Guitar Slide Wednesday: Grace Potter Version

I try to limit the current tv series that I DVR and keep up with. This is not a moralistic or legalistic kind of Limiting, but rather a practical-not-enough-time one. With the onset of college basketball season, there are at least two Kentucky basketball games per week that MUST be watched, plus being committed to plenty of shows (well, three or four), there’s just not enough hours. But a new show called Nashville? Featuring Tami Taylor? I absolutely cannot say no to that one.

I promise we’re getting ’round to Guitar Slide Wednesday, just bear with me for one more second. Since House ended last season, I decided to add one show this fall, and I really wanted the new show this season to be Revolution. But then I saw the preview for Nashville, and it’s my duty as an aspiring country music scholar to, um, DVR/watch this show.

OK, so here’s where we get to the song for today. At the recommendation of Tall Sound Guy, I listened to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ latest album The Lion The Beast The Beat (2012), paying special attention to a few songs, including one called “Stars.” Well, this song won a spot on the repeat playlist after just a few listens. “Stars” is a pretty straight-ahead pop-ish country ballad, full of sadness, and… slide guitar (I thought it was a pedal steel, but after my many listenings, I don’t think it is. But it could be. Either way, guitar slides happen)! This is most prominent during the verses (around 0:34 and 1:16).

I also really like the lead guitar hook at the end of the chorus (1:11 and 2:08, in thirds even!), but I’m not a big fan of the guitar solo (2:14) that ends with a seemingly interminable upward ascent. Perhaps it’s because I recently lectured on 16th century madrigal and madrigalisms, but I hear this as text painting… and I think it’s a little cheesy. Nevertheless, the song as a whole very much speaks to me. This video is a little wacky, but it’s the one with the album version of the song…

And one more thing… after probably 30 listens, I just knew this song had to be featured on a show or in a movie. It’s just too perfectly sad not to be… and I did some research googled it to discover that it’s on a current promo for Nashville!


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