January 27, 2009

Betty Harris//There's a Break in the Road

A-MEN to Said the Gramophone who sagaciously noted:
A Bloggie Award is a stupid, silly popularity contest, and relatively speaking we are not very popular, but whenever I get to use the word "Bloggie" it sure tickles my grandparents.
I don’t think my grandparents even know how to use email, let alone know what winning a “Bloggie” might mean, but I echo the sentiment. Besides, against such stiff competition as aforementioned StG, The Rest is Noise, Idolator and Stereogum, I’m definitely rocking underdog status over here. It’s no thing, because really, I just want to write about cool songs.

P’arry Drew first introduced me to this song, although I don’t think I knew it was P’arry who introduced me at the time. I was driving my Silver Hyundai Accent (RIP, terrible car, RIP) around A2, listening to WCBN (of course), when this song came on. I turned it up, because I loved it instantly. The vocals were so raw, the rhythm so syncopated, the guitar so funky and the bassline so…how do I say this?...bumpin’?

Later, I was talking it up to all my friends, trying to figure out what it was: “I heard…best song! Must learn origin!”
After some careful description and a clumsy hummed-out rehashing of the bassline, Emily told me it was “Break in the Road” by Betty Harris. She told me that, in fact, P’arry had recently introduced her to this song and she was also obsessed. A quick check on CBN’s site revealed the truth: P’arry had been dj’ing and had indeed played this marvelous song the morning in question. This little story makes me nostalgic for that time. The spread of information in Ann Arbor is a much quainter home-grown community affair than it is here in New York.

Anyway, the message of this song is a new spin on the age-old/time-tested “what goes around comes around” idea. The only difference is that you can hear in Harris’s voice that she’s waiting for it to come back around on somebody else. It's more along the lines of a "you can’t treat Betty Harris like that and then expect that everything’s gonna be cool--Uhn Uh--No, you can’t!" song than a "the universe is centered in its ying and yang" song. All this makes me wonder what’s about to come back around on me. Fingers seriously crossed that I didn’t do anything to wrong Betty Harris, in this life or any previous one.

Although 1969’s “Break” wasn’t a big hit for soul legend Harris, I challenge you to find something that hits your tuesday harder.

There’s a Break in the Road.mp3

There’s a break in the road.
There’s a break in every road.
I got mine;
You’ll get yours.
There’s a break in every road.

1 comment:

music NERD said...

wow i loved this ...good luck i hope you win :)