Ball of Wax 49 Songs: Michele Khazak – “A Song for the Willful”

If not for its one reference to texting on a cellphone (and a contemporary eff bomb) you might think this track from Michele Khazak was recorded many decades ago. With its minimalist piano over a gothic, soulful blues vocal and a sound like one mic in a bar after closing time and a sentiment to match, this song is, for me, quite evocative. The verses unroll slowly to reveal the singer struggling to recapture the feeling that gave meaning to . . . to what exactly? The desire to make music? To get up in the morning and face the day? You don’t quite know from the words but you do, of course – who wouldn’t? Later verses reveal loneliness, crisis of purpose, and regret at repeated mistakes, but also an acknowledgement of dignity and perseverance: “No it’s not like you’re not trying. You just gotta go and try it again.” Each verse then opens up minor to major into a repeated and hopeful chorus reminding herself and the rest of us, “but you’ve got to be willing,” which is oh so true, so true. Great song.

Michele will open up the Ball of Wax 49 release show with a rare solo set at the house piano. Don’t miss it!

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