Finding You Again
on ACE Records
- HOW DARE YOU LOVE ME
- MAYBE IT’S THE RAIN
- EXETER (THE WEDDING WALTZ)
- FINDING YOU AGAIN
- SOMEBODY’S ANGEL
- THE THUNDER OF GOODBYE
- THE GRAVITY OF THE WORLD
- SOMEWHERE IN THIS CITY
- HOW THE NIGHTS CAN FLY
- SOMEONE TO ADORE
- LET IT GO
* Lind has delivered a mature and reflective album revealing that all his poetic invention remains solidly in place.
Kingsley Abbott, Record Collector Magazine —
First Studio Album for 40 Years
If the opening cut on Bob Lind’s first new album in over 40 years isn’t autobiographical, it might as well be: a tale of a dark and damaged man resisting the love of a strong woman, How Dare You Love Me fairly mirrors facets of an artist who, by his own admission, wasn’t the most wonderful person to know or work with.
With his demons now a distant memory, however, Lind has delivered a mature and reflective album revealing that all his poetic invention remains solidly in place. Working with his pal Jamie Hoover, the pair have constructed a beautifully produced set of songs that ultimately form a positive and uplifting statement but from a particularly adult perspective. Anyone hankering after Lind’s soaring melodies, his lyrical imagery and expressive voice will be more than delighted with what they find here – Lind’s voice in particular clearer and more confident than we might expect.
Ultimately, however, the songs define him. Every single one here offers wealth and interest with just enough of the 60s poking through to make them feel comfortable. With an arrangement that will make everyone smile, the title track perhaps describes Lind making this album for us. We welcome him back with open arms.
Big Beat | CDWIKD 307
Reviewed by Kingsley Abbott
* Songcraft that stands far and above almost anything else being released today.
Brian Miller, Vivoscene magazine (The Music Within) –
Vivoscene rating 9.7
A forty-year absence from the recording scene finds troubadour Bob Lind in almost unimaginably terrific songwriting and vocal form. His new album Finding You Again is a triumph of the highest order from beginning to end. Immaculately and movingly produced by Jamie Hoover of the Spongetones, these songs are not merely written or performed; they are, each of them, crafted as carefully and as artfully as Lind’s equally brilliant work from the 60s and 70s. His voice and his musicianship are compelling. We’ll go out on a limb and state that we haven’t a clue whether work as fine as this will find an audience in present-day iTunes land, but one thing is for certain: these songs will last. The album brings to mind Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem ‘Music: The Breathing of Statues’ in which the immortal German poet wrote:
Feelings for whom? Transformation
of feelings to what? Into audible landscape,
Strange land: Music. Space grown from our hearts,
Ours most intimate,
stepping beyond us,
Bob Lind’s most famous song is, of course, “Elusive Butterfly”, and over the years Lind must have felt imprisoned by the success of this tune. It was not even his best song, but it captured the imagination of millions of 60s hippies, collegians, protesters and dreamers who were entranced by the beauty of his poetry and the hook-laden production. He made a few records after that, none of them particularly successful, and gained a reputation as a difficult man to work with. Alcohol, ego and the independent streak that often accompanies rare talent were factors in his absence from the record charts, but Lind continued to write, perform and perfect his craft. He has amassed a catalogue of over 300 songs, and has been covered by more than 200 artists including Aretha Franklin, Hoyt Axton, Marianne Faithfull and Eric Clapton.
He has become well-known for delivering particularly affecting stage performances, because despite his characteristic wise-ass attitude (in some respects), you could always count on Lind to write and sing from a unique place: the union of his heart and mind. Others who went there crashed and burned. John Lennon, Tim Hardin, Phil Ochs: these artists met untimely ends before they did their best work. Bob Lind has been blessed with survival, and as it turns out, the blossoming of his considerable talents. Had Tom Paxton (“Changes’) progressed in his artistry, he might have produced something as fine as Finding You Again. Had John Lennon lived, he might have written something as elegant and as moving as “Someone To Adore” or as balls-to-the-walls as “The Gravity of The World”.
