Ever remember that Coca Cola commercial that went, "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony"? It might be a jingle from before your time. It even has a Coca Cola colonialism line that goes, "I'd like to buy the world a Coke..." Let's forget about that. Let's remember Lauren Mattone and the Barefoot Sunday Band by saying she has the voice and timbre to sing that hopeful line believably, "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony". She's a teacher after all. More, when Coleridge wrote, "A damsel on a dulcimer in a vision once I saw: It was an Abyssinian maid. And on her dulcimer she played, singing of Mount Abora", it is easy for my imagination to cast her as the maid on the dulcimer. We could dismiss this as a mad crush on Mattone and first let me prove this is far more abstract and archetypal than that. We all know her as a wife and family leader in our community whose love and strength was tested in the recession of 2008-2012. More, Mattone's voice manifests the eternal feminine as profoundly as do the voices of Edith Piaf, Nina Simone and locally, Ruth Bloomquist. She did her time on the blues and roots music trail with local greats such as Catfish Johnny. If my reader is a credentialed musicologist and disagrees, I don't want to know.
It's not rare. It's just that it spins my head every time a female chanteuse manifests the eternal feminine.
Judge for yourself as she opens up with the words of Angel from Montgomery, written by John Prime in 1971. Be sure she'll sing it tonight. This isn't Barefoot Sunday's first rodeo at the Centertown Block Party and that first song is going to take me back to ArtWalk 2011. Listen for the chorus of Angel from Montgomery, "Make me an Angel that flies from Montgom'ry". If songs well sung were wishes granted, Mattone would sprout seraphim wings.
Back to the top, "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony". ArtWalk is dedicated to a kindred goal, teaching the world to make and appreciate art, starting with any man, woman and child. Centertown Block Party makes a good start on the promise. All manner of our local painters and mixed media artists set up plein aire and set to work before our children's eyes, and our generous artists work, answer questions and inspire. Bring all the kids at home and the neighbourhood to watch and learn!
Grand Haven Art Walk is all about the children and the more than one hundred children exhibiting at the Loutit Public Library prove that we are gaining on our goal of sharing the arts to the upcoming generations. Kudos to John Martin and his staff at the library for taking the wealth of entries in stride. Double kudos to the hard working photographer who posted pictures on Facebook of every single art piece. Grand Haven Art Walk is stronger than ever and this makes only one example of this year's new growth.
Yes, food will be shared with all. I'll probably be like Chris Protas, who brought the art of twenty New York artists to town and to Grand Rapids and looks as if he's been too excited to eat.