Manu Dibango. Cristina. Wallace Roney. Ellis Marsalis. Bucky Pizzarelli. Adam Schlesinger. Bill Withers*. Hal Willner. John Prine. The list will lengthen in the coming days, and one or two people have inquired very kindly about the possibility of Blue Moment tributes to some of these victims of the Covid-19 virus. At the moment I feel disinclined to deal with it in that way. I don’t want to turn this site into a parade of obituaries. I do, however, want to think about them.
Take John Prine. To be honest, I never followed his career closely, but he did provide me with one electrifying moment. It’s on Bonnie Raitt’s live recording of his great “Angel from Montgomery”. Raitt has set the scene when the guy who wrote the song comes in to sing the second verse. His voice is a dried-out husk. “When I was a young girl, I had me a cowboy / Weren’t much to look at, just a free ramblin’ man / But that was a long time, and no matter how I try / The years just flow by, like a broken-down dam.” Does something to me, anyway. Every time. You might feel the same.
* I should add that Bill Withers didn’t die of the coronavirus. But it seemed wrong to omit him.