Friday, March 15, 2013

Kipyn Martin: Undercover Muse

"Listen to the world with one ear, but never still the song in your heart."  ~~ Ginger Hamilton (c) 2005

Kipyn and I, Lewisburg Literary Festival, August 2012
I first heard Kipyn Martin sing at the West Virginia Writers' summer conference in June 2012. I was bereft that day; my husband had moved out a month before, and on Sunday, my best friend Dorothy had passed away. I drove directly from her funeral to the conference wondering how I could endure the sadness I felt. 

That evening, I sat at the end of the first row in the auditorium and prepared to be entertained. A young woman with thick, shimmery gold hair that brushed against her waist climbed the stairs to the stage and picked up an acoustic guitar and strummed it lovingly. I don't remember in what order she performed the songs; I was transfixed. 

Every so often, musical magic happens. You know it when you hear it. 

To say Kipyn's voice is angelic is an understatement, a cliche almost too tired to stand, and yet that is precisely how it must be defined. Crystal clear like a late winter stream coursing down the side of a mountain, rich and honeyed, mellifluous, dulcet tones spread out and filled the room. A hush fell over the audience and we sat, enraptured, as she shared her compositions as well as some traditional folk music and blues. 

One original song, "Undone," touched my soul. By the last 'come undone,' the front of my blouse was spattered with tears I didn't even realize I had shed. Undone was exactly how I felt at that time. My life was upside-down. When I tried to picture my future, all I could see was a funhouse mirror reflection. My entire world had come undone, and I felt my ends unraveling.  

I’ve got two ends of myself to tie together
Stretched by endless tug of war
I’ve been pushed and pulled and pulled and pushed until this tether
Doesn’t want to hold anymore

Won’t you show me how,
How weathered ends, they can wind into one
Won’t you show me how
To weave a circle from these lines
Show me to not come undone, come undone

Sample or Buy Here
Ten months later, when I listened to her new CD the day it arrived in my mailbox,  I heard the hope and strength in the last verse. The speaker transcended her struggle, had received support, and once stronger offers support to her friend. Or at least that's how I take it. I, too, have gotten past the devastation and rebuilt myself with the support of dear friends, and stand ready to help others now.

Undercover Muse is a joy from start to finish. Folksy, blues -- I'm no good at labels. Think a cross between Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt. I'm no music critic so don't expect me to critique it. I give it two thumbs up and an American Bandstand rating of 98. I will say if you had the chance to buy Joni Mitchell's first recording, wouldn't you leap at the opportunity? Well, here's your chance to obtain a future collector's item. Sample and purchase it here. ~~GH

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