Remember all those old albums you had you could put on when you were feeling melancholy and they would make you cry every time. When I was young it was Jackson Browne. Willie still does it. On Heart Like A River, Ida turns on the heart, opens it up and squeezes it out in the most gentle of milking.
There are a couple of songs on this disc that drop like a slow motion Gram Parsons song. “If this is your idea of love, what can I do?” This is so heartbreaking. Here she will stay no matter that he’s making up his mind between two women, and that she’ll wait until he comes back and they can start all over again. What a woman. What a heartbreaking story. It’s this kind of strory sung with the gentle voice of experience, accompanied by some of the most sweet and tender, beautiful, straight music around. It’s so in the pocket, the melody so often often follows the instruments.
Many people slag these guys because the music is straight. But, there is a place for that as well as the chaos, isn’ there? Sometimes Ida sounds like a rock. The rock that you’ve dropped. The drop of, if this is your idea of love, out of your hands. Fallen, falling into a genuine feeling. Want a strong feeling? Listen to this record. Are you lost? Want to hear a woman and man sing in perfect harmony? Want to pretend? Want to revel in your past? Want to sentimentalize? Want to be a better man? Want to get lost? Want to remember so that you can forget? This record has power. Magic old power. “If I get lost on the way to meet you…” please forgive me when, “If I let you down.” Feeling?
It took a trip to Japan, a ride in the car with Tanaka in the sweet sticky night time of southern Japan in the summer to find this music. A long slow car ride with stars and a long slow Ida song playing. I knew then. I love the first memory of a sound. The connection into the moment with the song. I found it with this band in the darkness of the island of Japan. “The grace that illuminates the past.”