Dobie Gray Passes Away, Joy of “Drift Away” Remains With Us
Listening to various versions of “Drift Away” this morning and thinking about the late Dobie Gray… remembering Semisonic practicing the song in John Munson’s parents’ basement around 1994… We just learned it from childhood memories, we didn’t refer to the original. Much later I realized how wrong my guitar parts were! In those early days of Semisonic, I was trying to figure out how to write songs that could do for my listeners what “Drift Away” did for me. I remember hearing that song on KOZY radio, 1490 AM in Grand Rapids Minnesota, where my family spent our summers. It would really take me away into another world of music. The best part is that the song’s lyrics describe exactly the experience of listening to it, like a hypnotist speaking in first person. From the verses to the chorus, the song talks about being transported by music, comforted, leaving troubled feelings behind. And Dobie Gray’s voice somehow was soothing and exciting at the same time. What an amazing song and record.