First, to all of my close friends and family in Savannah that just listed their houses for sale out of fear that I am going to sing – relax, you are safe.
Although music is a huge part of my life, I have no musical talent whatsoever. It is one of life’s little ironies – kind of like how my highly arched feet are perfect for high-heeled shoes.
I enjoy studying music – learning about the bands or singers, their histories, the words of the songs and the writers. And I remember that stuff – it is the important things that I forget (like where I parked my car in our office parking garage). I like almost all types of music – with the exception of opera and radical rap (I guess I am old – the bad language makes me uncomfortable).
I am always willing to go to a concert, even for acts that I don’t know that well. Those have been some of the best experiences – such as John Prine and Dwight Yoakam. Savannah is a great venue as you can often get closer to the artist than you can anywhere else. My husband and I went with dear friends to see Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan at the local baseball stadium a few years ago. There was no assigned seating and people had been standing out in the rain for hours in front of the stage to stake their positions. Knowing that I have a slight crush on Willie, my friend took my hand, made promises along the way (which, thankfully, we did not keep), and got us to Willie. It was amazing.
I started early going to concerts. I have a distinct memory of when I was young, sitting on my Grandfather’s lap, with my Mom, at the Michigan State Fair and watching women’s (not my Mom’s) underwear fly by me. The hairy and sweaty Tom Jones even had me entranced at four years of age. The first “real” concert I attended was Captain and Tennille – a fact that used to embarrass me, until I met the now husband/then boyfriend of a dear friend and found out that they were his first concert as well. (Robert – you must have been very popular; I don’t remember any boys in the audience when I went.)
I often play the game of asking myself if I could sing like anyone, who would it be? It varies, depending on my mood. I love Alison Krauss, but think her voice might sound kind of funny coming out of me. Same issue with Aretha. I often end up with Wynonna. She has a depth and body to her voice that I really appreciate.
Three of my all time favorite songs – and I have had the incredible pleasure of seeing each one performed live:
1. Roll Me Away, written and performed by Bob Seger (with the Silver Bullet Band). Bob Seger is from my hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He still lives in Michigan. He tours when his band needs money. He is married with two kids, and flies home after every concert to be with his family. I last saw him in Nashville about four years ago and his two teenage kids were in the front row with their friends. I love that he sings about Mackinaw City as I spent much of my childhood on Mackinac Island. My older brother and I dream about riding his Harley over the Mackinac Bridge with this song blaring on the radio. It is on my bucket list.
2. If I Were a Carpenter, performed by the Four Tops (written by Tim Hardin). There have been many wonderful versions of this song recorded, including one by Johnny Cash. The voice of Levi Stubbs, the lead singer of the Four Tops, has always made my knees weak. Another Michigander and good man. From Wikipedia: “Despite being the most prominent member of the group, Stubbs refused to have separate billing (in contrast to other Motown acts), and he also turned down several offers for a solo career, out of loyalty to his bandmates.”
3. I Do Believe, written and performed by Waylon Jennings, as part of the Highwaymen (Johnny, Willie, Kris and Waylon). Waylon is my favorite outlaw – and I love the words of this song.