I read a book called 'The Gift' by Lewis Hyde about two years ago. Hyde talks about the "spirit" of the art objects we produce, he says that there is an inherent difference in an object that we find on a shelf in a place like Wal-mart, and an object that was crafted by hand, with great thought, time, toil, and skill.

The two objects may perform the same function, but one will rise beyond the commodified, fast and easy world of "things" we find around us. The other object, the one crafted out of human need and purpose, will carry with it that same spirit, and when we take part in it, we are reminded that there is beauty and sincerity in life, that there are still things that connect us as human beings.

For me, Canoe's music is a testament to that principle. I suppose you could say I have alternate reasons for promoting the band (I know them), but for me, that fact has only magnified my desire to help people know Canoe's music. It is a rare thing to find a group of musicians who's purpose is to bless community and promote family through doing something they love. I've seen families, professors, young people and indie rockers at Canoe shows. I've seen the band practice in the living room while the lead singers two-year-old daughter runs through throwing cheerios. I've heard the beginnings of some of these songs sung by a husband and wife with a simple guitar, in the hours just after breakfast. I've watched them care deeply about what they do.

The music itself then, especially this new CD, posseses that same spirit of sincerity. The narrative woven through the songs is meaningful, and really, it's just good music. The collective (which includes Adam and Darcie and Johan the Angel) is a grassroots operation to create and promote good music which inspires us to love our own human story.

You can read about, listen to and buy this new CD here: http://www.villageten.com/special/
or you can listen to some more here: http://www.myspace.com/canoecanoe


Sofia Deyanira said...

Ashley, I love you. You just made our day.

Adam said...

Well said Ashley, well said. Canoe's music is lovely as is their new album.

Rachel. said...

I like what you said about things made by someone's hands. from their life. and desires. rather than being fast and easy. there is something to be said for the time that things take. and to be grateful for it. many of the most beautiful things only come about slowly, and after great effort and personal giving. thank you, ashley.