It's a restless night for me. Not a bad thing for a wannabe writer. At 3:00 a.m., I am quite awake and in a reflective state. I have revisited some old Bukowski poems and have delved into several forgotten Tom Waits CDs. It feels like a night which should be accompanied by some cheap white wine, but all that I have is B&J Strawberry Daiquiri coolers. They'll do.
It seems that the things that I discovered in the early '90s have really stayed with me. I was in my early 20s at the time and really came across some cool stuff: the aforementioned Tom Waits CDs and what is now my shelf full of Bukowski books. Somehow, in remembering that period of my life, I decided that I should play "Strong Enough" by Sheryl Crow. Despite her boring works of late and her weird and uninspired duets with the likes of Kid Rock or Stevie Nicks, her first CD holds up as interesting, evocative, and fulfilling.
It has a resonant tone which continues to move me with repeated listenings. There is so much more to it than the pop songs we all remember. There is escapism, regret, joy, and empowerment. Born of a playful, weekly songwriters' get-together, Tuesday Night Music Club was released on August 3, 1993. I was working at Turtle's Music and dating the woman who would soon reveal herself to be quite unashamedly unfaithful to me. Heartbreak and personal growth was just around the corner, and of course I would turn to music and its lyrics to heal me.
David Baerwald, of David and David fame, was the co-writer who gave Sheryl Crow's songs the punch that they needed. Smart stories about flawed people, making bad decisions with the best of intentions. These songs have maintained their strength over the years. I'm sorry that David and Sheryl aren't still writing together. He is still making records with bite and heart, but no one knows who he is. And Sheryl is selling millions of records that are forgettable and bland. Someone really needs to get them together again. Until then, we'll always have 1993.
Do yourself a favor and pull out Tuesday Night Music Club and give it a listen on a quiet night. It'll do you well.