I ran across the music of Northern Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance a few months ago by chance. I’d been delving through some folk history and had just finished listening to “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce when up came Vance’s “She Burns.” I was immediately hooked and downloaded both of his latest albums. Stuck right in the middle of his latest, “The Wild Swan”, was a gem of song called “Burden.” A beautiful song about friendship, loss and coping, Vance’s voice seems to drip with emotion as he comforts his friend.
The whole scene is captured in one take as part of the Bee Happy Sessions and it’s absolutely stunning to watch.
As I listened to Vance sing, I was reminded about my tendency to be a loner. Ever since college I’ve been a ‘go it alone’ kind of guy, sometimes to my own detriment. Being an introvert and generally private person, I operate better in solitude, that is until something goes wrong. There’s something about having a community around you when things go wrong. We all have those moments and having someone alongside you to help pick up the pieces is invaluable.
These last few years of marriage have really taught me the value of finding community. Living life alongside someone has lots of ups and downs but there’s a comfort in knowing that I have someone in my corner with me every step of the way. I think this is true in life and in art. If you don’t have someone to create with, learn from or just live life with, I really think your art suffers. I wrote a bit about that here, and I still think it’s true. There’s a beauty in partnership that doesn’t usually rear its head when going solo.