^^^ Gratuitous Pratchett quote. That song would definitely be included in the Discworld version of Rise Up Singing.

This guy has a project – and has had since 2008, to record and and post every song from the Rise Up Singing songbook. With commentary.

Given my deep and fiery love for that book, and the many times I have ranted about how we need room for all levels of singers, just as we say that it’s worth doing sports even if you’re not great at them, I am somehow surprised that I’ve never come across this before.

The thing is, this guy is not actually all that great as either a singer or a guitar player. His voice suits some songs better than others (I do actually like his cover of Joni Mitchell’s Urge for Going) and he clearly knows some songs better than others. I don’t mean not knowing the words; I mean that you have to feel your way around inside a song for a bit before you can really do it justice. He sings all of them at least well enough to learn from, though, and it’s really fascinating to see which ones he knows enough to sing well – including Gordon Bok’s Turning Toward the Morning, which is one of my favorite songs in the whole world and all time ever, and Bread and Roses, which is lovely to hear from a guy (especially his intro line, “Kids, do you know what a feminist is? It’s you – if you’re smart). He plays guitar about as well as I do – or rather, as well as I did before I went for 5 or 6 years without playing – which is to say not all that well, and it would really help if his guitar were always in tune.

No one is going to be dragging him up on a stage and throwing gobs of money at him, is what I’m saying, but that isn’t what this is about. This is about loving the music. This is about perseverence – this is exactly what I was writing about in my poem in the last entry, in fact, because this guy has been doing the best he can and putting himself out there for four years and nearly 800 songs now. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the word “perfection” in that poem; I was talking more about striving for perfection than achieving it. These is glory in this mediocrity.

Also, it’s a great resource that I’m going to use next time I fall in love with a set of lyrics in Rise Up Singing and don’t know how the tune goes. There are some bonus songs too, and sometimes some of his friends peek in, which is how I learned that “Blister in the Sun” works better than you’d think on accordion.

(Note to Rise Up Singing dude, in case he ever sees this: Thanks.)