Now I don’t know who or what influences Lind these days, but I’d be very surprised if he didn’t dedicate himself (at some point in his life) to the reading of such poets as Lorca, Bertolt Brecht, and the great Russian lyric poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. The images in Lind’s writing, the specificity of his approach, and his commitment to looking towards the sublime are strongly reminiscent of the great lyric poets of the 20th century. I’ll quote from one of the highlights of the record, the truly beautiful ballad entitled “Someone To Adore”:
The song that swells in every beating heart
The theme that throbs in every classic work of art
The drive that draws a man to churches and to whores
Someone to adore”
And the closing track, entitled “Perspective” offers up some wonderful, thoughtful and piercing images, unmatched in the writing of virtually any contemporary songwriter you care to name:
What if you leave me
The faithful moon will keep on rising
Stars will shimmer birds will fly
The nights will fall, and years will slide
So, the question remains, why release a record now, after 40 years. Bob Lind expressed his convictions and decision succintly when he said recently:
To me, music is simple. You get in a room, or on a stage, or outdoors in the sunshine, and you play a part of your life into the life of someone else (or several someone elses). That’s it. It’s direct, it’s immediate and it’s not caged up in time. You say what you have to say and it’s fucking over. It connects or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, life goes on. If it does, something true and meaningful has happened.
My songs are never finished. I sing them as they occur to me in the moment. They change a little every time I play them. Recording “pins” songs like entomologists on moths and spiders into bug collections. The shells are preserved but the life is over.”
Things changed when he started working with Jamie Hoover, who proved to be both a talented and sympathetic producer. Before Lind knew what was happening, they’d agreed to work on a new recording together. Lind’s suspicions and past experience of the record industry disappeared entirely in his excitement of working with Hoover. Says Lind, “his love for my music not only brought out the best in his production artistry; it also gave him the downright divine tolerance to put up with my raging temper and often tactless criticism – I’m maniacally defensive of my songs and don’t frame my objections kindly… His mantra was ‘I want you to be happy’. He constantly sought to bring my ideas to life in his unique and creative way.”
Key tracks on the record: “How Dare You Love Me”, “Maybe It’s The Rain”, “Someone To Adore”, and well, pretty much the entire album. It’s a brilliant piece of work, with adult perspectives, witty lyrics, some inspired singing, and above all, the evidence of songcraft that stands far and above almost anything else being released today. And despite what Bob says about the recording process, this record is that good. Really that good.
My own personal favourite of all 2012 albums to date. Highly recommended.
Porthole Cruise Magazine, April 2013 –
Bob Lind, Finding You Again
The ’60s singer-songwriter best known for “Elusive Butterfly” has returned four decades later with a well-crafted collection of compelling songs — including a title track that outs him as a cruiser. Over toe-tapping Latin percussion, “Finding You Again” unfolds a story of longtime love in the familiar ports of the Eastern Caribbean and on a train ride across Panama. There are plenty of other musical styles on display here (to the credit of protean producer Jamie Hoover, of Spongetones fame), but the songs all share the same well-crafted poetic sensibility, from the wistful reflections of “Maybe It’s the Rain” to the infectious optimism of “Somewhere in this City.”
* Organic and simple, but smacking of top-notch sound quality, Finding You Again is nothing short of a phenomenal return to form.
Beverly Paterson, Something Else! –
Flush with beauty and mystery, “Elusive Butterfly” by Bob Lind remains one of the greatest tunes ever to inhabit the airwaves. The track reached #5 on the charts, both in America and Europe, making an instant star out of literate singer/songwriter, who was born in Baltimore, Maryland.
Although Bob never came close to repeating the commercial success he achieved with “Elusive Butterfly,” he continued to record into the early 70s. He then left the music business, but his reputation has always stood firm, as a posse of artists, including Keith Relf, Blues Project, the Kingston Trio, Cher, Aretha Franklin and Eric Clapton have rendered his material.
Here on Bob’s first full-length studio album in 40 years, Finding You Again, we’re treated to the same hauntingly poetic musings that initially launched him into the spotlight. As an added bonus, Jamie Hoover of the renowned North Carolina pop rock band, the Spongetones, contributes his multiple talents to the disc.
