I don't often blog about music and my recommendations because, and I'll be honest, I know my musical taste lies somewhere...somewhere most people aren't entirely down with. Not that I don't like good music (or, at least what other people consider "good"), but for every Ryan Adams or Akon song I have in my iTunes, there's a Weird Al or Snow track.
But at least I'm aware of it. I'm not entirely delusional in believing that I am the end-all-be-all when it comes to musicality. Especially when I know there are people like my friends Brewster and Brad Moist who really have their finger on the pulse of what's hot...and good.
But I think I may be on to something here. A couple of weeks ago a local artist named Hiram Ring came in to the WJTL studio and performed a few songs live on the morning show. I came in to film the appearance for the station YouTube site and became a fast fan.
Hiram lies somewhere between folk and jazz but again I blame my musical ignorance for not being able to direct you exactly where his artistry resides. Sarah and I went to watch Hiram play live that weekend and we were blown away. Hiram and friends played with a string accompaniment and it was indeed a magical night.
Friday night Hiram returned to the WJTL studios to play live on the air on Radio Friend Phil's eclectic music program, The Audio Lab. Again, I was there with the cameras rolling.
This isn't the first time I've been impressed with music but when I'm impressed by the person...well, that's when I get excited. As someone who's spent his fair share of time in and around the music industry, nothing turns me off faster than someone (especially a musician) who wants nothing more than to use you to get a foothold in the industry. They're easier to spot than a fat guy at a Victoria's Secret fashion show. (And when someone thinks I can do something for them, well, it's all the more amusing.)
Thankfully, Hiram is nothing of the music-scene-nightmare type. He's very soft-spoken and unassuming. When he talks to you he looks you in the eye and there's a sincerity in his voice that is a welcome change. Hiram even allows the spotlight to be taken off of himself, allowing his friends to take the lead on some of the songs while he steps back from the mic and plays acoustic rhythm or literally takes a back seat and thumps away on the djembe.
I'll stop myself before I start to gush (excessively) and will wrap things up by saying this. Check him out. Check out the video I shot. Check out his website. If you're in the Lancaster area you can get his music at Border's. If you're not in the area, you can find him on iTunes.
In a world filled with Starbucks and EMI and corporate takeovers, it's refreshing to see the little guy stepping up to the plate and hitting a home run.