For the past few years, November has found me using this space to talk about musical things I am thankful for or for artists to share the artist they are most thankful for. And while we will be posting a similar article again this year in the coming weeks, I was inspired to go to a more broad place with my written gratitude for this piece.
I am thankful for music. Period.
Simple statement, yet one that says so much. When putting my thoughts together, I began to piece together different ideas and landed on the notion that I’m simply thankful for music. Think of it as liner notes for the musical soul.
Music defines me. One of the first things people I meet realize is that music is important to me. I’m passionate about five things: my family, my friends, God, music and sports. Depending on when you catch me, the order may be a bit jumbled.
But, I am devoted to all. Music makes me hum through Mondays and fly through Fridays. It’s cliche, but it is the soundtrack to our lives.
It drags me out of bed. Harmonizes with me in the shower. Gets me down the road. Reminds me of specific times and places: first crushes, bygone parties, lost friends, joyous celebrations, and holidays. It can comfort a bad mood or sustain a good mood.
It comes in all shapes and sizes depending on what you want to hear or it feels you need to hear. Music can be fun and flighty or moody and heavy. It can be rowdy or serious.
Music is a seductress that I can never turn away from. It creeps into every facet of our lives.
I hear music in birds singing, fingers tapping on desks or water dripping out of a leaky faucet.
Music is the cheapest therapy I’ve found. Music connects people with other uncommon beliefs and interests. Just think about it, if you go to a show at some dingy dive in east Texas one, hot Saturday night, you are but one among hundreds there for the same reason. To jam some tunes and be part of the communal experience that a live concert can be. Drinks sloshing, bottles clanging and boisterous singing culminate in an experience unlike any other. Now imagine seeing some of those folks in another venue like a grocery store or post office. That connection is gone. The sense of being part of something bigger than yourself is gone. You were connected by music.
With apologies to Ronald Reagan, music is the great communicator. Can’t find the right words to let that somebody special know how you feel, cue up the music.
Music is friendship. I’ve been blessed to make many friends throughout the course of life, but some of the closest I’ve made have been forged, and at times strengthed via music.
Music is sitting in the frigid Guadalupe under the hot July sun and listening to the wind bounce through the Oak trees along the water’s edge.
Music is a community of people supporting, networking and sustaining a cottage industry of independent artists.
Music is the pace of a tire whine slowing as you pull onto a backroad, off the highway or onto your street after being away for a long time.
Music is the sound of a Skype connection from Iraq, Afghanistan or some other unfathomable hell.
Music is bagpipes at a fireman’s funeral from West, TX.
Music is a child’s laughter on a playground or in the bathtub.
Music is that moment when you hear a song so good that you get goosebumps by the first chorus and chills by the second.
Music is sending two bucks rattling into a tip jar because that kid playing the open mic impressed you.
Music heals. Music loves. Music breathes. Music grieves. Music frustrates. Music grows.
God has placed music all around us in many different forms, and for that we should all be thankful.
-This year seems to be flying by, but fall is my second favorite time of year behind summer. Crisp air, anticipation of the holidays, football is peaking, and reunions of old friends happening all over the place. Good times.
-What is the deal with old people and not tinting the windows in their cars?
-Fried turkey owns all other turkey forms for Thanksgiving.
-Josh Weathers is taking a break from music for 2014. Well deserved. That cat’s put more joy into the world than many folks have over the past couple years and has some big things cooking outside of the music world. Much love Josh…keep it funky.
-I’ve become quite the guitar aficionado over the years. I remember not even going to shows as a kid and not paying attention or caring what the people onstage played. Now, I find myself studying it intently and comparing tones and hitting the web up as soon as I get home to find YouTube vids of players using similar rigs.
-I’m a stubbornly loyal Dallas Cowboys fan. It’s quite the conundrum to be in because Jerry Jones isn’t going anywhere and neither is his son Stephen who seems to be as miraculously inept as his father. It’s a viciously abusive relationship cycle of hope, depression, anger, and the familiar, knowing calm of mediocrity.
-Halloween was fun this year. Hit up a few small gatherings. We didn’t do costumes this year, but I was amazed at some of the ones I saw. I’m all for creativity…but also for comfort. If you can’t drink or talk in the costume…find another idea. -Facebook creeps closer to MySpace territory every day. It is no longer cool, but I return out of habit. Not sure how much longer that will continue.
-Advocare remains amazing. Feeling better and working out at greater length and intensity than I have in a decade. That’s one thing you might see on Facebook that you should actually buy the hype on. LEGIT!
-If they were to make a Mt. Rushmore of Aggies…it’s Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Manziel and who?
-I hope many of you are planning on attending the Red River Songwriters’ Festival.
-This month’s recommended album: Sam Riggs and the Night People – Outrun the Sun. I’m late to the Riggs party, but he owns one of the freshest styles to hit the scene in some time. His songs show a smart balance of mentor Ray Wylie Hubbard’s grit and some catchy radio hooks. Lead single “When the Lights Go Out” is the most solid indicator of this delicate, artistic balance that has me excited to see what else Riggs has up his sleeve.
-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.”-Mark Twain