This afternoon I was in the throes of the usual Monday flurry and flutter, zapping out emails, texts, and Tweets, when I was suddenly disrupted by a wave of nostalgia. While putting together a show proposal, I ran across this video I took a year ago at the Boiler Room. Suddenly instead of thinking of all the things I have to get done, I was overwhelmed with a reminder of why I do any of it in the first place.
Of the many blessings I count in my life, musicians hold an empowering majority. Working with those who inspire me beyond reason and allowing that impact to take hold has turned my world on its ear. For years I just considered myself a fan with no real understanding of the importance of that role within the musical community — I was frankly surprised no one had issued a restraining order against me and my megaphone. It was Bill Laurance of Snarky Puppy who first brought this dynamic to my attention — that my steadfast love and support was not only appreciated, but necessary to the development and direction of musicians. Soon after I devoted myself to music. I plucked up my nomadic laundry baskets and moved back to Denton where I could put all that sonically-driven energy to good use.
That was when everything went right side up.
I would not have the beautifully eccentric life I have today had I not been so compelled by my friendship with Bill. His music reaches a part of my spirit like no other — from the vibrant “34 Klezma” (off Bring Us the Bright) to the heart-pumping “Good Man Delivers and the Best is Blessed” and the slightly gut-wrenching “Ready Wednesday” from Tell Your Friends. He is just the sort of charming genius Michael League is always parading into my life. My number one live music experience is presently a tie between Roger Waters doing Dark Side v. Leaguers and Billy at the piano last Mother’s Day.
Running across this video brought this all back today, it’s a wonder to see how much can happen in just one year. Keith Anderson can be seen shattering minds with his band, Full of Soul and sassing Bobby Sparks on HDNet’s Ray Johnston Road Diaries. Mike and Bill are enjoying a “chill” Pup summer on either side of the Atlantic. Steve Pruitt and I have been cohorting on Chris Ward’s upcoming Texas tour (hitting North Texas next week), while Mark Lettieri and I verbally abuse each other over Black and Blues gigs. It’s hard to imagine what life was like before these jazzholes took over — and it’s much more fun to imagine what’s ahead.