Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Now THAT'S Music: Mountain Blue

Because I have two teenagers at home now, music is commonly a conversation topic.  "Mom, listen to this song, you'll like this one," is a phrase I hear often.  I guess I should be flattered that they care if I like their music, but no, let's be honest, they want me to like their music so we can listen to it in the car together.  I have explained to them that we can't listen to their music in the car for one important reason...I can't tolerate their music for more than 3 seconds, 10 max!  They feel the same about mine.  Though how anyone could not love mushy Delilah love songs, I can't imagine.

I am not really a big "music person".  I could probably count my CD's on one hand (on the other hand, I have hundreds of books!) And still, I am amazed at what a huge influence music is in our lives, even mine.  Lately I have been rather pre-occupied (health issues...enough said) and I find that music is very soothing.  When I need music therapy, I don't turn to Delilah though (sorry Delilah, you're still awesome!).  I have different kinds of music that I lose myself in, but right now it is acappella.  I love this group called Inside Out.  One day I decided that I needed to expand my music library, with more acappella, of course!  And what I found is the inspiration for this post.

Another kind of music I adore is Blue Grass.  One of my fondest childhood memories is of being at the drive-in with my family and hearing "Rocky Top" on the speakers before the movie.  Needless to say I adore the movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" (my husband can always make me laugh by doing the Soggy Bottom Boys dance!)  So I was more excited than dog with a dinosaur bone (sorry couldn't resist) when I found that there is a group that does Blue Grass, acappella style.  I found a sample on line and it was instant love!

Just in case you happen to share my fabulous taste in music (or if I can convert you...)  I would like to present...

Mountain Blue

You can click on their website to hear a sample...be careful there is no one around to see you dancing and singing in front of the computer!  Fortunately, I only had a small audience when I did it. . .

I e-mailed them to get information about buying CD's, and here (by permission) is the reply from Todd, one of the group.

"We are unique in the fact that we are the only southern gospel, bluegrass, LDS, a cappella quartet we know of in the world! There are three ways you can order our CD's. (1) On iTunes we have two of our three albums, but there are four tracks missing from the "Roll Back the Stone" album, just so you know (there are 16 tracks total), and those links are on our website at www.MountainBlueHarmony.com (2) You can meet up with someone in our group (most likely me) and get all three Cd's for only $25 by check or cash, or (3) you can order them through pay pal on my website at www.ToddHorneMusic.com and I can ship them to you. If you have any other questions feel free to call or e-mail me back. Thanks for listening and for your interest in our music. We love it and have a lot of fun singing together! Happy 2010!"

Todd Horne

If you share my love of acappella, Todd also recommends: Voice Male, Vocal Point, Noteworthy, and T Minus 5

Rocky Top, you'll always be home sweet home to me...good 'ole Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tenness... Ooops sorry, I..errr. got distracted...good 'ole Rocky Top...da da da da

Monday, January 18, 2010

Special Delivery: Answered Prayers

"In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf “Happiness, Your Heritage,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 119, 120).

I first heard this quote in December from my visiting teacher.  (Visiting teaching is a program in my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where the woman befriend and help one another through monthly visits and spiritual messages.)  Along with the quote she shared a beautiful story about a woman that had been an answer to prayer for her.  I don't have permission to share her story, it is one of those personal things you don't share publically.  However, I read a wonderful representation of this quote in another blog.  May I direct you to StorytellERDoc.  While you are there, read a few other of his posts...have some tissue ready...his posts are guaranteed to make you laugh or cry.

Another example of someone whose life is an answer to other people's prayers is Morrie Schwartz.  Like Gigi, I don't know him personally, but I read about him and was inspired through "Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom.  [Am I the last person on the planet to read, "Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom? It has sold over 14 million copies and been translated into 41 languages.]

Because it is such a popular book, I won't take the time to give you full review here.  I just want to say that I was so inspired by it.  It touched me first because parts of it were an affirmation of things I already knew, but it was nice to hear it from someone else.  Other parts of it were new, and some of it was just soul to soul touching wonderful. 

I have to take a moment to talk about Mitch Albom. He is the writer I want to be when I grow up.  His writing has a wonderful balance of being thought provoking and uplifting without being overly sweet or unrealistic.  Admittedly, this is what I strive for in my own writing, though Mitch is better at it than I am.  Besides Tuesdays With Morrie, I have also read his books For One More Day, and Five People You Meet In Heaven. I love and recommend them all.  Have a Little Faith is next on my list, but first I have to read Tuesdays With Morrie again!

So there you have it.  With Gigi and Morrie as my guides, my goal this year, this life is to be an answer to other people's prayers.