by Cher Guevara, Staff Writer
It was forty-six years between the release of Lavender Country’s two albums (Lavender Country (1973) and Blackberry Rose & Other Songs and Sorrows (2019)), so I was surprised as hell when I found out that the legendary band dropped a single out of nowhere.
“Treasures that Money Can’t Buy” is a fitting number to start off the new year. We’ve been through four years of hell from a President who worships money openly and crudely. He spent his entire Presidency bragging about how rich he is.
Patrick Haggerty and the crew drop the perfect antidote for that, singing about how unfulfilling it is to spend all your time on Earth trying to get the latest and greatest gadgets, trying to win the impossible rat race of American capitalism.
Instead, Patrick admonishes us to find wealth in the things that no amount of money can get you: the love of friends and spouses, the celebration of music and poetry. He sings that a life lived for those simple things will be far more worthwhile than a life lived in the chase for the almighty buck.
Instrumentally, this single has the old-style country ballad sound, soaked in simple guitar chords and some outstanding fiddle playing. This isn’t one of Patrick’s honky-tonk stompers, this sounds more like a group of friends playing on a back porch somewhere beautiful. And it mixes wonderfully with the lyrics.
Patrick once referred to himself as an “unfettered screaming Marxist bitch” and while here his voice is soft and sweet, his disdain for capitalism cuts clean through the guitar strings. Even at seventy-six years old, he has no use for the bourgeoisie.
This single dropped out of nowhere, so I can’t say if it’s a taste of a forthcoming album or not. But what I can say is that Lavender Country ain’t finished yet by a long shot and Mr. Haggerty and his crew have started 2021 with one hell of a song.