Cloaked in a coat of rich and warm tones and textures, Finding You Again flows with ease and agility. Bob’s folk fashioned vocals are strong and expressive, which correspond harmoniously with the crisp crackle of acoustic guitars and stirring piano passages. Confessional lyrics, examining the highs and lows of love and life in general, really pull the listener in, resulting in a collection of songs that challenge both the brain and the audio senses.
Special attention goes to tunes like “How Dare You Love Me,” “The Gravity Of The World,” “May,” “Somewhere In This City” and the title cut, but the whole album shimmers with exemplary measures. A hypnotic timbre steers the reins, while the melodies are tight and toxic.
Organic and simple, but smacking of top-notch sound quality, Finding You Again is nothing short of a phenomenal return to form. Bob clearly still has the energy and insight to craft moving songs, so let’s hope he sustains the momentum and we won’t have to wait another four decades for him to record another disc!
* If you wanted to surprise us, after 40 years without a major album or CD release, you have succeeded Bob. What a nice wonderful surprise it is too!
Wyman Stewart, The Music Muse Interview —
(Excerpt) – Finding You Again is the title track of Bob Lind’s new CD from Ace Records, Produced by Jamie Hoover. First, you’ll notice the exotic Caribbean music leading off the song; with a musical hint, of Middle Eastern mystery. You ask, “Is this a Bob Lind CD or a mix-up?” Then Bob Lind’s voice pops in. Yes, you recognize Bob’s voice.
“Surprise!” Bob Lind melded his voice to an exotic style of music. I have never heard Bob Lind this way. “Galaxy, steady stars, moving planets”; Bob, are these your lyrics? Certainly it’s Bob Lind, listen to the story. If you wanted to surprise us, after 40 years without a major album or CD release, you have succeeded Bob. What a nice wonderful surprise it is too! As an emotional Spock, a Vulcan, might say, “MOST FASCINATING!” I will just add, “Bob Lind, your CD is worth crowing about!”…
* A solid, welcome return.
Mick Houghton, Uncut magazine —
* “Lind delivers these [songs] with the vim and vigor of an artist half his age.”
Listen here to “How Dare You Love Me” and the Juke Box Jury’s review on Spencer Leigh’s “On the Beat“, BBC Radio Merseyside, 1 Dec 2012.
Some of you fellow geezers will remember the big folk-rock hit “Elusive Butterfly” from 1966. It was sung by a fellow named Bob Lind and like most people I lost track of Bob after that. Turns out he stopped recording, but he recently got in touch with me here on FB and said he’d made his first new album in 40 years and could he send me a copy?
I said sure but I was reasonably skeptical–how good could someone be after taking four decades off? Well, the punch line here is that I’m totally in love with his new album, ‘Finding You Again.’ His songwriting is better than it was even back then (think of it as an update of what he was doing back then but not retro), his singing is terrific and there’s absolutely nothing phony about this music! Anyone who has a soft spot for Bob’s big hit will really enjoy this. You can buy it through his website. Just superior stuff! Talk about comebacks!
* Demonstrates conclusively that genius can continue to flourish, even into an artist’s advancing years.
