Tuesday, December 13, 2016

“Old Chunk of Coal” by Young Summer – A Song Review

     A mathematician once explained that there are a limited number of musical notes that can be arranged a limited number of ways. We agreed with his math. But his point was that time spent on discovering new music is wasted energy, since the possible note arrangements have already been exhausted. Even if that were true, there would be new music to discover. That’s most clearly demonstrated by listening to two musicians performing the same song. It’s possible to be in different genres, even though different renditions are based on the same arrangement of notes.
     A good example is “Old Chunk of Coal” by Young Summer. It’s “new music,” although the Johnny Cash release occurred about 37 years ago. The song was written Billy Joe Shaver, who probably didn’t envision the emotive interpretation by Young Summer.
      The email submission for Young Summer compares the song to Cash’s rendition as follows, “The original is bittersweet, upbeat and full of hope, and this brilliant re-work turns it into a titanic tearjerker, with whispered vocals and somnambulant synths.”

     “Old Chunk of Coal” by Young Summer

     “Old Chunk of Coal” by Johnny Cash

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