Monday, December 04, 2006

New Release Tuesday

Reissue label Wounded Bird nobly rescues the work of everyone from Renaissance to Romeo Void from out-of-print purgatory. Today they reissue three albums from David Blue, friend to 60's Greenwich Village stars from Dylan to Cohen to Ochs to Joni Mitchell (legend has them as lovers, with Mitchell's Blue named after him).

Blue issued seven solid confessional folk albums in his brief, unsuccessful career; only his eponymous debut was overly Dylanesque, but the comparison dogged him. He apparently appears as something of a hanger-on in Dylan's long-lost Rolling Thunder movie Renaldo and Clara. But his music distinguished itself in its warm, generous, yet cryptic nature (as in "Troubador Song", from Nice Baby and the Angel).

Blue, having never achieved the success of his friends, died while jogging in Washington Square Park in 1982 at the age of 41. Leonard Cohen delivered a touching eulogy at his memorial service:

"David Blue was the peer of any singer in this country, and he knew it, and he coveted their audiences and their power, he claimed them as his rightful due. And when he could not have them, his disappointment became so dazzling, his greed assumed such purity, his appetite such honesty, and he stretched his arm so wide, that we were all able to recognize ourselves, and we fell in love with him. And as we grew older, as something in the public realm corrupted itself into irrelevance, the integrity of his ambition, the integrity of his failure, became, for those who knew him, increasingly important and appealing, and he moved swiftly, with effortless intimacy into the private life of anyone who recognized him, and our private lives became for him the theaters that no one would book for him, and he sang for us in hotel rooms and kitchens, and he became that poet and that gambler, and he established a defiant style to revive those soiled archeypes."

The three albums reissued are Stories (1971), Nice Baby and The Angel (1973) and Cupid's Arrow (1976). Wounded Bird promises to bring the remainder of his discography back into print soon.

Steam: Several songs at MySpace

1 comment:

head panda said...

wow i can't wait to hear him. did joni really write blue about him?