Let’s mark the day with one of Ryan’s best songs from the vaults, 1999’s still-unreleased “Oh My Sweet Valentine” (also known as “Petal in a Rainstorm”). The first time I ever heard “Valentine” was Oct. 20 of that year, when it was one of a handful of spellbinding new songs that Ryan played solo at Local 506 in Chapel Hill — a show recounted in Chapter 11 of “Losering.”
Ryan played unaccompanied for most of the night, and Caitlin joined him for the closing stretch. “Valentine” remains among my favorite songs from that period, and I think it’s kind of tragic that it has yet to be properly released all these years later. But for those who care, at least it’s out there.
ADDENDUM: On the flipside of happy Valentine’s Day sentiments is the Love Hangover, an annual multi-city tradition and subject of a Wall Street Journal feature that quotes the aforementioned Caitlin Cary. The Raleigh edition of the 14th annual Love Hangover happens Friday at Kings, and Chip Robinson is among the participants this year.