Madeline Peyroux’s sweet voice rings like a modern Billy Holiday and has been jingling around in the kitchen of my mind for forty-eight consecutive hours. Trapped there, her lyrics cook fantasies in my mind of another life – solid, unwavering, womanly (not how I have been feeling in reality for the past week). It’s nice to escape with her in this way, if only for an album’s length (there’s always repeat play!).
Peyroux is jazzy, bluesy, old-timey, and cosmopolitan all in one breath. Her sultry voice rings deep at first, yet attempting to sing along, it becomes clear that her range is admirably broad. Thanks to a month of recent theory work on the guitar, I was able to decipher the chord pattern by ear (1-4-1-5 repeat for the verse, 4-6m-3m-57 repeat for the bridge) and worked all afternoon on proper blues bar chords to get just the right sound to bellow out of my matte finish, red Art & Lutherie cherry wood guitar.
I do not try to fool myself about why this album, and why now. “Always a Use” is the forth track on Careless Love and the verse lyrics are as follows:
Maybe ain’t no use in sayin’ what I wanted to be
Maybe ain’t no use in playin’ a tune
Maybe ain’t no use singin’ my blues
But there’s always use in you and me
Maybe ain’t no use in watchin’ through the window
As the times in our lives roll on by
Maybe it ain’t worth all the trouble in thinkin’
But there’s always use in you and I
The lesson is simple and straightforward: Don’t over think the matter. Go straight to the heart and obey it and get down to it.
This lesson is precisely the lesson that the last three men in my life have not been able to follow. (Last three? Let’s be realistic, more like the last six.) Tonight I sing solo but imagine I’m serenading an audience comprised of these men, boldly and sensually taunting them and their indecisiveness. Who cares if they can’t hear; I can, and guess what? Time’s running short. They don’t know what they’re missin’.