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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Feed Your Creative Soul

Photo by Laura J. Bear  2012
Hello, all! I am jazzed after refueling my creative tank with some live music last night. My husband and I had the pleasure of experiencing a full night of spectacular acoustic music. Despite finding out about it the night before, I was able to get tickets in the second row of the middle of the balcony. The concert began with Michael Daves and Brittany Haas Gorgeous guitar and fiddle playing with Dave's high lonesome, chill-producing voice and fine harmonies from Brittany. Tony Trischka played a few numbers with them. Mr. Trischka is a banjo genius who makes that instrument sing like a sweet angel child. He came back to play a set with the strangely named Mr. Sun: Darol Anger, Joe Walsh (the other one), Grant Gordy, and Ethan Jodziewicz: A POWERHOUSE of ACOUSTIC IMPROVISATIONAL SOUND. Darol Anger is the exact opposite embodiment of his name. He is Mr. Sun. A fiddle virtuoso who dances all over the stage having musical conversations with each member of the band and the audience. Anger is a true genius of his instrument and an innovative force in music education and appreciation. I felt like I was part of a secret revolution of happiness, melody, and rhythm. The energy coming off the stage coursed right through my body and greatly disturbed a bat that was darting around the old theater. The mandolin player, Joe K. Walsh (not to be confused with the one from The Eagles), played every centimeter of the fretboard with precision, style, and lovely tone. Grant Gordy, the guitar player--no, the guitar master--created musical magic with his fingers on the strings: a feast for the ears. Ethan Jodziewicz, the bass player, kept the vibration moving with his steady, delicious deep tones and bluesy solos. They all sang like it was the last song on earth. I was laughing and crying at the sheer beauty of this multi-sensory experience and the obvious joy each musician shared with each other and with everyone else in the room.

But, that's not all! No! There was yet another set! The Travelin' McCourys (Ronnie McCoury, Rob McCoury, Jason Carter, Jeff White, and Alan Bartram) entertained us for another hour or so with some hard-driving then alternating lyrical, harmonious bluegrass. They, too, spread joy to all of us through their shared musicality. Almost four hours of amazing music on one Saturday night for the price of a couple nice bottles of wine! Wow.

Anyway, the point of all this swooning over the music is that, I believe, it is essential to feed your creative soul with other forms of art and to experience art from the source. Get on the train and visit some other parts of the landscape. Get involved and go see it in person. Social media helps us find out about things, but gives us only virtual life. Get out there and get the real thing! Gotta go, gotta go! See you next time.