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5/16/2005

Blu Sanders, my friend of many years and an amazing singer-songwriter I worked with for a long time, just sent me a CDR in the mail. A plain recordable CD with "Blu" written on it with a Sharpie. Just some recordings he worked on, live takes, recorded over a weekend. Half the tracks are spoken word and the rest are acoustic versions of his songs. Simple, but with the spoken word, a little adventurous.

I remember an afternoon in New York City a few years ago when I visited Blu at his apartment. He was showing me his recording setup on his computer, various microphones and whatnot. He mentioned some writing he'd been doing. It wasn't songs, he's played me many songs or parts of songs over the years we've known each other. These writings were little vignettes, he said, a few paragraphs each, about how he'd been feeling or what he thought about. Sounded like he was describing journal writing, most of which is only interesting to the writer. But he wanted to share them with me, so he brought some up on his computer screen and I read.

His writing was alive, succinct, honest. It cut through. A few times in my life, people have shared a little slice of their secret art with me, without having any idea how great it is, or could be. Without knowing its worth. Witnessing this ego-less vulnerability, it's spiritual.

I encouraged him, honestly told him how good the writing was, laughed at the funny parts. Some of Blu's writing is crass and hilarious, most of it is touching. When we relaunched his website a few years ago, we decided he should publish the writings as a journal. I've never heard him speak them aloud before.

The spoken word tracks on this CD focus mostly on love, lost love. Blu knows heartbreak. He's lived it, writes about it, and sings it in one of the most heartbreaking voices I've ever heard. Listening to Blu reminds me, if we can't make love work, we can still make art.

Listen to:
things changed
"By His Side" acoustic
I don't know if Blu will release any of these recordings to the public, but if he asks my opinion, I'll encourage him.

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