We’ll keep it in my hometown this week and talk about Memphis-scene staple Greg Cartwright’s song “Stormy Weather.” Cartwright’s been in and out of several bands during his widely-influential career, now settling comfortably into “cult following” status with his most recent project, Reigning Sound. “Stormy Weather” is not their most recent song, but it’s my favorite because it seemlessly combines the chord patterns of early-60’s rock-pop with the attitude of punk’s formative years. Think Please Please Me-era Beatles meets The Ramones with some armhair-raising vocals and a suprisingly infectious melody.
Which leads me to the most interesting aspect of this song: the juxtaposition of intent and execution. That is, the melody and harmony are pretty and innocuous, but the lyrics and vocal performance are troubled, to say the least. In this way, Cartwright executes a successful paradox: pairing troubled waters underneath a seemingly calm surface, thus enacting the emotional conflict in the song itself.
Check out the song here, and stay tuned…
Raining all the time,