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Sunday, November 24, 2013

For the Love of Music

For the Love of Music.

Such a simple sentence.  Such a beautiful statement.  Such a powerful thought.

It actually comes from Hunter Hayes.  It is the name of his video blog.  I may have to steal it from time to time.

The love of music is something that I have a hard time putting into words.  I have a hard time describing the feelings that come over me when the right song comes on at just the right time.  For me, it is like describing the feeling on your wedding day, the feeling of a perfect sunset, the feeling of reaching a goal that you never thought you would.  It is almost impossible.

Music can touch us in crazy ways.  Music can make us angry, sad, happy, calm, anxious - you name it.  And you can play the exact same song, in the exact same setting for every person - and no two people will experience the exact same thing.  We bring our backgrounds, our emotions, our thoughts into everything we hear.  I would expect no different.

I grew up with music. My house had music playing, my father would make up songs, my mother played the flute.  I learned to play brass (mainly trumpet and euphonium) and piano.  I don't play any of it with great skill, but I do enjoy it.  I also sing and now play in a bell choir.  Once again, no great talent, but enjoyable.

When you have the right combination of words, lyrics, and setting - there isn't much better.  No easier way to sooth a troubled soul, no better way to express your heart.

A lot of people that I know think that I am a bit crazy and a bit obsessive - after all I am going to every concert that I can get to, and buying new music all the time - but music is just something amazing.  A thing of beauty that I can't find in many other places.  Others find this feeling in great art, in nature, in hobbies - for me - it's music.  Truly, it's that simple.

So - after much hunting - I think I found it.  The song to describe my love of music.  The song that helps put all of this rambling into words.  "Read My Mind" by Keaton Simons.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


So, I am finally almost caught up with blogging about concerts.  I know, crazy, right?  I really enjoy trying to get to two concerts a month.  This balances me out pretty well.  They tend to be spaced enough that I have recovery time, and I don't have that long to wait to see another great show.  November changed that up a bit.  I had the Dan Godlin/Curtis Peoples/Todd Carey show the first Monday in November, and I have Straight No Chaser the last Friday of the month.  Quite a break in between, but that's okay, it's a crazy busy month.

Then a friend asked if I was interested in seeing Hunter Hayes with her. Honestly, didn't jump on the chance.  I knew 1 Hunter Hayes song.  Of course, it was Wanted. Now, I do love that song, I even bought it on iTunes.  However, I'm not a huge country fan, and the concert was two hours away.  But, I thought about, and decided to give it a shot.  So, on the second Sunday of November, we were off.  Headed out of town to see another live show.

Let me tell you.  If you get the chance to see Hunter Hayes in concert, please do.  He is a great musician.  His musical talent is just amazing.  However, you will have thousands of screaming girls to deal with - just fair warning.

Fox Theatre is absolutely beautiful!

So thank you Allison, thanks for the ticket and asking me to go along.  It was so worth it.

Now - the title of this blog.  Unexpected.  I love finding music in places I never expected.  I love being proved wrong about music (in the good sense).  Finding quality music is something that I will never tire of.  Finding quality anything is always a welcome surprise.  I did not expect to enjoy his music as much as I did.  I enjoyed it so much that we listened to it almost all of the way back to town.  And trust me, I never listen to that much country.  Ever.  So what does this mean?  For me, it means that I need to keep my mind open.  I need to keep my heart open.  I should always be aware that there could be something wonderful just around the corner, or even right in front of me, we just have to be open to the experience.  I strongly encourage the same for you.

In honor of that night - in honor of being open - in honor of the power of music - I have a great song of the day for you.  It is (of course) by Hunter Hayes.  As he was on stage, he was talking about the power of music.  The fact that you can always find a song that speaks to you, that it shows that you are never truly alone, because someone else has felt what you are feeling.  He wrote a song about this.  It is entitled "In a Song."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Simple Joys

So, the headliner last Monday was Todd Carey.  I have already blogged about his songs After the Morning After and Nintendo here and then, very personally, about Gotta Be Next to You here.

There is a magic in Todd's music.  I have found songs of his which work for almost any situation.  And that is pretty darn impressive when I only have 18 songs.  I have found songs that will cheer me up when I am sad, songs that will express my anger and frustration, songs that make me long for the past while hoping for the future, and most importantly, songs that make me smile.

There is a lot of really good music that I listen to (at least I think so).  And yet, a lot of it is not able to bring a true, simple, full smile to my face.  When that is what I need, Todd Carey is one of the first musicians that I turn to.

Monday night was no exception.  He is an amazing performer.  His energy and talent just flow through the room.  It was great to get to hear a lot of his new album (and waiting till Spring or Summer of next year is going to kill me!).  I am anxiously waiting for another chance to see him in concert, whether it be on the computer or in person.

