Give Me the Music

Last night, I had an epiphanic moment. You know, when you suddenly see things in a new way, or receive an answer to a question you’ve been asking yourself.  An epiphany…although I think ‘epiphanic’ is a more arms-spread-wide descriptive word. Ha!

I’ve been singing for a long time. So long that it’s hard to remember when being a singer wasn’t a part of my definition of myself.  Although I’ve always struggled with stifling self-doubt, quitting has never been an option.  Even though it hasn’t always sustained me financially, I have to keep singing. I have been blessed with a voice and that’s my gift for this world.  It makes me happy to make other people feel good and music makes people feel good.  Good music, that is. Not the irritating, digitally auto-tuned noise that sometimes qualifies as music these days.  I’m talking about the magical experience of real live music, performed by real live humans.

Last night, I did a show with the Tom Newman Blues Band.  Tom is a great guitar player and a good friend; we’ve worked together many times.   It was a fun night. We were at the Southwest Waterfront* in DC – about 20 feet from the water – and it was a beautiful evening.  The band was hot and the crowd was very receptive.

There was a young man in the audience named Josh.  During the break, he came over to me and said, “This probably sounds corny, but I had a really bad day today and I was just walking around aimlessly. I heard your voice and came over here to sit down and listen. I feel so much better now.” That’s the power of music.

Josh just moved to DC from Florida.  He’s in his second week of a new job at a think tank and yesterday things didn’t go well at work. I could tell he was a nice young man with big dreams and his parents are probably very proud of him landing a job in the nation’s capital.  I could also tell he wanted to do so much more than work at a Washington think tank.  I told him, “You’ll have bad days — that’s part of life — but if things get too bad, don’t be afraid to walk away.”

When I went back up to do another song, I dedicated it to Josh. It was a fun little tune called “Evil Gal Blues.”  Halfway through the song, I looked over to where he had been sitting and he was up dancing, surrounded by four ladies, lol.  He was having a good time and that made me smile. In that moment, I was lifted.

image by gil mayers
image by gil mayers

Thank you, Josh.  Thank you for giving me another reason to keep singing.  Just knowing that I helped to create a positive experience for another human being is a blessing to me. This life can knock you down and we have to help each other get back up and keep steppin’.  We all need to inspire and empower each other.

Music makes that possible.  The rhythm of life, the vibration in the music, connects and flows through us.  Our internal calibrations get reset to their natural state of ‘happy’ and we are whole again.

At the end of the night, Josh came up and thanked me for dedicating the song to him. It turns out he’s also an aspiring guitarist and, after hearing the band play an instrumental called “Revelation,” he said he wanted to learn how to play “that gospel blues.”  I think Josh had his own epiphany last night 😉

*The Southwest Waterfront is under massive redevelopment.  You can read more about it here.