Monday, January 11, 2021

You Reap What You Sow

So You Better Plan Wisely: The first full week of this year was incredibly long and terribly dangerous.

So let's begin this, the second full week of the 2,021st year of the Common Era, with a wonderful song and beautiful video that provide an uplifting message of hope and renewed growth. 

Facets of Folk

G-d knows we need it.

The song is You Reap What You Sow, written by Susan Shann and performed here by Mara Levine, along with a small, socially-distanced ensemble of Americana greats.

Jerry Wicentowski

Abq Jew was made aware of this treasure by his good friend, guitarist and lead singer Jerry Wicentowski. Jerry, it turns out, is not only one of the foremost Jews in Milwaukee and Bluegrass (see 2011's The Importance of Banjo) - he is, it turns out, one of the genre's foremost kosher, shomer Shabbos Jews.

Mo Menzel Santa Fe

Abq Jew was made aware of his good friend Jerry Wicentowski by his good friend, Mo Fiddles (Menzel Violins) owner and music promoter Mo Menzel. "Temporarily" of Livingston, NJ. But, for all the years that Abq Jew has known her, Mo's heart has been in the Land of Enchantment.

There was a time when Abq Jew could just walk over and listed to the classical, bluegrass, and every type of music in between that Mo regularly presented at her shop. Which is how Abq Jew first met up with the band Lucky Break, led by Jerry Wicentowski and featuring his Evanston-based bass player, Marc Edelstein.

Mara Levine

So ... where were we again? Ah, yes. Mara Levine, whose video Jerry Wicentowski posted on Facebook. And about whom NickTheRecordLover wrote on his blog:

Mara Levine is one of the finest Folk-Singers of our time. 

She’s in great company with Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Judy Collins. When she sings, it’s the Music of The Angels. 

All of this is very true, as you will soon hear. And, as Sherry S Kirschenbaum wrote in the New Jersey Jewish News:

Mara Levine’s repertoire expresses themes of social conscience
that are shaped by the Jewish value of tikkun olam.

You Reap What You Sow

And then there's the message of the song itself:

You reap what you sow, so you better plan wisely;
That the harvest may yield you a bounty of good.

You get what you give, so give completely;
And all your deeds will return as they should.

A good message for all of us as we look back
on one of the worst days in US history.

Kick Trump Out

And as we look forward to all of
the good days that must surely follow.

Better Days Are Coming

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