New music

More new music

Curtis joined Todd on stage at the end of the show

As I said, it was an awesome show.  Afterwards we got to hang out with Todd for a while.  We gently reminded him that he was supposed to dedicate a song to Beth, but he had gotten caught up on stage and forgot about it.  So, we got two songs played while we were hanging out in the merch area.

And of course, we ended the night with pics and autographs.

Ya know, it really was a kinda perfect night.  Good friends, good people, great music, awesome venue.  What more can you ask for?

So, while thinking about that night, about Todd's music, about brings me back to my title.  Simple joys.  I really do love the simple things in life.  I love when a day can turn around from the simplest thing.  And for this, thank you Todd.  Thank you for bringing smiles to our days - even when we don't think we have one in us.

My song of the day is one that Todd performs - and performs so well - "Ain't Got Love"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I have a list.  As with the rest of my life, it is stored in my cell phone.  It is a list of songs.  Songs that when I hear them, I know that I need to write about them.  Unfortunately, this list just keeps getting longer.  Sometimes songs do not come off of there because it is not the right day for the song, sometimes because I am busy writing about other things, but sometimes it is because I struggle to put my thoughts into words.  The last reason is the one that bothers me the most.  I pride myself on being able to put things into words.  I can write about almost anything.  I can do it succinctly, but also with the needed emotion.  I think that the songs that I cannot write about are the ones that are the most personal.  It can be very hard to put your heart and your mind out there.....

Okay.  Back to last Monday night.

After Dan Godlin had finished (lots of sadness as I would have been happy to see him perform for hours), it was time for Curtis Peoples.  If I am remembering correctly, I found his music through Tyler Hilton.  I had gotten his album, The Fight, and fallen in love with it.  He was the reason that we were at this show.

As expected, his music is amazing.  His performance is amazing.  We enjoyed every second of it. I sang along with almost every minute of it.  One really cool fact was that Curtis had a ton of family there.  Turns out he spent almost every summer, while growing up, in this part of the country.  So lots of his family showed up to see him perform.  It's great to see that kind of support.

After the show, we gotta to talk to Curtis (yep, still really love Seven Steps Up).  While chatting with him, he talked about how he saw that I was singing along to most of the set.  I, of course, complimented his music - cause it really is awesome.  We talked about how some people don't ever know the music of the artists they are seeing, but that I really prefer to know the music prior to a show.  He told me that he really enjoys having people in the audience that clearly enjoy the music and are big supporters.

So of course, I then got him to sign his album.  :)

 Back to where I started.  I have had a song on my list for quite some time.  That song is "Afraid" by Curtis.  The second that I heard it, it was on my list.  It struck a chord with me.  I'm pretty sure it is because it speaks to the part of me that likes that hide.  Everyone has something that they are afraid of.  Everyone has fears.  I'm pretty sure that all of our real fears boil down to the same things.  Loss.  I mean, really, what are you afraid of?  Is it taking a leap for a change in career?  Is it telling someone that you love them?  Is it telling someone that you are scared for them and where they seem to be headed?  Is it of disappointing people?  Whatever it is, I believe it boils down to a fear of loss.  A fear that we will lose the person we love, a fear of losing our success, a fear of losing our safety net.  I know that is where my true fears are based.

This is why this song means so much to me.  So in honor of being pushed out of my comfort zone (which is always a good thing), in honor of an amazing show - I give you my song of the day.

"Afraid" by Curtis Peoples

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thinking Back....

Today, I take a moment to pause from my blogs about concerts.

Today, 11/11, is Veteran’s Day.  It is a day that always leaves me tearful, happy, and mostly grateful.  While I really want to write about the myriad of reasons for my complicated emotions, I also want to protect the rights and privacy of those I love.  So bear with me while I try to explain.

Many of you know, I married a Marine.  I mean, I really married a Marine.  He deployed to Iraq 36 hours after our wedding service.  The year that included the couple of months of in country training (prior to our wedding), the seven months with him out of the country, and the months of travel for continued services upon his return, was one of the toughest years of our lives.  But here’s the thing.  It wasn’t The toughest.  That came later.  That came as we dealt with the aftermath of war.  The aftermath of a military life. 

So, when Veteran’s Day approaches, and everyone is thanking their family members, and service members at large, it brings up a lot of emotion.  I am forever grateful for everyone who has served.  I am forever grateful to their families, for I understand the sacrifice.  I am also forever remembering everything that people have gone through.  Many people like to say, well, at least he came home in one piece.  And yes, we are very lucky that my husband has no physical injuries, and he made it home alive.  Words will never express the daily fear that this wouldn’t be the case.  However, we need to remember that many (if not most), of the service members coming home – are coming home injured.  They are not the same person they were when they left.  They bear scars that we, as civilians and family members, cannot begin to understand.

