Friday, September 11, 2009

Robyn Hitchcock recommends "Cherry Picking Apple Blossom Time"

HwyCDRrev from the VegetableFriends Yahoo group at: passes along this little interesting tidbit from Robyn Hitchcock...

Robyn Hitchcock recommends Cherry Picking Apple Blossom Time

David Greenberger meanders around America, lovingly collecting the
life stories of old people like fireflies in a jar. On Cherry Picking Apple
Blossom Time
visits Milwaukee which, as one elderly resident explains, has the
same number of letters as Wisconsin. Over a smoky grid of blues-funk
and acoustic guitar played by Paul Cebar and his band, David recites
anecdotes and reflections from the Milwaukee senior citizens that he
has interviewed on his recent visits there.

In an America that seems increasingly dominated by amnesia, and the
erosion of its history, it's very heartening - and poignant - to hear
these fragments of lives as they draw to a close. The rootsy tone of
the music - Ry Cooder, Tom Waits, David Byrne and even Beefheart's
Magic Band come to the mind's ear - adds Americana to these tales of
vanishing Midwestern life. Here are the man who cheated at tomato-
growing by hanging a purchased one on a vine; the man who made peace
with his artificial arm and hung shopping bags from it; and the man
in a red shirt who feels like a king. There are exuberant moments,
but the most moving pieces are the elegies: people who gently mourn
their vanished partners - one speaks of his wife as his co-pilot,
another of how he's tried to replace his wife with crossword puzzles.
The matter-of-fact tone that David uses in these vignettes is partly
what makes them so emotional. In 'No Rooms Here' you can hear the
life and memory of the elderly female narrator dissolving as she
speaks. Just as certain as our death is the uncertainty of what
follows - this ambiguity riddles the inhabitants of Cherry Picking
Apple Blossom Time.

The fragments drift by in a meditational parade - the slow shuffle of
people preparing to exit their lives, setting things down, and then
picking them up a few minutes later, trying to weigh everything up
while it's still theirs. Here, in this album, they can dwell a little
longer, and we can hear them until our echoes fade with theirs. I
recommend this record to anybody who cares about people.

- Robyn Hitchcock, September 2009


Duplex Planet Giftshop
New CD!

Cherry Picking Apple Blossom Time
David Greenberger with music by Paul Cebar

Monologues by David Greenberger based on his conversations with elderly Milwaukeeans. Music composed and performed by Paul Cebar with Reggie Bordeaux, Bob Jennings, Mac Perkins, John Sieger, Steve Cohen, Mike Kashou, Mark Greenberg, and Juli Wood. Available now!

Cherry Picking Apple Blossom Time will be performed at Milwaukee's historic Pabst Theater on May 13, 2009.

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