‘Destination’ 5 — Don’t Let ‘Fire And Rain’ Bring You Down

March 23, 2021

Here we go again in an attempt to get out from underneath the shit-weight of the politics and pandemic mixed-tape of horror. This is the fifth in our ‘Destination‘ series (last one here) and includes music from the past drummed-up mostly in acoustic tones flushed with the nowadays.

And once again a find in my ever-widening personal catalog from The Running Mates, a marvelous husband/wife duo I’ve become captivated with the last few months as their covers of a shitload of great originals seem to spin the music in an emotional, quiet-auditory pulse in contrast to the chaotic noise of our current horrific era.
This particular song from the ‘Mates’ is a revival of James Taylor’s 1970 classic, “Fire and Rain,” off his “Sweet Baby James” album:

Although I usually just provide a link, here is Taylor’s original:

And in context, what led me to finding the ‘Mates’ “Fire and Rain” version started with a post from Susie on her daily list of great music and was apparently posted last night, but I saw it just this morning. “Birds” is a track off Neil Young’s way-great “After the Gold Rush” album (also 1970), and in this take is accompanied by Graham Nash:

After listening to that, I felt the mood for one of my all-time Neil Young favorites, “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” also off the “After the Gold Rush” album, and always was an uplift for me despite its title — a poetic masterwork. In fact, Young introduced it on the live “4 Way Street‘ record (made with Crosby, Stills and Nash, released in 1970) by telling the audience here was a song guaranteed to bring you right down, and is called “Don’t Let It Bring You Down.”
The crowd clapped and laughed their stoned-hearts out:

Thus, I spied the ‘Mates’ “Fire and Rain” offering on the YouTube roster on the same page as the Young song — and here we are.
Also included a bonus track in nuance (I love this ‘unplugged’ version):

And to cap it off, the anthem for this series, “What’s Up” cover by the ‘Mates’ — original by 4 Non Blondes here:

“25 years and my life is still
Tryin’ to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination”

(Illustration: ‘The Blue Umbrella 1914,’ by Helen Hyde, found here).

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