Roger Edmunds –
Reclusive folk-rock singer/songwriter Bob Lind – he of the classic 1966 megahit ‘Elusive Butterfly’ – is to release his first studio album in more than 40 years! “FINDING YOU AGAIN” demonstrates conclusively that genius can continue to flourish, even into an artist’s advancing years. Long known by music-business insiders for his self-destructive battles with the record industry, Bob Lind was, by his own admission, “poison to work with”. Now, thanks to veteran rock guitarist/producer Jamie Hoover, he has emerged with an album of new music that proves his craftsmanship has not only held up but improved and evolved since the 60s. Hoover’s sensitive, versatile production perfectly complements the songs – giving each cut the care and specific shading it deserves. Clean and sober more than 35 years, Lind reveals a late-blooming but tangible personal and artistic maturity in these new songs. He retains the astonishing lyrical virtuosity that brought him critical acclaim when he was in his early 20s, but his melodic scope has broadened and become even more accessible. Amazingly, his voice is stronger and more expressive than ever. The 13-song disc easily bypasses the criticism sometimes levied at singer/songwriters: that their songs all sound the same. Just contrast the rough-rocking self-condemnation of ‘How Dare You Love Me’ and the poignant, tentative soul-searching of ‘Maybe It’s The Rain’. Each song is different from the others, yet all contain the special stamp of one of America’s most passionate songwriters. Lind’s fearless self-honesty is almost uncomfortable to listen to at times. He reveals his darkest corners without ever coming off as self-indulgent, as evident on ‘The Gravity Of The World’. But there’s also a lot of joy in this album. ‘Let It Go’, ‘Exeter (The Wedding Waltz)’ and the vigorous, percussive Caribbean-flavoured title song demonstrate that Lind has not become closed-up and bitter with the passing of time. And there’s a first-ever in the inclusion of a song Lind didn’t write: Peter Allen and David Lasley’s ‘Somebody’s Angel’.
Forty-one years after releasing his last solo album, and forty-six years after “Elusive Butterfly” briefly made him a star, Bob Lind has unexpectedly returned with a new album, and the liner notes include an essay from the reclusive singer/songwriter titled “I Hate Recording!” Well, that gives some idea as to why he’s been avoiding the studio these past few decades (and his notes discuss his philosophical objections to recording in detail), but if it seems curious that all it took was a long-distance collaboration with Jamie Hoover of the Spongetones to change Lind’s mind about making an album, that does appear to be the genesis of Finding You Again, Lind’s surprise comeback. More than four decades after his retreat from the spotlight, Lind’s music sounds at once fresh and familiar — the lyrics have the same elliptical, poetic bent as his work of the ’60s, and most of the time they’re just as pleasantly cryptic as you recall, but the melodies and arrangements suggest Lind has been making a real effort to keep up with the times. If the results sometimes sound like an oddball fusion of ’70s soft rock and benign new age meandering, at the very least, you can’t say he’s trying to mimic the folk-rock of his best-known work. By Lind’s admission, some of these tracks were simply demos dressed up with overdubs by Hoover, while others were more carefully constructed from the ground up by the two collaborators; this may be the reason Lind sounds noticeably more ragged on some tunes than others, though his voice is in fine shape throughout, and even the more chaotic moments show Lind still has some fire in the belly and a desire to express himself. And Lind did indeed find a sympathetic partner in Hoover, who gives this music an accompaniment that’s tasteful, evocative, and well-crafted. Nothing on Finding You Again sounds like a lost classic (and as good as Hoover is, he’s no Jack Nitzsche), but for a guy who hasn’t made an album since Richard Nixon was president, Bob Lind doesn’t sound the least bit rusty on this album, and even appears to have learned a few things during his downtime.
Live at the Luna Star Café
numbered one to 1,000
- Elusive Butterfly
- How the Nights Can Fly
- I Love to Sing
- Looking For You
- Love the Way You Lie
- Mr. Zero
- Sophia’s Lullaby
- Spilling Over
- The Laughing Song
- Theme From the Music Box
- Two Women
- Wearing You
Susanne Gilmore, Longtime Lind fan — When I used to see Bob Lind perform on a regular basis during the early 80’s, his sets consisted of mainly new, unreleased material. Elusive Butterfly was always trotted out at the end of the show, sometimes grudgingly, I suspected. Now 25 years later, Lind seems to have reconciled his past, present and future and presented them all for the listener in Bob Lind Live at the Luna Star Café. The songs on this CD span over 40 years, yet they seem to weave and flow together in a timeless fashionable harmony.
I was delighted to hear some old “friends” ( I Love to Sing, Spilling Over), thrilled that some of his older unreleased material (Laughing Song, How the Nights Can Fly, May) had finally been recorded, and totally mesmerized by the new songs (Two Women, Sophia, etc).
It’s great to see that Bob hasn’t lost his sense of humor, his occasionally cynical viewpoint, his unabashed tenderness, or his way with words.
