January's track was Maya Angelou’s poem “Human Family”, recited by Danny Glover and accompanied by the Shaker song “Simple Gifts” by Elder Joseph Brackett. I’ve always had an acting itch, only scratched publicly twice, in a high school production of Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth”, and in Christopher Fry’s “A Sleep of Prisoners” with people from the town of Oberlin in a beautiful church on a snowy winter eve many years ago. Thus it was thrilling to be able to perform with Danny, however briefly.
OK, so it wasn’t I, it was my guitar, and in the far more capable hands of Sudhananda, who also played recorder and was associate producer. Vocals were by Priya Swan Jae. It was produced by my long time friend Leib Ostrow for “This Land is Your Land: Songs of Unity”, on his “Music for Little People” label. A portion of the proceeds benefit The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Program.
The guitar was one I made for Leib in 1978, of which he speaks here: Testimonials
In our current divisive climate, Maya’s deceptively simple message is important to remember.