I climbed the three flights to the Bhakti in Motion Yoga Studio in Portland, Maine, and found a circle of chairs in the center of a big space, with a wooden floor and walls painted shades of orange and deep red. There were a couple of guitars and a harp, and a group of mostly women waiting for the performance.
Two singer/songwriter mothers, Katey Branch and Deb Hensley, were there to entertain us and to honor motherhood. It felt unusually intimate because we were sitting in a circle with the singers. There was no stage, so the distance between the performers and the audience was eliminated. It created a participatory feeling; there was no ‘us and them.’
They kicked off the concert with Kate Wolf’s great song, “Give Yourself to Love,” and then the rest of the evening was mostly original tunes written by the two women. They sang about motherhood, birth, love, broken relationships, the earth, fairies, and stars. They’re both of the glowing woman variety – they sang, they harmonized, they belted out tunes, they danced, they taught us to sing some of the tunes in rounds.
We in the audience were suddenly privy to intimate stories of their grandmothers, their mothers, their children, their lovers and husbands. I found myself acquiring a lump the size of a watermelon in my throat and I didn’t know what to do with it. I was moved by the songs themselves, by the way they were performed, and by the character and heart of these two women. Suddenly our little audience was transformed into a kind of family. It was a remarkable experience. They gave us the gift of their stories set to music, and we got to witness it in close proximity. We shared our common experience, we honored motherhood and felt honored, and suddenly this little moment in time became more than special. Two hours was more than a concert, it was a ritual that honored our lives.
Images from Katey Branch and Deb Hensley's Facebook Page
Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.
She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews".
Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD.
For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.