The vocals were crisp and clear (kudos to the engineers. Live recording is a tricky process) and to listen to the recording is to really feel that you are present in an intimate concert setting. This is obviously a setting that Lind feels comfortable in and it shows in the relaxed banter between the songs.
The songs ….. it’s interesting to note that lyrics to some of the older songs, such as Spilling Over, have changed over the years. Here, “cast her out” has become “let her go”, perhaps denoting increased regret with the passage of time.
“Sophia”, as Lind explains, is written for all the Chinese orphans adopted by American parents. “You will make a journey over water, the Chinese fortunes used to say, Not many trust those sunny proverbs anymore, But sometimes love still finds a way”.
A touching lullaby for any child, adopted or otherwise, who will grow up and learn that “someday you’ll know how much you’re loved”.
Lind tells us that every man knows “Two Women”, and every woman can and will become both of them. People change during the course of a relationship, and this is a theme that Lind explores here with the voice of experience. Over the years, this has been the topic of many a Lind song, and he’s still got a new twist to put on the subject.
Now I am waiting patiently for a new studio album from Bob, and hoping that it retains the same personal, straight-forward simplicity displayed here. Just don’t make us wait another 35 years!
Michael Ofjord, All Music – Bob Lind has proven once again that one-hit wonders often had more talent than one top-5 hit would suggest. Forty years after “Elusive Butterfly,” Lind has given us an acoustic CD that showcases his folk roots and often tasteful picking on guitar. And it is evident that he is still chasing that elusive butterfly after all these years. His voice sounds surprisingly strong, and no different than it did in the 1960′s.
Lind’s choice of material for this CD is a good mix of old and new.
In fact, one of the better tunes is the most recent one, called “Wearing You.” It blends a good melody, strong rhythmic guitar, and his unique style of ethereal, but down to earth lyrics, stating at one point “You’re the most revealing truth I ever wore.”
Highlights include “Mr. Zero,” “Theme From the Music Box,” and the previously unrecorded “Love the Way You Lie.” “Sophia’s Lullaby” is an atypically sentimental look at a young girl who was adopted in China by American parents.
Perhaps the best song on the CD is the last one, “How the Nights Can Fly.” Written in 1971 but not recorded until now, it shows us how Lind got the reputation of being a “sensitive, ethereal folk-poet,” to use Lind’s own words. The melody is beautiful and Lind’s singing brings a high level of nuance and feeling.
Bob Lind, with the recording of this CD, shows us that he still has more music to reveal. One can sense his love of music and meaningful lyrics, and he obviously still enjoys performing in front of a live audience. Hopefully this is not the last of his recordings, but it is certainly a reminder of the substantial talent he is.
Carla Chadick, American Media — If you’re looking for an intimate album that makes you feel like you are there, then Bob Lind’s exceptional CD Live at Luna Star is for you!
With his excellent guitar picking, thought-provoking lyrics and haunting tunes, Lind proves that his artistry has only improved with age.
His soaring tenor is the perfect instrument to interpret both lively ditties like “Love the Way You Lie” or the heartfelt ballad “Sophia’s Lullaby.” And the immediacy of the album is brought to the fore by Lind’s biographical quips to the audience. He actually opens the door and gives you a peek at how a songwriter develops his craft – a real plus for any music lover.
One of the biggest surprises is the “Elusive Butterfly” cut – Lind’s 1966 Top 10 smash. After performing it thousands of times over the last 40 years, this stunning performer gives it a totally fresh, exhilarating turn that has you believing you’re hearing it for the first time.
Best of all, the zest and joy of this masterful folksinger infuses every selection.
BUY THIS ALBUM!
SONY recording artist Jamie Hoover, The Spongetones —
I LOVE this new “Live At The Luna Star Café” thing! It hasn’t been out of my car yet — which is where I listen to everything.
