Jim played for many years with the Paul Winter Consort, and has performed with Holly Near, Peter Yarrow, and a host of other musicians. These days, he travels the world as an advocate for the environment, serving as a key figure in the Green Sanctuary program, for church congregations to become more environmentally conscious.
He also writes and performs for kids!
One of the kindest, smartest, nicest and most talented folks you’ll ever meet. Here he is, singing his beautiful “I Am Waiting.”
You can find out more about Jim at his website: www.jimscottmusic.com.
On any given Sunday, you can bet that at least a handful of UU congregations around the world are singing his song, “Gather the Spirit,” which can be found in the UU hymn book. It’s one of our favorite hymns.
Back in the late 1970’s my parents, Pat and George Childress, opened a club here in College Station called Grin’s. At the time it was one of the only music venues in the entire Brazos Valley, and we had some wonderful artists perform there. One of those artists was a very young, shy Lyle Lovett, who was a classmate of mine at Texas A&M.
Ken and I both worked at the club in a variety of positions. Ken mostly ran sound, and I cooked, cleaned, and tended bar.
One night Eric Taylor was performing, and right at the end of the night, as he was finishing up his last set, I started closing down the bar by filling the beer coolers. I confess, I was not paying any attention to Eric even though I love his music. The plain old fact was–I just wanted to go home, so I was hurrying to get things set up for the next day so that I could leave. After all, I had been there for many hours and I still had homework to do. Could you blame me? Anyways, while Eric was singing, Lyle came over and asked me to please stop so that the noise from the bottles wouldn’t be so obtrusive. But instead of pausing to listen to Eric’s beautiful voice, I just brushed Lyle off and kept on keeping on.
I didn’t realize how upset Lyle was until he wrote “Closing Time,” and so there you have it. It’s not one of my proudest moments, even though I’m happy that Lyle got a powerful, provocative song out of it.
I learned something important that night. I learned that hearts need songs and songs need hearts. Ever since then, I stop for music. It’s more important than whether or not the beer is cooled down.
So, on November 11, 2010, when Lyle performed at Texas A&M, and invited Ken and his best friend Kevin Duff onto the stage to sing with him, it was a mighty sweet reunion. I managed to catch it on my iphone video, and while the video is bleached out, I think you can hear the friendship in all three voices, a friendship that has lasted for over thirty years.
Wasn’t that lovely?
And here are some photos from that night:
The person on the left is my mom, Pat Childress. Winnie Garner is on the right. And a member of the Large Band is in the middle.
Here I am with cellist John Hagen, who met Lyle at Grin’s when John was playing with a band called Eaglebone Whistle.
And here I am with Lyle.
Yes, he seems to have forgiven me for all those noisy beer bottles. And like I said, the song has lived on, and so has our friendship. How sweet is that?
Big Joe was a much loved Burlington jazz/blues saxophonist/singer who passed away in 2005. Big Joe Burrell played in both B.B King’s and Count Basie’s band and moved to Burlington, Vermont in the mid-70s. Here he’s playing his sax forever on Church Street in downtown Burlington.
Ken and I spent a happy afternoon there after we left Montreal. The city elders have very wisely closed off the streets, creating an open air mall lined with shops, bistros, and… cows.
Plus, there is an assortment of street artists, one of whom is the very talented Leanna Therese Inzalaco. We loved watching her perform on her beautiful red and brown accordion.
Isn’t she amazing? Even the dogs agreed!
We loved it that Church Street is named Church Street for the elegant and historic Unitarian Universalist church at the top of the street. Happy 200th birthday! That’s 200, people!
And okay, my last video from my stay in Vermont is too good to not share, even though I didn’t catch the entire song, and the filming is shaky because I was laughing so hard, but here he is, the one and only, the inimitable and daring, M.T. Anderson, singing his rendition of the Delaware State Song in the Chapel at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
From Burlington, VT, the drive to Montreal is only a couple of hours long, so Ken and I climbed into our nifty rent car and made the trek. Thanks to a suggestion from my colleague Tim Wynne-Jones, we stayed in the perfect hotel: The Chateaux Versailles.
It was in a great location, just blocks from the Museum of Fine Arts where we stumbled onto a fantastic exhibit about the famous jazz trumpet player, Miles Davis.
And all up and down Sherbrooke Ave., there were “Art Mooses”:
Montreal is a very walkable city. We spent a large portion of one day strolling down the Canal de Lachine, starting at the Atwater Market, and ending up at the old wharves.
Everything was as green as could be.
Here I am walking in an alleyway between two buildings in the old port.
Here’s our live-action walking tour:
Oh how I loved Babar en Ville! The folks there were so nice…and they even had a copy of Keeper in the window.
I admit that for several years I’ve been intrigued by graffiti. Montreal has quite a bit of it, so I thought I’d share it with you: