The artist of the day is currently residing in Los Angeles, California. His roots are still entrenched in the Hills of North Carolina, and this is something I can relate to. Despite, my having lived in the soft rolling hills of Ohio, my roots are still entrenched in the Hills of Kentucky. The children of the early settlers, of this great nation of ours, probably held close to the roots their parents had left back in England, Ireland, and Scotland. The culture, the traditions, the family values and just about everything they held sacred had flowed back through the Atlantic. There was a strong connection, although they had never even lived there, at least that is a theory of mine. The Carolina connection shines through the beautiful music Jonathan creates.
Jonathan is another one of those artists, which has driven me to do what I do here. The days where a local artist could get heard, on local radio stations, have long passed. The deregulation of the radio industry has resulted in every large station in the nation playing the same playlist, while giving the DJ’s very little, if any, room to use their own ears, to help promote some of these great, but struggling artists. The advent of internet radio and satellite radio has helped offset it some, but it is still very difficult for these artists to develop a regional following without exposure from local radio. Public radio helps a little, but honestly, not enough are listening to public radio, to foster a regional following. Here in Cleveland, WMMS helped push Rush and Bruce Springsteen to national prominence. Today, that station carries talk radio through most of the day, and plays music, midday and in the evening, when they aren’t carrying a ballgame. Change isn’t always better.
Jonathan appears to me, to be one of those artists, who has earned great respect from some legends. Legends like Bob Weir, Tom Petty, and Jerry Garcia, but has not been able to translate that into commercial success. If you want to know more about Jonathan, I suggest reading his about page on Facebook. He is currently working on a collection of songs as part of a tribute album from the works of Roy Harper.
All the videos selected come from the Album “Gentle Spirit” which was released two years ago. The album got very good ratings by music magazines but judging by the views from Youtube, the rest of the world didn’t get the memo. The first video is “Desert Raven.” The video is very well done, and the song brings the Doors to my mind. Just from, some of the guitar work , which I hear in a few bands out of L.A. The second song” Natural Rhapsody” is another beautiful piece. If someone played this for me, and told me it was a newly discovered Pink Floyd song, I would have believed them. The third video “Ballad of the Pines” brings back memories of my youth, just from the name alone. The days spent climbing the Pines across from my Granddaddy’s house, and sliding back down on the dead pine needles. My uncle Willis once made a little tune about me, singing “Brian, Brian pooped in the pines.” Silly as it was, it is one of my fondest memories of him, just from the grin he had singing it. Some of the silliest things our loved ones do, can become some of our fondest memories of them, when they are long gone. As Adults, we can never be to silly for the young kids in our lives. That silliness can end up lasting forever as a positive memory. Oh, before I forget, this song is as pretty as they come. Enjoy!!!
Have a blessed day. Fill your hearts with kindness and remember nothing is more important than today.