Bob’s voice sounds amazing — great falsetto, perfect pitch, everything! Great guitar playing too, and finger picking! All the banter between songs is entertaining, smart, interesting and funny. (This old “yellow dog” really liked the “cowboy” comment, by the way! ;-) I’d say all Bob’s fans will love this disc, for sure. It’s a real cut-to-the chase for what they want — which is pretty much just to go out to dinner with Bob. All the songs, ¬old and new, come across great. I really love the new stuff-stripped down from the demos too.
I hope he sells tons of these!
Daniel Brenner, Songwriter – Bob’s Since There Were Circles album has been my favorite one up to now, but after listening to Bob Lind Live at the Luna Star I may have to revise my opinion.
Its sound quality is great, but more importantly, the songs are terrific — it is pure pleasure to listen to it. This enjoyment is enhanced by Bob’s remarks between songs, which brings a sense of immediacy to the recording which wouldn’t be there otherwise. I almost feel like I’m in the audience listening to it live, and am often tempted to join with their applause.
Songs I had never heard before include “Looking For You” and “Wearing You.” I love both of these, and am struck again by the ability of a talented artist to put feelings and concepts into words in ways most people could never have thought of. The guitar work on “Wearing You” is remarkable.
I never heard “May” before either, and it is so pleasant and witty I think I will have to listen to it quite a few times before the newness starts to rub off it. “Spilling Over” (despite its last verse) reminds me of my wife’s love so vividly it refreshes my love for her every time I listen it. Painfully lovely song. And just hearing the opening chords of “Butterfly” — my all time favorite song by anyone — releases feelings that clump together behind my eyes.
“Sophia’s Lullaby” is a song so potent (notwithstanding its gentle texture) that one has to be careful when he or she listens to it. What a reminder of the preciousness of every individual life! It’s the kind of song that can grab your heart a little too forcefully if you are not cautious.
Let me add that Bob’s voice is simply great. It is better now than it was in the 60′s and early 70′s–more confident and vibrant. And his stage presence just keeps getting better.
Terry Upp, Freelance Music Journalist –
So, we’ve waited 35 years for this? Bob Lind’s “follow-up” to the critically praised but sales-challenged “Since There Were Circles”? As a long-time fan, it was worth every minute of the wait, but Bob could sell me a new demo tape every six months.
Anyway, just to add a handful of new songs to my Lind collection is great. Especially the new instant classic “Wearing You”. And, finally a Lind recording of “How The Nights Can Fly”. Those two tracks alone are worth the price of admission, although I’d still like to hear a fully fleshed-out studio version of “How the Nights Can Fly” on a future release. It is a gem that just might be Lind’s best song after “Elusive Butterfly”. And, speaking of which, how great it is to have an alternate/live version of that after only 40 years. Best of all, Lind doesn’t phone it in or make it sound like “yes, I’ve sang this @#$% 6,417 times”.
The obligatory between song banter is standard issue “live album ” filler, but the music is what’s important. And, it fills this cd in fine fashion. My only real complaint: where are “Truly Julie’s Blues”, “Dale Anne”, “Go Ask Your Man” “She Can Get Along”, and a few other classics? Obviously, only so much could be included.
For those disappointed that a studio album (“Home In Time For Twilight”?) was not released first, look on the bright side: here are a half dozen more new songs that appear as if they would not have been included on that cd. Now, with the demos of those songs available for download until the “real” versions see the light of day, suddenly we’ve got about twenty new Lind songs in the course of little more than a year after a 35 year drought.
I consider this live release a portent of more great things to come. Welcome back to the music game, Bob! And, keep new releases coming, studio, “live”, “dead” or whatever. Just don’t make it another 35 years until the next one.
An Open E-mail From Dave the Rave, Host of the Nationally Syndicated Radio Show Relics and Rarities –
Love your CD — the packaging and the sound quality. I played “Elusive Butterfly” on the show last week cause I knew it and it was great. Loved the stories (the setups), and will play a different tune from the disc this coming Sat nite.
It’s a good CD and more importantly, you sound great on it. And the way you tell the stories before many of the songs gives a nice warm feeling. I think the power of your music combined with the warmth of your delivery makes for a powerful show & live recording!
