August 23, 2017

I work from home and its just me and the rabbits, so after Tracey trudges off to work and the beasties have been fed the big question of the day is what kind of music to put on. It’s morning, so I’m just looking for a way to be coaxed into the day without anything I have to concentrate on too much since I’m in problem-solving and trouble-shooting mode. Classical is an obvious choice, but listening to WCRI (southeastern Connecticut / Rhode Island) and KBAQ here in Phoenix over the internet, well, it’s amazing how much stuff you hear over and over. Besides, they don’t play enough Boccherini for my tastes – I wonder what they have against the cello! Sometimes I’ll mix it up with music from my Hawaiian music collection, but even that can perk up my interest if something I really like comes on and it will distract me from my work. So I’ve been thinking about some natural music – music that combines the sounds of nature with acoustic instruments – and thus decided to put together my latest collection: “Natural Spa”.

The source of this collection is a series of offerings out on Amazon Digital Music under a series called the National Park Collection, featuring musicians that are no slouches in their own right: Tim Heintz, Dan Higgins, Grant Geissman, Melissa Hasin, and Dan Goldblatt, among others (they all have web pages, you can look them up). But it’s the kind of music I imagine hearing when I walk into the Spa at Wynn Las Vegas after a round of golf (always a good memory!).

Maybe it’s just that I’m getting too old for what’s going on in this country and around the world, but music for me has always been a place of refuge, a sanctuary where I can leave the world behind and retreat into another place. It could be my past, it could be a place back in time or a state of mind to what Jimmy Buffett created in “Margaritaville”, but it’s vital to my health and well being – as important as the air I breathe and the water I drink, and now more than ever. I thank my parents for giving me the love for music – my mom (may she rest in peace) and dad were always humming a tune when she’d be doing stuff around the house; I do the same thing (I think it drives Tracey crazy). In this day and age, I swear my music (and my wine) is the only thing that keeps me sane.

One thing I will just never understand is music that is discordant and angry. Sure, back in the late ’60s and early ’70s there was protest music, but listening to The Beatles’ “Revolution” or some of the psychedelic music of the time sounds like Beethoven compared to some of the rap and hip-hop you hear played at deafening levels in cars passing by you. Notice I said “some”, not “all” – I’m no prude, I just think music ought to be an instrument that brings folks together in harmony, not discord.

But I digress.

Some of the selection in my “Natural Spa” collection have already appeared in my other collections. Two Sounds of Hawaii offerings add color and mellowness to my “Hawaiian Style” collection, and music from Sounds of the Caribbean and Sounds of the Everglades appear in my massive “Tropical Breezes” collection. It’s all great stuff, perfect for listening to as I dip into the corporate e-mail wondering what the workday will bring.

“Natural Spa” is just the latest addition to my burgeoning music collection. In addition to artist-specific collections like The Beatles, Beach Boys, The Sandals, Gordon Lightfoot and George Harrison, I now have:

* “Tropical Breezes” a massive collection bigger than Margaritaville itself, containing everything from Jimmy Buffett to Bob Marley to Antonio Carlos Jobim to Ibrahim Ferrer to Herb Alpert, with lots of steel drum and retro Cuban music and everything in between

* “Bayou Country” – All kinds of Louisiana-themed music including Cajun music and Delta blues

* “Exotica” – retro and modern Exotica, everything from Les Baxter and Martin Denny to the Tikiyaki Orchestra and the Waitiki 7

* “Zen Surf” – a massive collection featuring sixty years of surf music of any and all types from all over the world

* “Surfear Tranquilo” – a subset of “Zen Surf”, focusing on the more mellow stuff

* “Ragtime” – Scott Joplin and other ragtime artists

* “Palm Springs Lounge Lizard” – think “Rat Pack”-style music from the ’50s and ’60s, perfect for highballs, martinis, and manhattans out on the patio

* “Mood Indigo” – a subset of “Palm Springs Lounge Lizard, focusing on the more mellow stuff

* “Hawaiian Style” – all kinds of music by Hawaiian artists, old and new

All available for download from (now there’s a thought!) – just kidding!

I know I’ve got to get around to a ’50s “Doo-Wop” collection and “Mexican Restaurant”, featuring all kinds of (what else?) classical Mexican and mariachi music, but first I think I’ll be rebuilding my “Flower Power” collection of late ’60s / early ’70s stuff that got destroyed when all the stuff I had downloaded from another music site to create the original collection got destroyed when we suffered a hard drive crash a bunch of years ago. But that’s something I’ve got to get in the mood for – I have to wait until the spirit moves me!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:24 | Comments Off on Latest Music Collection – “Natural Spa”
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