Sound & Vision with Chris Root

Team Love Records has been synonymous with special records over the last two decades, so it is an honour to premiere this new video from Chris Root. Definitely one for fans of Calvin Johnson and K Records. Plus – check out our chat with the songwriter below, as he goest deep on his influences.

Picking three favourite records is hard for me. Like, what’s your favourite kiss, sunset, wave, song… All the music I ever loved swirls inside me and makes me who I am. So, instead of favourite, I’m putting the most influential three records in my life as a songwriter. The records that made the biggest difference.

Three influential records:

1. Nina Simone… Here Comes the Sun:

My step father had this in his amazing record collection. He also had more than one Jim Neighbors’ record in it. I’ll have to re-visit the Jim Neighbors stuff…

My step father said to me for years,  that when he dies, he wants us to play Nina Simone’s My Way at the funeral, no talking, no nothing but a turntable and the Nina Simone record… he asked us to play it and then say, ‘Thank you everyone for coming’ The End… So we did, but we added some applause from everyone…

Nina and her band transform the songs, all cover songs, they transform them into something totally original.

I never liked playing cover songs. I didn’t see the point,  unless as Bob Dylan said after hearing Jimi Hendrix version of all along the watchtower.

‘That’s how I’m going to play it now.’ -bd

Nina can make any song her own. A divine Human being.

2. Serge Gainsbourg… Historie de Melody Nelson:

My first band (AM60) had two amazing French mad men in it, Leon and Stephen. We would go to France to rehearse. A stone house with a walk-in fireplace was our rehearsal space.

Drunk on French wine one evening, Leon played me The Historie de Melody Nelson. He translated as we listened. What a gift of a night.

I think Melody Nelson was put in a box called, concept album. I shy from titles like that. I’d just call it a perfect album.

Musical Poetry.

3. The Velvet Underground… Loaded

Every song on this record pings my heart. Lou reed said about songwriting ‘say the most you can, with the least amount of words.’

The Velvet Underground – tough me to put my authentic self into song. No hiding. No secrets, throw it up, throw it out… don’t worry about what people think. Listen to your heart.

My favourite movie:

Favourite… it’s hard, but if we talk about film and music, that makes it easier.

Harold and Maude… music by Cat Stevens…

An amazing movie on so many levels, but the music really took it over the top for me. heartstrings i think they call it.

I have watched Harold and Maude so many times… I wanna watch it again, right now. it always lifts my spirit.

A favourite book:

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

A book about outsiders… obsessed with life, basically. I’m gonna order a few copies to give away to my favourite outsiders…

Important songs to me today list:

Fred Neil… Dolphins

Jonathan Richman…The Morning of our Lives

Replacments… Swinnging party

Brian Eno and John Cale… Spinning Away

Allan Toussant… Southern Nights

Alice Coltraine… Yamuna…

Ry Cooder, Manuel Gablan….Drume Negrita

Darando….Didn’t I

Gram Parsons…. She

Cassia Eller………O Segundo Sol… live

and I’m waltz crazy right now:

Malatu Astake…Tezeta

Sly and The Family Stone…Que Sera sera

Leonard Cohen….Take This Waltz

Elliot Smith…… Waltz #2

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds with Kylie Minogue…Where the Wild Roses Grow

The Smiths… Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want

Mazzy Star… Fade Into You

Bill Evens trio…..Waltz for Debby

and… drum roll for the times:

Dionne Warwick…What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love… a waltz…

the state of the world:

society gone mad….

The first thing I realised was that it didn’t matter how all this happened. Mother Nature adjusting the Planet (I like that version) Trump, China, Bill Gates, baby blood drinking reptilians…. whatever.. I cant do anything about that. It’s all just symptoms of our sick society.

Living creatively,  the antidote to planetary madness. I’m not saying we all need to paint or dance or sing, although it would help. I’m saying, whatever you do, do it with grace, love and focus. The heartfelt experience of your life is what matters. Get rid of your Covid deaths update app, put your phone down, turn off the TV… .connect to the natural world, it’s possible even in Brooklyn, even in this day. A choice.

Albert Einstein said:

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe”

I’m going with friendly…

My favourite poem:

again… so timely

to the future with no fear!


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