I probably would have added “Cheryl’s Going Home” or “It’s Just My Love” to this release. But hell, what do us DJ’s know? It’s always, in my opinion, easier to introduce that which we wanna introduce: the NEW SONGS, when properly mixed with old favs.
Thanks for the disc. And feel free to call anytime if you need a push on any show or project.
– Dave the Rave
David Melvin Thornburgh, written for The Folk Club of South Florida Folk Notes. —
It is with great joy that I mark the release of this CD. I have been a fan of Bob Lind since his “Elusive Butterfly” became a hit in 1966. I and nearly the rest of America and the world instantly fell in love with his magical, romantic writing style and “the something of the eagle” in his fine performance. To my delight, when I went to the local record store back then, the music available on a division of Liberty Records, World Pacific Records, Don’t Be Concerned (WP 1841 for the audiophiles among us) included many of his other very fine songs of the time. It and a later LP, Photographs of Feeling (WP 1851) were and are great prizes of my record library. (I rate prizes not by street value of course, but by valuable creative content.) Many years went by. I lost track of Mr. Lind and his creative output, yet I revered his two LP’s and later made cassette copies of them to play in my car. Once I even wrote a letter to Congressman Sonny Bono, whom Bob had mentioned in one of his early songs — to the frustration of no reply. My friend Evan Chern* tracked down a CD compilation re-release of the two LP’s-plus-bonus tracks, and I bought several copies. I have given all copies away to Lind-fan friends over the years. I think that it is currently out of print, but I hope that I am mistaken.
ENOUGH OF THE PAST ! HIS CREDENTIALS ARE SINE QUA NON IN FOLK AND POP MUSIC.
When Mr. Lind played a short set at The Main Street Cafe in Homestead a few years ago, he was very personable, friendly, and humble, to the point of expressing doubts that folks actually remembered him after so long. He had not played lately and was testing the air to see if he still had an audience.
I found it fortunate that he is now living in Florida, having had been based in California for many years.
We in South Florida are quite lucky to have many fine nationally-known folk and popular musicians right here. He played mostly new material, folk-style, his vocal and guitar, and it was — and is — good. His writing and his skills have not been lost, thank goodness!
Shortly after that, Alexis at Luna Star Cafe gave him his first local solo gig – May 2004, as I recall, and it went splendidly. The house was full, to overflow capacity. We all had a great time, and he played very few of his old songs — letting his new ones and some that he had written after his initial ’60′s success, fill the evening. He has played Luna Star Cafe several times as of this writing, and this CD, Bob Lind Live at The Luna Star Cafe was recorded September 17, 2005, also to a packed house.
Tracks 1 and 2 are his introduction by Alexis, followed by his ice-breaker, “I Love to Sing” and “Laughing Song” — acappella – joviality unleashed.
Track 3 “Looking for You” is a humorous consideration of a semi-dark poetic report of looking for love in all the wrong ways and a few, odd places – gaffes definitely inwardly-barbed and outwardly-exposed. Most folks can relate to the awkwardness depicted. I commend Bob’s courage in this presentation and good sense of humor during this seemingly-confessional reportage from an earlier time of his human development.
His clear, clean melodies, fine guitar-playing and distinct vocals equal his masterful skills as a poet-lyricist throughout this concert. I note how his voice can soar, yet suddenly dive to wrap tenderly around a word. This trait, to me is his unique, endearing signature as an individual, creative vocalist.
Track 5, “Wearing You” is a fearlessly honest song about vulnerability in a relationship. He wonders if tomorrow he might suffer for his totally head-over-heels, spiritual-nakedness in his love for the other, whose love is noted equal in its reality. His love is obsessive, he feels, to the point of himself being cloaked inside the other person. A totally-romantic, poetic vision, worthy of this classically romantic, modern Sun-treader and his art.
