To set the mood, Bessie Smith singing NEW ORLEANS HOP SCOP BLUES, from where I take my title. (It’s especially appropriate because of the welcome attention paid Miss Bessie, and this track counteracts the prevailing impression of her as an artist who lived in darkness and sadness.)
She sings most convincingly about the joys of gliding, sliding, prancing, dancing. But that’s only sound. We need more.
Let’s have some thrilling audio-visual evidence here from Erin Morris and friends, performed and recorded on May 8, 2015.
AIN’T ‘CHA GOT MUSIC? (by James P. Johnson) performed by Erin Morris and Brittany Armstrong with vocal by Nathan Bugh. Instrumental support by James Dapogny, piano; Mike Karoub, cello; Rod McDonald, guitar; Joe Fee, string bass. And they offer the verse:
LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME, by Erin and Nathan, a performance that is clearly more about dancing love than making exits:
and EXACTLY LIKE YOU, by Nathan and the Quartet:
I think of these performances — aurally, visually — as happiness in its purest form embodied. When I am sad ad I need an aural reassurance that the world is a generous place, I put on the music of Louis Armstrong and Gordon Jenkins.
When I want to look at something to remind me how joyously expansive life is, I look at the videos of Erin Morris and her Ragdolls / James Dapogny and friends. Works for me, and it can work for you too. These three videos come from Erin Morris & Her Ragdolls’ JASSAFRASS show: recorded for us by Laura Beth Wyman.
If you feel the spirit, why not truck on down to Erin Morris and Her Ragdolls and click the button marked “Like.” Costs nothing; no obligation; it makes these hard-working joy-spreaders happier. And you can see more life-affirming videos there as well.
May your happiness increase!