The greatest blues song of all times starts out with the lament, “I hate to see, that evenin’ sun go down.” Some say that the W. C. Handy wail is a precursor to another night alone and homeless on the streets of St. Louis. If you’ve ever experienced a winter in a mid-western city with relentless wind, freezing temperatures, and dark roadways offering no warmth or haven, then you can almost feel his pain . . . his blues . . . and his aching for a better tomorrow.
If you’ve never seen a mid-west winter or the streets of St. Louis, then perhaps Ed Taylor’s (amazon.com/Taylormade-Ed-Taylor/dp/B0013PKZU6) “Don’t Hate the Player” will drive home that same feeling of dread and hope for a better day.
Ed Taylor’s music is usually of the smooth jazz variety. And, it’s often just an instrumental. Ed lets his music speak for him, but in some cases, perhaps, he wants to add his voice to make sure he’s understood . . . completely.
In Don’t Hate the Player, Ed mixes a nice slow funk and blues with his smooth jazz. Ed’s lament isn’t about the sun and being homeless, it’s about people living just above that level – people living from paycheck to paycheck . . . struggling every day and every week as they try to support a family in America.
“I’ve got five dollars in my money clip,
And I was supposed to buy my daughter some brand new shoes.
I know my wife is not going to be happy,
And I feel like a lowly fool.”
Haven’t we all been there? Haven’t we all come up short and faced disappointed faces? Sometimes the worst thing to do is look in the mirror at the most disappointed face of all. Birthday presents, anniversary presents, and Christmas presents just add burden to backs already tired and bent from paying rent and putting dinner on the table.
Ed’s philosophy is “Don’t hate the player – hate the game.” He says, “The game is all a poor man has, and even that is not secure.” I like the advice. If we look at each day as a game, we may actually already be a winner. It let’s us start off each day without the emotional baggage we ended with the day before. With the weight off our back, we can look forward to the new day and new challenges . . . but if we don’t make it and that evenin’ sun starts goin’ down . . . hate the game.