It is always a joy to put together a Valentine’s Day show, although the challenge for me is to avoid doing the same songs year after year. This is a persistent threat to me, as I always try to select the premium songs of love and longing, and what I see as a premium song one year, I will most likely see in the same manner the next year. Of course, if I checked my playlists from year to year, I could avoid this. But that is the easy way. I rarely do things the easy way.
We started the set with a lovely song from Sigur Ros‘ 2002 album (), the untitled 4th track. It is not overtly intended to be a love song, but the band purposefully designed the disc and its contents so that the listener may interpret the songs as they choose. The song is essentially an instrumental, but it has a rather romantic lilt, in my ears. A great way to start the show.
Of course, it is hard to consider all of the possibilities in romantic music without a thought to the Beatles‘ catalog. The hard reality is that, even though I played a full 10 Beatles songs, taken from albums ranging from With the Beatles to Abbey Road, that was just a small representation of the numerous selection possibilities.
We then heard a few from the great Buck Owens, a set of four singles from 1963 and 1964, possibly the height of Owens’ great career. Most of these selections featured the best of his Buckaroos lineups (Don Rich on lead guitar, Doyle Holly on bass, Tom Brumley on steel guitar, and Willie Cantu on drums).
After our Buck Owens set, we then shifted to some Bread. Bread can be easily defined as being “soft-rock”, something which we generally don’t do on the Galaxy. Yet their songcraft easily soar above the normal limitations of the “soft-rock” oeuvre. While they were particularly known for their balladry (“If” was quite a popular cut back in the early ’70s), I found “Everything I Own” to be especially touching, an expression of love that doesn’t come in the standard Valentine’s Day-style.