Mercedes Forward

I learned to dance tango as a child, in our kitchen with my father.  My favorite is ‘La Cumparsita’, which of course, Uruguayans and Argentinians fight as to its origin.  A Uruguayan wrote this tango which is like the anthem for all tangos.  The lyrics were written later on by an Argentinian, part of the confusion.  

As a youngster my favorites became ‘Amapola’ and ‘Granada’.  Spanish is such an expressive language that I love the complexity of the text, particularly for Granada, where the song even addresses Garcia Lorca.  
Today, Placido Domingo’s version of these songs is my choice.

Since becoming an adult, my favorite song is ‘It is a Wonderful World’.  It reminds me of the importance of gratitude and to focus on all the wonderful things that surround us.  But, nothing gets me going as much as salsa dancing.   Celia Cruz “La Vida es un Carnaval” is one of my favorites and its meaning ties to all that is good in life, just like my previous favorite.  

La Cumparsita

Placido Domingo - Granada

Placido Domingo - Amapola

Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World

Celia Cruz - La Vida Es Un Carnival



Mark's Forward

Music helps me track the memories of the different regional US cultures I’ve experienced, life-long friends made and changing priorities through each season of my personal and business life. It was fun to think about all time favorites. Here are my top 5 (times 2, sorry) songs in chronological order:

Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Elton John, 1974: The first vinyl album I bought (with lawn mowing money) and memorized lyrics during middle school (Jr. High) in MA.

Come Sail Away – Styx, 1977 & Roll With The Changes – REO, 1978: Lots of hair (on my head and 80’s bands) in high school in LA. I avoided country music and disco, with these 8-tracks becoming favorites as we cruised in my VW bug. The air guitar skills learned still come in handy at IRC annual meeting’s karaoke night.

Jack and Diane – John Cougar Mellencamp, 1982 & Jesse’s Girl – Rick Springfield, 1981: Reminds me of my university days and fraternity friends in LA, as well jogging with these cassettes in a Walkman.

Roll Me Away – Bob Seger, 1983: Just started my surety/insurance career in LA, switched employers and made first big relocation to TX. Radio played this song repeatedly with apropos lyrics for my adventure at hand.  

Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson, 1988: In my late 20’s, very successful with work and got married. This song had me thinking it was time to start trying to better the world, not just my resume.

Thunderstruck – AC/DC, 1990: One of my bigger promotions occurred with a transfer to MI. This song played on radio as my wife and I drove our newborn son from the hospital. It also played at all Detroit sport team events which I attended a lot.

Meant To Live & Dare You To Move – Switchfoot, 2003-4: First introduction to Christian lyric music that was also alternative rock. Still my favorite band, with amazing live shows that my seventeen year old daughter and twenty three year old son attend with me.

Hope you have been around long enough to have any of these songs trigger fond memories for you too. Thanks, Mark in Atlanta



Lindsey's Forward

Reminiscing of childhood days, high school, college and now my last eight years at IRC has brought back so many fond memories. I remember growing up to the raspy voice of Janis Joplin, which is my mother’s favorite artist, and the likes of Led Zeppelin which my dad would have playing on the radio while he worked in the garage and my brother and I played in backyard. My brother and I would always throw around plastic discs as kids (records, not flying saucers that you threw at your sibling) that my parents had stacked up in the basement. Those stack of records, which we still have and play to this day, included the likes of The Beatles, Aerosmith, Prince and other great artists, many of which are now legends.

Other than listening to the beats of rock and roll, as a teenager I remember hearing a song by Johann Pachelbel. I don’t think I had ever heard anything more beautiful in my life. To this day, when I listen to this song, Canon in D Minor, it brings nothing but happiness and peacefulness to me. I grew up in an era of "pop diva’s" and "boy bands", but I always favored more contemporary artists such as Celine Dion and Cheryl Crow with a splash of Alanis Morisette, Bush, and Oasis. I became obsessed with The Beatles after finding a binder that was stashed away in a closet that my mother carried with her in high school. It had a picture of the Beatles on it and I wondered who these lads were, so I started asking questions. Little did I know at the time that their music had changed the world in so many ways. John Lennon’s, Imagine, still strikes me to this day as I found it to be so profound, yet such simple worlds that carried a deep message. I still listen to all of these artists and my iPod is also full of Mumford and Sons, Awake My Soul being a favorite, Carrie Underwood, Glen Hansard, and other various artists. However there is one song that will always mean a great deal to me; I hope you Dance, by Lee Ann Womack, which was given to me by my mother when I graduated high school. The lyrics to this beautiful melody reminds me to never take life for granted, take the path less traveled, take chances, don’t sit it out, but rather dance the great dance of life all while being humble, caring, appreciative, and loving. Those were pretty powerful words to me when I was 18, and still are to this day.

Lindsey Seibert, Partner

Lindsey's Musical Selections
Johann Pachelbel: Canon in D Minor

Janis Joplin: Summertime

Lee Ann Womack: I hope you Dance

John Lennon: Imagine

Mumford and Sons: Awake My Soul



Rob's Forward

With apologies to so many singing groups, saloon stylists, piano players, and singer-songwriters:  Sam the stirrer of souls; Lubbock’s Buddy, Minnesota Bob, Paul the only living boy in New York from Newark, Joe from the boondocks, and Ricky from TV;  Kris the Rhodes Scholar, Saint Joan, ethereal Joanie and Queen Carole;  Elvis, Frankie, Frank and Van; Jim with a name, Jimmy the River Crosser, and James of deep greens and blues; the Liverpudlians, Stones, surfers and revivalists; Billy of da Bronx; Gene from Brooklyn and Bruce from Jersey; Gordon of Canada, Ernie from down in the mines, Arlo and his Dad, one John born in Paradise and another John reborn in Colorado, and especially –  for a northwest Ohio kid who for a half-decade thought the Motown hits that came to us through CKLW were  ”local” music only we knew about -- Detroit’s starting lineup of Smokey, Flo, Mary, Mitch, Bob, Junior, Stevie and Edwin, Diana, Gladys, Marvin, Martha, Tammi, the Tops and Temps.  All of them sang or wrote songs a hitchhiker could use:  memorable lyrics, accessible notes, melodies bewitching and mournful, heroic, playful and heartbreaking. 

But I had to choose only five.  Each of these singers or songs represents a carapace-shedding growth period in my life:  Johnny Cash for High School rebellion; John Lennon for undergrad recognitions; Bob Marley for Peace Corps days of reflection and exultation, Willy Nelson to accompany me on  trips throughout the U.S. while on the road (driving) for IRC, and the Avett Brothers as a thank-you note to my late-middle-age reawakening to popular music. 

“It is a terrible thing to love what Death can touch”, the New England tombstone said.  Plain Truth is still the most part of Beauty; terrible Beauty still the core of Truth.  Hitchhiking is the lost art of our age, un-mourned in passing, but both truthful and beautiful in my mind and memory.   These songs, and all the songs I ever sang, were sung best on a roadside stage supported by a symphony of wind to an audience of attentive stars, when only one traveler could hear the cacophonous and  joyful noise that accompanied my miles and days.

Rob Downey, Founding Partner IRC

Rob's Musical Selections

1.) Satisfied Mind - Johnny Cash

2.) Imagine - John Lennon

3.) Redemption Song - Bob Marley

4.) Poncho and Lefty - Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

5.) Ill With Want - The Avett Brothers