Do you trip on love? Do you run from magic?
When you kiss someone, do you make it tragic?
If you feel too much, do you start to panic?
When the word comes up, do you trip on love?
-- Stephanie Corby ("Trip On Love")
Over a hundred concerts in the past nine months and not once have I been moved to tears. That is, until I heard Stephanie Corby sing “Trip On Love,” a song written by her friend Tom Kimmel of Nashville. With no Kleenex in sight or pocket that night at the Magpie House Concert in Sugarhouse, I just held my breath.
I was admittedly worn that evening. The previous night bled into the wee hours of the morning, listening to a friend. Somebody tripped on love – or so it seemed – and it wasn't him. If I could've taken away his pain, I would have done so. Sadly … it wasn't the only tripping tale I'd heard that week. Male and female, everybody who's been single for any length of time has tripped or been tripped on, or both. Maybe what appears to be tripping is evidence that someone can't really love you the way you deserve to be loved, and they know it. The distinction, if there is one, is whether tripping is a regular practice or a one-time miscalculation.
Once I heard Stephanie sing “Trip On Love,” her invisible tentacles surrounded me and I was possessed by her music. Oh yes …her musical partner and solo artist in his own right, David Glaser, sang and played guitar and mandolin. The two delivered ubersultry, rich, earthy vocals with intense emotion. They sang “Learn To Let You Go,” a song which we learned went from concept to CD within 24 hours. Throughout the set, the lyrics were expressive and gripping, with a yearning quality that expressed the invisible force that draws two people together.
You and I were going nowhere
Love was not enough to stay
Gonna have to learn to let you go
It was perfect from the inside out
(“Learn To Let You Go”)
Why do we live in a moment
When the future is so hard to bear?
Why do we cling to the river
When we'll never be there?
The tone transitioned to comforting cadences that modulated and gradually hushed. The lyrics to the audience sing along rolled easily off the tongue … “do, do, do, do, do.” I was forewarned there would be group singing at least on some limited basis. The person I sat next to went to all three of Stephanie's Salt Lake City concerts that weekend and had already memorized every line, before Friday, I might add. Quite amusing really.
By the time Stephanie and David sang “True North,” I decided to melt into the chair and listen all night. The duo mixed things up with David's lively, creative 40s swing tune, “Sierra,” featuring the NATO alphabet, followed by a song about an internal pyro with carefully woven mandolin counter melodies.
Deep and ponderous anthems about love and life gave way to some silliness with yummy lyrics like “I'm on vibrate, baby call me, I've got a telephone in my pants.” And then there was the song about Cornelius, the guy who might have been somebody's past life lover. Really, there's nothing worse than reconnecting with your past life lover, especially if you learn he was your lover in several past lives. It's a situation that's just plain doomed.
Towards the end of the set, Stephanie sang a breathtaking rendition of Etta James' “Since I Fell For You” for which I very much regret not doing a video. Why didn't anyone tell me her delivery was going to be that great? The show closed with a bluesy Sippie Wallace tune, “Mighty Tight Woman.”
I've come to you sweet man
Falling on my knees
I've come to you, pretty papa
Falling on my knees
To ask, if you ain't got nobody
Kind darlin', take me please
("Mighty Tight Woman")
As Stephanie said, Sippie wrote that song in 1939 … she was a woman way ahead of her time. Nothing wrong with a woman taking love into her own hands and voice. Besides, what man could resist an offer like that?
The crowd dissipated and I cornered Stephanie in the Magpie kitchen. She shares my love of Boston, my former and her current home, although I'd lobby for her adopting Utah. “When are you coming back?” I asked. That inquiry, more than anything else I could say in this review, speaks volumes.
As fate would have it, I had $4 left in my purse, not enough cash for the show special on Stephanie's CDs, so I came home and hunted for her rendition of Trip On Love” on You Tube. After endless searching, I found a junior high-ish doo-wap doo-wap sounding version of "Trip On Love" by another artist that totally cheapened the message. Ish. So I bought the Itunes version of Stephanie's song and loaded it to my phone so have completely indulged my need to hear it … several times a day.