Hearts & Minds BookNotes

annotations, blurbs and ruminations

to enlarge the heart & stimulate the mind

and to happily generate mail order business for Hearts & Minds bookstore

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Location: Dallastown, PA

My lovely wife Beth and I own and operate--proprietors makes us sound more classy than we really are--a cluttered, diverse and independent bookstore in Central Pennsylvania. After well over 20 years, we are still not sure what to say when people ask if our shop is a "Christian bookstore." I do a monthly book review column over at our website; we hope that these new blogged bits will afford friends and customers the chance to see other books I happen to be reading, wishing to read, pretending that I read or at least believe that others should, if not read, know about. We have three children, attend a Presbyterian church in York, PA and have no hobbies.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Two Songs for Christmas

You may recall that a few months ago we shared our fondness for the new TV show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I think we were pushing lute recordings, actually, and it came up.

I've been waiting for Christmas Eve to link you to a clip from that show. It shows one of the most beautiful renditions of O Holy Night that I've ever heard. In the show, homeless musicians from New Orleans are hanging around Hollywood and studio locals (like Kevin Eubanks, who makes a cameo appearance) are calling in sick, and allowing these refugee players to get a gig and a paycheck. The guys at the Studio 60 show get 'em all to play together at their Christmas show. The horn player--who, in fact, really is a young trumpet player from N.O.--- shows some wild chops earlier in the show, but this Christmas piece is slow, gentle and very moving. The real photos of the on-going tragedy of New Orleans in the background give it an poignancy that is stunning.

Do you know the line in that song about breaking the chains of oppression---shades of Luke 4!---because "the slaves are our brothers."? What a song! Once at the NBC site, click on the "Watch Video" button for the "Musical Christmas tribute to the City of New Orleans." It is a wonderous few minutes.

And, while we are at it, click here for a free Christmas tune written by our friend, former VOL man, Bill Mallonee. His last album, Victory Garden gets my vote for one of the years top two or three releases, and we carry it, too, of course. This holiday song ("Every Father Knows") is quitessential Americana folksy rocker Bill, and works on many levels. He swipes a line from T.S. Eliott, too.

Merry Christmas, all.