Wednesday, January 6, 2010


For the past four or five years, I've been more or less in love with Norah Jones. Her first album knocked my socks off, and her next couple of albums seemed, to me, very good. I eagerly awaited her fourth.

Drat. Her ex-boyfriend-bass player was gone, replaced by drums. But worse, the melodies had turned into a kind of more simplistic rock, straining to be interesting, but failing, in my rather uninformed opinion. (But I liked it that her man of the hour was a pooch, don't get me wrong.)

But, I started looking elsewhere, and found a new singer to love: Katie Melua.

Melua was born in Kutaisi, Georgia, in September, 1984, when her country still was part of the Soviet Union. The baby was named Ketevan Melua. When she was 8, in the aftermath of the Georgian Civil War, she and her family moved to Northern Ireland, where her father, a surgeon, found a good job. When she was 14, the family, leaving the Belfast "Troubles," moved to England.

Well, after winning a British singing contest for kids, she caught the eye of a producer, and by now has made several great albums. She sings jazz, blues, and pop-folk songs, about a third of which she has written herself. I'd like to think that this multilingual, smart, talented singer likes the fact that some old guy in Montana appreciates her singing. The old guy certainly will buy her next album.

I have to post this now, because, downstairs, Willie Nelson (on "Stardust,") is about to sing "Georgia on my Mind."

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