Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Let Him In

Along with 140 other Louisville music fans, I took in an intimate performance of the "son of royalty," James McCartney, who is promoting his latest cd release "Me."

We all know that the phenomenon of  being a "star child" is as much a curse as it is a blessing.  While we can't ignore the fact that James is the son of perhaps the greatest living musician at this moment, birthright isn't what defines him.
He is his own musician.
And that musician is multi-layered, dripping with talent.

James performed an acoustic show, sharing his original music via guitar or keyboard. As obvious as the rising sun, McCartney's musical talent is undeniable. His voice (yes, if you close your eyes does remind you of that someone we all know), refined guitar, and my personal favorite, his brilliantly full piano work does produce superb music.  

Most of the show included the beautiful songs from the just released cd, but also included his popularly performed cover of Neil Young's "Old Man." Curiously, James' encores, including, "Thinking About Rock & Roll" are what sparked audience enthusiasm which almost broke through that invisible wall which seemed to protect him. For just a moment he cracked a smile and seemed to let down his guard.

James' new cd is chock full of delicious songs that are pieced together magnificently. His lyrics convey many messages and emotions that we presume to be applicable to his life.  Along with containing great music, the "Me" cd credits original artwork & illustrations to the multi-talented James and his gorgeous art makes the cd even more pleasing. 

Like all great songwriters, James draws upon his life experiences to create eloquent prose. It seems that he wants to acknowledge where he comes from, but he's afraid that no one will take him seriously. Being a fan of The Beatles and a jillion other bands, I personally feel that folks already welcome James and his music into their world...but they must see a little more from him than just his musical expertise. We want to see his personality--which perhaps is very reserved, however, these Southerners need a little slice of charm on the side. As they say, you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar....
I'm sure the reality of growing up the son of one of the most famous musicians in history has surely been a weight for James, but isn't it possible to look past that and try to enjoy performing your art with true music fans? James is making obvious declarations that he is making his own statement, as shown by naming his latest CD  "Me." After reading many reviews which suggest that James is depressed, I watched with great interest to see if my psychological evaluation would produce the same diagnosis. I couldn't help but feel that perhaps James is fulfilling the requirements of a record label or even someone's direction that he "pay his dues." His heart doesn't appear to truly want to connect with fans and share in the appreciation of his heritage and celebrate the talent that he obviously embodies. I certainly wish for him to welcome the comfort in sharing his talents.
James, I guarantee you have us BEFORE "hello," however, ya gotta tell us "hello" at some point in order to keep us hangin' on.....

The close of the evening found my friend Marla & I in a very long line to get an autograph from the musician. However, when someone screamed that a member of the audience was unconscious and needed CPR, my friend didn't blink an eye as she ran to help. Needless to say that disrupted our chance to enjoy meeting James, however, he seemed very eager to exit the venue & less eager to chit chat, which is what we would've preferred .....  The horrible accident that occurred immediately following the show was an enormous reminder to me that life is fragile and it can be completely turned around in an instant.

Peace & Love,
Lanea Stagg
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Nowhere Man said...

Great review Lanea. You hit the nail on the head. He doesn't seem like he wants to do the concerts but more like he is obliged to perform.
Even though he is multi talented he didn't seem genuinely happy.
I can only wish James McCartney all the best as he tries to find his own path and identity in this life.

Lanea said...

Thank you for the confirmations Robert!! Yes, it might take James awhile to understand the culture of the American music consumer. His father figured it out rather quickly & completely! Cheers!