Friday, July 25, 2014

My doppelganger, Diane Keaton, now playing a woman who reinvents herself as a singer....

It is no overstatement to say that I am constantly either told I look just like Diane Keaton, or actually mistaken for her. People have followed me into ladies' rooms, driven up alongside me on the highway to check. What's even stranger is that she and I share several deep affinities, for collage art, architecture. I also drink red wine with an ice cube. What explains it?

Now, she's playing me in a movie ... or so it seems! Keaton's character in the new Rob Reiner film, And So It Goes, is a widow (I am not, mercifully) who has reinvented herself as a singer, as I have done! I was 47 when I switched sides of the microphone. I think it is safe to say, and fair both to us both, she is the actress I am not and I am the singer she is not but would embrace if she knew....

I just wrote the movie's publicity office to suggest me as an angle. Will they bite? Wouldn't you love to see me and Diane singin' and talkin' with Oprah? I sure would.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Star-Spangled John Brown

If anyone had ever told me, at anytime in my life, that one day I would lead those gathered at the gravesite of the abolitionist John Brown – arguably the greatest American – his raiders, his extraordinary womenfolk in five verses of Amazing Grace, I would have said, "That'll never happen." But it did. Video proof in store.

Martha Swan, the founder of John Brown Lives!, an increasingly important organization growing in the Adirondack north country, attended a house concert Semi-Free played in Lake Placid last summer. She loved my song of a slave escape, Moon Or No Moon, and asked if the band would come up to play for the celebrations next May. Turned out the band couldn't come, but I travel light, me and my Banner, and I was so humbled to be asked to sing it under such deeply reverent circumstances. And then to sing my original song, the only original text or music offered that day, and then to lead the assembled in the graveyard.

My Banner made at least one person cry. I promise you I have never had a better feeling inside me, as regards my country!