Thursday, April 11, 2019

Lu Mitchell

Lu Mitchell: folk singer, songwriter, satirist. She played at our wedding, and scandalized the Southern Baptist relatives on my wife's side. (I count that as a win.) She died recently, at the age of 95. She was a friend of the family, and while I didn't know her all that well I'm sorry that she's gone.

She had a voice that was very much her own, mixing humor and truth in ways that were hard to ignore. From the superficially-light humor of "The Paper Shredder" to the more seriously spiritual "This Too Shall Pass" (and yes, I realize I'm picking two examples from the same album, but that's laziness on my part rather than lack of ongoing range on hers) there were pointed observations that deserved a larger audience than they found. (She was once compared to "a banshee zonked on truth serum" and I think that misses her humor at the fundamental absurdity of the human condition, but it's still apt.)

Here's a bit from 2005:

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