So what is my point?  Simply this.  Thank you to my husband and all who have served.  Thank you to the families for making the sacrifice.  Thank you to those who recognize the commitment of these members and families.  And please, remember, some scars are invisible.

As always, I have a song.  A song that I wish I had while my husband was gone.  Because it explains a piece of how I felt.

“Gotta Be Next to You” by Todd Carey

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Where is your happy place?

So a lot of people that I know have commented on how I go to a ton of concerts.  When I look at it, it doesn't feel like all that much.  Really, it is my hobby.  And truly, I love going to small concerts.  While there is nothing better than the energy created by thousands of people all excited to see a favorite musician, there is also nothing better than an intimate gathering.  A gathering where the people are TRUE fans.  Fans who know every word to every song, fans who have followed the musicians when they were small and will tell all their friends about them, in hopes that they will make it to the stadium - one day.

The concert on Monday was one of those intimate gatherings.  As I mentioned before, Seven Steps Up is a venue with just over a hundred seats.  A venue designed for you to be able to hang out with the artists.  And this came true time and time again on Monday.

Beth, Lainie, and I arrived early - as we do.  Dan Godlin was still on soundcheck, so they closed the door.  Then we see Todd Carey heading down the stairs.  We had the opportunity to chat with him, about the tour, about his music, and about the StageIt concert where Beth tipped enough to get a dedicated song - so plans were made for that.

Pretty soon we headed in for our seats.
Not a bad view, huh?

We were ready.  Ready for Dan to take the stage.  We had been listening to his music, talking on Twitter, and ready for an awesome show.

Once again, we weren't disappointed.  Dan Godlin is an awesome performer.  He engaged those of us in the crowd, played beautiful music, and looked happy while doing it.

After the concert was over, we got to meet all the artists.  I do not think we spent less than 30 minutes talking with Dan.  He was such a great guy - very down to earth, very enthusiastic about his music.  And he was also appreciative of his fans.  Always awesome to feel like our enthusiasm helps. :)

So let's back up a step.  The name of this post is "Where is your happy place?".  There is a reason for that.  Dan's newest single is called "Summer Roads."  As he got ready to perform the song, he talked about the feeling of driving down the California coast, wind in the hair, music on the stereo.  The funny thing - is that is my definition of a happy place (well - that or being at an awesome concert).  After the show I talked to Dan about that fact.  It's fun to find something that you have in common.

So this next video is Dan's song "Summer Roads."  While you listen to it, think about your happy place.  Where do you go, or what do you do when you just need to be happier.  What can turn your mood around, no matter how rough the day has been?  Everyone has something (or two or three somethings).  I think that it is important for us to know what that something is, so that we can find strength, even on the toughest day.

And for me, this song will give me that feeling even while I wait through the long, slow Michigan winter. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Just a tease

So last night was another epic show.  I have really found that having the opportunity to meet and get to know your favorite musicians just puts things into a whole other level.  That opportunity does come with a price though - and today - that price is exhaustion.  I am still recovering from a late night (though soooo worth it!) so therefore I am providing you with a teaser of the show last night.

Thanks to my friend Beth & Lainie for the awesome company.
Thanks to Seven Steps Up for the best venue in West Michigan.
And thanks to Dan Godlin, Curtis Peoples, and Todd Carey for an amazing show and being really great guys!


So while I recover and write about this amazing experience - please enjoy the above videos.  And, of course, I have a song for today.  

I woke up this morning with "All I Want" by Curtis Peoples running through my head.  And for me - that is reason enough to make it song of the day. :)

Stand up and take a bow  
Your beauty deserves a crowd 
I said it once, I'll say for all time, all time  
No one's wanted you more, oh more
And I'm trying to hold on, trying to hold on  
Break all the walls around you  
And I'm trying to hold on, trying to hold on  
Til you feel me in your arms
All I want is you 
I've waited for forever to say the things 
that we both know are true
All I want is you
Your dark hair around me now  
The one kiss that you allow 
I hold the words until it's all right, all right 
Now I know what this love's about
And I'm trying to hold on, trying to hold on  
Til you wrap yourself around me  
And I'm trying to hold on, trying to hold on  
Can you feel me in your heart?
All I want is you 
I've waited for forever to say that things 
that we both know are true 
The only thing that matters is standing somehow  
Right in front of you  
Everything I do is because  
All I want is you  
All I want is you
Fighting for you  
Always for you 
Say the words  
Simple heart on a mighty mission  
Say the words
All I want is you 
I've watied for forever to say that things 
that we both know are true  
The only thing that matters is standing somehow  
Right in front of you  
Everything I do is because 
All I want is you

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