Music has, and always will be a huge part of my life. I grew up listening to the widest variety possible, mostly brought from the sweet pops and cracks of my parent’s record player. As much as I love film, it is hard to come close to the pure emotion that can be brought on by music, either playing or listening. I have played guitar since I was 14 years old and it is hard to compare anything to the feeling of playing a song with others. The way a harmony can be so sweet and put you directly in the moment.
It has been a while since I have played just for lack of time, but recently during our trip up to the Finger Lakes, that chance came back in a big way. Out of the 8 people on our trip, only two of us, myself and my friend Will, played instruments, so we figured it would be good to put on a bit of a show. We practiced early in the day, preparing a few songs and just getting our voices down. Luckily, in the same way that our friendship had formed, our first time playing together was like one of those moments where you know it fits. Our harmony was great, our style was the same, we knew it would be good. Only we didn’t know how good.
Late that night we all got together beneath the stars, pulled our chairs up around the roaring fire, while the soft lap of the water against the shore seemed to place the beat. We took out the guitars and it got quiet as the group were ready to hear what we had to offer.
One of my favorite things in the world is to surprise people with something they don’t know about me. I’m a pretty private person in day to day life, I try to never boast about a talent, it is just not the type of person I am. So even though I’d known most of these people for around 8 years, most of them had never heard me play or sing. Something happens to me when I play music with other people. I let go of all my inhabitions. In normal life, I’m pretty quiet and reserved, but when I sing or play I let it all go and just belt it out.
We sang a couple of favorites and everyone was having a great time. Then what first started as kind of a joke, a rendition of ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’, turned into something more, it was just raw and powerful if you can believe it. Then with the whole group we went into a classic sing along of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes off of You’ which had a moment of brilliance with the all of us mimicking the horn section in the break down. My personal favorite moment of the evening was when I sing lead on a song very close to my wife and I, ‘Moondance’ by Van Morrison. I felt every note come out perfectly and sitting beneath the stars, it was just that moment where you know everything is right in the world, if even for a moment in time.
With that said, I want to share a few great musical collaborations, ones that can touch or give you goosebumps just for the sheer awe of what music can do.
Van Morrison and John Lee Hooker- Don’t Look Back
Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, and Leon Russell- A Song for You
Tom Petty, Prince, ff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Steve Ferrone, Marc Mann, and Dhani Harrison
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Killing the Blues