I guess I’m not an orchestra fan. This afternoon, as part of the United Brethren Headquarters Christmas party, I attended the annual performance of the “Holiday Pops” at Huntington University. This was done by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. They were good, if you like that kind of music, which lots of people do. But give me a lead guitar with some distortion, a bass, a drummer, and someone who can half-way sing, and I’m happier.
I’m not criticizing this type of music. It’s just not my thing. I’m a rock & roll guy. I like blues. I like most of country. I even enjoy the Gaither reunion specials which I stumble across on TV and which magnetically capture my interest for some reason known but to God. I don’t like rap (with a few songs exception, usually by Eminem), and I don’t care for jazz, which always surprises people, since I’m a piano player. I like some New Age music, which gets into orchestration, though I’m usually attracted by the use of piano. I don’t like punk, I’m indifferent toward disco. Don’t even think about taking me to a classical concert.
There are occasions when I like orchestra music. Like in Sheryl Crow’s version of “Sweet Child of Mine,” where they use an orchestra in place of Slash’s superb guitar solo–a compliment to Slash, a way of saying “it takes a whole orchestra to replace you.” I love the strings in Verve Pipe’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” and can’t imagine the song without it. Coolio’s “Gangster Paradise” is superb with the strings in the background. But in both cases, the orchestration is a complement to more traditional rock.
It’s not that I disliked the Holiday Pops. I just wasn’t all that crazy about it (plus, I had to miss the Colts vs. Jacksonville game). Give me the MercyMe Christmas album (which I highly recommend, especially their incredible version of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”). Or the Lynyrd Skynyrd Christmas album (which has the prettiest version of Greensleeves I’ve heard–Skynyrd’s keyboard player is outstanding). Or my favorite, the Tractors Christmas album (with “Santa Claus is coming in a Boogie Woogie Choo-choo Train”). That’s my style. Call me uncultured, if you want. I can live with it.Leave a comment