6, 7 – Mr. Zero, one of my favorite songs from Bob’s first LP, is filled with many disparate images. It sharply contrasts sparkling, romantic images against the pain of rejection, e.g. “Trains with white letters and black iron sides…and tapestry kittens that hung on the wall / they all die in the air like a soft minor chord…” while “Mister Zero says, ‘Please, help me up off my knees’…and Little Miss Someone does not want to hear.” I first, in 1966, at age 14 or so related to the romantic images, wanting to yell at the writer, “Forget Mr. Zero and Miss Someone – concentrate on all the beauty, damnit !” Listening later in life, I came to understand the pain. Later still, I saw the contrast, as a whole. I love songs that allow for growth in understanding, that do not attempt to dictate feelings and awareness, but which honestly and artistically reach toward them.
Tr 8 – “I Love the Way You Lie” seems like a fun-type, upbeat, devil-may-care love song, but with elements and tinges of his “Reno, Funtown, U.S.A.” -type wildness in the music. It evolves from fitful beatings on rhythm guitar, to a more genteel finger-style toward the song’s conclusion. Note : “Reno, Fun Town” and its ‘spiritual’ companion “The World is Just a “B” Movie” I assume have been left to the old days and do not appear here.
Tr’s 9, 10 In “Two Women,” the cliche of “whom do you choose, the easy fun-girl or the responsible wife who knows you, yet still loves you ?” – is not trite nor does it play out as expected. Lind is bright and creative, and the song ends in a bright and creative way. I’m sure you’ll agree.
Tracks 11-19 inclusive comprise a remarkable set of gently-uplifting inspirations, the ethereal and spiritual “meat and potatoes” (if I may) of what endears Mr. Lind’s art to me. Tracks 11 and 12, “Sophia’s Lullaby” and its intro contrasts the divisive “us-or-them” protest-mentality with examples of personal, positive, result-generating activism. His strong opinions noted, persevere – yet perspective triumphs too, in this gentle song. Track 13, “Theme From the Music Box” tenderly entreats us to cherish fleeting moments, and even though “the world does not pretend to need you – let it make you beautiful.” I can see this fine melody and these sublime words being inspired with the clean perspective and charm usually found only in a quiet room, music box sparkling its chimes to sunlight and silence. 14 – “May” is a lilting whisp of some sweet memory. 15 “Spilling Over” reminds one to recognize and respect a true love while you’re together and before it’s too late. Tracks 16 and 17 are reserved for “Elusive Butterfly,” Bob’s live, acoustic version of his best-known hit. A treat here to perceive and to cherish. On tracks 18 & 19, Bob Lind closes the evening’s concert with “How the Nights Can Fly,” which opens with the line, “There was something of the eagle, in the way his voice could rise…” and the later, “She was turning toward the sky.” I’ve not yet heard the Richie Havens version mentioned in his intro (Tr. 18), nor can I imagine how there could be any improvement on such heartfelt, wistful beauty from the living muse who created such a song, an absolutely gorgeous work.
Bob Lind is a treasure of our time, here and now, as well as one who is worthy of inclusion in the ranks of “those who in their lives fought for life” (and who, better, love for life and love back to life) and who “wear at their heart the fire’s centre” as that Stephen Spender poem “The Truly Great” goes. Please look to Mr. Lind’s website above and buy his CD. It’s a treasure, long-overdue, but right on time for us here and now. His concerts, as this CD attests – are special, and no one but Bob and his special lady Jan can really appreciate how special and truly delicious are these days of a remerging, vital and creative, romantic and spiritual, visionary poet of a songwriter.. May the world continue to play you both like the beautiful song you have become. You’re right – they don’t go by for nothing, these moments – they come to touch and carry you. We try so sadly to catch such moments in our hands. The night was magic, and it captured all of us there at Luna Star Cafe for a sumptuous hour or so. May this CD of that night capture and recapture Bob Lind fans and fans-to-be everywhere !
Reviewed by David Melvin Thornburgh / 6 March 2006.
*In the 1990′s, my friend Evan Chern (at Yesterday and Today Records at 9274 Bird Road, Miami Fl. 33165, ph 305-554-1020, YandTrec@aol.com) – found the Bob Lind CD “You Might Have Heard My Footsteps” for me online somewhere. I am indebted to Evan and his co-worker Bob Rubin for record-finding help over the years. dt