, and twice I asked the people in front to tell me who the artist was on a particular song. Both times it turned out to be Dan Wilson.

The first song was ‘Easy Silence’ which he wrote with the Dixie Chicks one fateful day. That same co-write session also netted the grammy winning hit ‘Not Ready to Make Nice‘. The Dixie Chicks put their version of Easy Silence on their c.d. and Dan Wilson put his on his newly released solo album ‘Free Life‘. Despite the fact that it played on the radio, Wilson’s version has proved almost impossible to find. The other song I heard was ‘Cry’, and while I didn’t know who the artist was in either case, there was something familiar about the voice.

Sure enough, Dan Wilson is the lead vocals for off again on again band Semisonic, a band so laid-back and erratic they surely would have melted into the atmosphere unnoticed if not for hits like ‘Chemistry’ and ‘Secret Smile’. More recently, they released the hit ‘Closing Time’ which reached #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, and was nominated for a grammy in 1999. I came across Dan giving an explanation of that song’s lyrics on YouTube, and it was kind of a surprise.

It intrigues me how quietly Dan Wilson has existed. ‘Free Life’ seems to have been released with little hype or fanfare, which is how many unknown artists do it, but not generally how grammy winning song writers/musicians approach the industry. I found an interview of Dan Wilson by my very own darling kink fm out of Portland, in which he talks a little about the process of songwriting. He’s just a really normal, unobtrusive guy from Minneapolis, who happens to be a crazy songwriting talent.

I had one more surprise in store regarding Dan: Months ago, I tried to find the American Pie song I so wanted to download, but couldn’t discover the artist or the name for it. I had given up on ever figuring it out. Guess who? Yep, Dan Wilson and Bic Runga were responsible for this gorgeous little gem. ‘Good Morning, Baby’

… Enjoy.

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