I thought it’d be nice to go to College Hill Coffee Company and hear the Troubadours of Divine Bliss. I’d heard of them and checked out their MySpace page two years ago. Didn’t go to the quaint neighborhood they were playing in back then, afraid I might run into a certain someone — but that’s a story for my memoir. So I felt I’d waited two years to hear them.
Little did I realize that by the time the evening was over I’d get a big hug from Aim Me, empathy from Renee, and two cds to treasure in my personal collection. Oh, and did I mention? bliss. Yes, they promote it in their name and in their concerts; for example, as a preface to their song “Dream to Wake,” Aim Me recommended people quit the jobs they hate and get out of relationships not working for them. The lyrics “I had to dream . . . So I could wake up . . . Wake up!” This was no ordinary band; ordinary bands don’t have the chutzpah to put both ‘Divine’ and ‘Bliss’ in their names. Most liner notes don’t include quotes from Rumi or Hafiz, either.
I first noticed the bumper sticker on Aim Me’s guitar: “Compassion is revolution.” Hmm, seem like kindred spirits to me, I mused. After eating, I moved into a comfortable chair with my decaf grog, thinking I’d listen then leave at the break. This was not to be: for I walked over to buy a cd and met the life force known as Aim Me. I asked her a couple of questions about the songs I liked and she recommended which cd — problem was, most were on the live album but one was on “Sacred Letters of Surrender.” I bought both. I told her I blogged every day and would write about them tonight. She gave me a hug and asked me to send it to them. It has taken hours to write this post because I keep getting distracted by their music or website or liner notes. What delight!
Their voices, their musical instruments? This is not your typical music review. That’s not what I set out to do. I write about what’s going on in my life or what’s on my mind or in my heart. The Troubadours of Divine Bliss are very special. I had sensed this from the beginning, first from their name and then the energy swirling about when I thought of going to hear them. It’s something I can’t explain but I felt meant to meet them.
Their MySpace page describes them as “Acoustic/Americana/Folk Rock.” They have the flavor of Indigo Girls but with a funkier, laid back style, well, troubadour like. Their lyrics can be soaring (“I’ve been circling 1,000 years”) and they can also sing the blues or country. I especially enjoyed a different version of “Over the Rainbow” [not written by them]. Aim Me Smiley plays acoustic guitar and has an incredibly versatile voice. Renee Ananda plays accordion, yes, accordion. Her voice is possibly contralto, at least the lowest alto I’ve ever heard in a woman. Rich like chocolate. At times, it gave me shivers. A mandolin player with them added a sweet bluegrass flavor to the set (Mando Rando Brewer).
I left with a smile on my face and popped a cd in my car cd player. I hardly remember the first five minutes of my drive. “Wild Darling” is so lush and intimate, it takes your breath away. With the violin and cello added it made a soundtrack of a film of your life: “The way we make love is the way we are with God.” Can you tell? I am smitten.