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{Off The Cuff} Notice the Little Things

by:  Scott Matthews

Certain things strike me as funny, remiss, even odd. I find the fact that I just used “even” and “odd” in back to back sequence even more amusing. I notice the little things and often miss the grander scheme of things. I wonder why I am like that. Should I wonder? Maybe it’s just me. The little things.
I recently shared a stage for the umpteenth time with San Antone based singer/songwriter Jeremy Parsons. He’s got a real Johnny Horton thing going. It’s amazing. After we were done he asked me what I thought of his song. I couldn’t answer. I was too busy enjoying seeing this young talent revel in the song. I have no clue what songs he sang. He came to life the minute he started singing with a true love for the music in his eyes. The little things.

I awoke for the first time ever in my new home in the Hill Country yesterday and immediately had that horrible, “Where am I?” feeling. I walked out to the garage, sat down in a camping chair amidst a mountain of boxes and furniture, lit a smoke and noticed something. Silence. I realized that I hadn’t experienced silence in the last ten years or so. There were no helicopters overhead. No sirens careening up and down the road. No 20’s with spinners. Just 39 degrees and silence. The little things.

0545 rolled around and I heard my daughters’ alarm clock go off while I sat in the garage reading the news. In true twelve year old fashion she woke up slamming and banging around the house. She was talking to nobody in particular at the top of her lungs and pissed about Lord knows what. I half pray that she stays this age forever, and that she skips to thirty five immediately. But if that crashing and banging wasn’t there, I’d be heartbroken. If it weren’t for her and all of her, “Well, duh, Daddy” comments, I wouldn’t realize that I am single handedly the dumbest Dad in America. I love these times. The little things.

My songs were recently solicited by a publisher. GONNA BE AS BIG AS JIM CROCE!!! Yeah, not. I got shot right the heck down. I was down trodden over the whole thing once I received the response. I was told I was too original. I was told that my folk-ish style wasn’t “radio friendly.” I really felt like a turd. That’s the only way I can say it….”turd.” Then my wife said something to me that will forever ring in this one ear that works properly. She said,” Too original? Isn’t that a perfect ‘scope on you? What are you upset about? Get your ass back out there and keep doing it! Isn’t that why you started gigging? You be you!” Sometimes Big Things fall shy to the Little Things.

There’s meatloaf cooking in the oven right now. I love meatloaf. Ya know the kind without all the veggies? Yeah, that kind. Ya know the point when whatever is being cooked just starts to smell good? That point where the spices just start to fill the house? Yeah….that’s our music scene. We haven’t even added the garlic salt yet. It’s game on. Little things.

I thought about my wife and one of the greatest afternoons she has ever had. I thought about Chuy’s with Jenn Ann, Brad, Kristin, Justin, and Andrew. It’s Dickey asking me if I had a rough night. It’s Dickey smelling the devil’s den on me in the lobby of Chuy’s and figuring out that I had had a great night. It’s Kristin drinking my Bloody Mary because I just couldn’t. It’s Andrew on my back patio the night before Greenfest and I won’t even speak about that. That was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Little….err….things.

Then I found myself right here in this garage. I realized that it is the little things that make this scene go around. Card swaps, ornament swaps, song swaps, you name it…..I’m proud to be a part of the little things.

Scott Matthews is a singer/songwriter and frequent Galleywinter.com contributor from the San Antonio area recently relocated to the serenity of the Hill Country

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