Friday, May 18, 2007

Singing @ Howard Larman's Memorial

Roz and Howard Larman, (the venerable KPFK radio DJs who's show, Folkscene, has run for 37 years) recently invited me to record an hour's session for them. Along with my band, I pre-recorded 8 songs + an interview, live at Wendy Waldman's house. Howard was in hospital at the time, suffering from complications from their car accident in late 2006, so Roz interviewed me. We all had a wonderful time.

None of us imagined that Howard would pass away shortly thereafter. And when he did, Roz and their son, Allen, invited me to sing at Howard's funeral.

The memorial service was held in an enormous and very beautiful old church near Vermont and Wilshire and, to my great surprise, there was a dazzling array of Who's Who luminaries from the folk world: Louden Wainright III, Jackson Browne, Richard Thompson, Wendy Waldman, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jennifer Warnes, and many other legendary folk singers and musicians. I was one of the opening singers and, looking out over the crowd of 600, I realized that it was a HUGE honor.

Funerals remind me of losing my own parents, so I was pretty emotional. I sang You Are the One for Me a capella, to honor Roz and Howard's love for one another. Digging deep into the lyrics, I could feel my Voice filling the church and sinking into the pores of every person. It felt haunting and amazing all at once.

Afterwards, when I told Jackson Browne that his song, "All Good Things" had provided the evening's emotional centerpoint for me, he replied that hearing ME had inspired his song choice. God, there were SO many amazing performances. Jennifer Warnes sounded wonderful singing Amazing Grace a capella and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had the whole room singing, "The Circle Shall Not Be Broken."

A moving, sad-yet-celebratory, inspiring fitting memorial for a wonderful man.

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