Jack and I have recently transitioned into full-time life on the road in a retro Coach. We shed all bricks and mortar and have embraced the gypsy lifestyle, as it lends itself better to our music and our show. Although we still appear once a month at the Center for the Arts (our Middle Tennessee home base), we are really enjoying getting out there and meeting new music lovers on the road. We’ve found many common threads running through the folks that attend our show.
Among them, we are hearing about the sometimes unimaginable situations and circumstances they are facing in their lives right now. One of the amazing things about offering an intimate style show like we do is the opportunity it provides to actually have discussions with our audience after the show. They are so open with us and share how a song personally affected them or how it caused them to think differently about a situation. It reminds me that it is not only a privilege to perform and write songs for a living, but it is also a big responsibility. I try and keep it in perspective, because I realize that in the scope of things, this is merely a very small part of helping people in the world. But at the same time, I never want to take it for granted or forget that we have a platform from which people are listening intently. As entertainers, it is about “them,” not “us.” We are here to provide hope, healing, laughter, insight, understanding and a mental escape at times. We are not here to push our new CD, to get folks on our e-letter or for any other reason. All of those things can only result from a personal connection to them musically and on a human level. When we hear the kind of feedback from people that we do, it stuns me sometimes, and it makes me think about the fact that we never know who is in that audience, what they are dealing with or what decisions they are facing. They can hear a song, a lyric, or a story that can alter things significantly.
Let me give you one example of something that happened recently and stands out in my mind most. One of our road venues is a beautiful lodge in the North Georgia Mountains. When one couple checked into the lodge, they were informed that although our show was already sold out, the lodge would make room for them somehow if they were interested in attending. The husband looked sternly at the manager and said, “We are not here for social reasons. We are only here to secure a house for her to live in pending our upcoming divorce.” The manager was saddened to hear this and gently nudged them about the concert over the next 24 hours as she saw them around the property. For some reason, they agreed to come, and as the evening progressed, they left holding hands. Who knows what they heard or saw that reconnected them to one another, but there is no doubt that the power of music is incredible.
Jack and I continue to hear stories like this one that remind us of the fact that music is so healing and can have amazing reach. We are reminded of what a blessing and privilege it is to do what we do. We are not only performers and “messengers,” but we are also fans of music ourselves. It’s awesome to be surrounded by the circle of musicians we have the opportunity to perform with. One person, in particular, stands out as he has a song that further explains this concept: “The Seed”, co-written and performed by Trent Jeffcoat, is worth googling! We are out here planting seeds and although we may never know the full scope of what they grow up to become, it’s nice to know we are contributing in some small way.