Living in two seemingly disparate worlds, Philly local musician Ron Chelsvig is both a physical therapist and singer songwriter. Each provide benefit to the people he serves. His musical gifts are evident in the 2005 release Livin’ In A World. The Universe had a sense of humor, since the man who originally hails from Story City, Iowa indeed tells stories with his music. They are about love, loss and loneliness, hope and redemption and take the listener on a journey through various genres and stylings.
The title song with an alt-country feel which opens the recording, at first bemoans the trials and tribulations of this human existence and then celebrates the beauty inherent in it. ‘Livin’ in a world where too many people sit alone and cry. Living in a world where peace and love are in small supply.” transmutes to “Livin’ in a world where beautiful souls are everywhere. Livin’ in a world where so many people seem to care.”
Would You Look My Way has a harder rocking Who infusion, embellished by the electric violin of another talented regional performer, Caryn Lin. In it, Chelsvig dares to bare his soul.
What’s Going On has Chelsvig channeling Bob Dylan as he walks away from a relationship that is no longer a good fit. “Three years runnin’ and I gotta go. I go fishin! You go crazy, dont’cha babe?”
Dreaming carries a lazy drifty Caribbean feel, so much so that it is easy to imagine lying in a seaside hammock as you listen effortlessly.
Rocket Man has the most complicated story line and I wondered if this was about someone who had his own ‘dark side of the moon’ experience. Written by Tom Rapp, it offers the sad lyrics “My father was a rocket man. He loved the world beyond the world. The sky beyond the sky. And on my mother’s face. As lonely as the world in space. I could read the silent cry.” The wailing of Chelsvig’s trumpet echo those tears.
“With the wave of hand, Dada. I created all of this.” brings the listener into a chant called Dada that winds its way and reassures “I’m a part of everything. And you’re a part of me.”
One More Day gives hope to this who feel, “I am alone now. All alone. I hate this feeling deep inside. I want to run away. I want to hide. But I’ll try one more day.”
Two Lonely People feels like an ideal follow-up as it has the characters offering their hearts, their love and their bodies to each other, if only for one night.
This Time invites throwing caution to the wind with the lyrics “This time. This time. Run away with me.” as Chelsvig’s voice mellows and caresses the listener’s ear.
A reggae reprise of Livin’ In A World closes this potpourri of peace and presence.