Friday, April 11, 2014

The Memory Wall by Buddy Mondlock

The Thomas Ford Memorial Library's community room was packed a few weeks ago for a Friday at the Ford concert by singer and songwriter Buddy Mondlock, whose songs have been recorded by Guy Clark, Nanci Griffith, Janis Ian, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Once a New Folk Award Winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival, he has co-written songs with Garth Brooks and toured with Art Garfunkel. People not only from around Western Springs but also from Park Forest (40 minutes south) where he grew up came out for our concert. They had a happy mini-high school reunion after the concert.

After the concert was also when I purchased his most recent CD The Memory Wall. I have been listening to it in the car and grown quite fond of some songs, including the first track, "The Ugly One," which evokes prehistory when humans drew with charcoal, rocks, and blood on cave walls. The title of the CD comes from a line in the song.

"A Canary's Song," written in 1992 with Garth Brooks, is a very memorable song about taking the bright yellow birds into the coal mines, knowing one's survival there is forecast by the songbird. Young lovers and nature are described in "Quoddy Point," a song about a place in Maine where sunlight first strikes the United States each day. "Lost in Space" should make anyone who has watched television reruns smile.

Most of the YouTube videos of Mondlock are weak and don't capture his live presence. But
"Central Park," which sounds like a song Art Garfunkel should record if has has not already, is well done and should give you a good sense of the performer. Sometimes he is a bit more Nashville (where he now lives) and at others I also thought of California folk rock. His songs are all good, mostly mellow, listening.

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