Music Monday: Dusty Springfield
From now on, I'm going to try to dedicate my blog to a music act every Monday. As you know, I'm a musician as well as writer, and draw inspiration from many sources. Probably my biggest influence has been Dusty Springfield, owner of one of the most soulful female voices in modern music history. Although some would compare her vocal strength to that of her contemporaries Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner, Dusty's real strength lay in her ability to tell a story, and the southern style she produced despite a predominantly British background.
From "Son of a preacher Man," to "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," Dusty Springfield's voice came without pretense, speaking of the raw truths of love and society. Her whisper could leave you haunted, her wails, inspired. She knew how to deliver, and never forgot how to speak to the listener.
Dusty in Memphis is her most acclaimed album, packed with songs speaking of relationships, lost love and hunger, each sung in the sensual style no one else has ever been able to replicate before or since. In many ways, I think of her as the May West of the music world. All of her songs have that, "Why don't you come up and see me sometime," sort of feel.
After her untimely death in 1999, Dusty's music made a comeback with artists such as Shelby Lynne and Joss Stone who both admit to being highly influenced by the soul matriarch's store of musical songbook. I think most listeners would agree, Dusty wasn't just a vocalist, she was music perfection, forming not just the notes of a song, but every intent of every feeling meant to go along with it. You cannot listen to her sing and walk away unmoved.
Here's a taste of that sweet Memphis style. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp4339EbVn8
Rest in Peace Dusty.