Just got back from my little polling place – the fire station in Dexter Twp, Michigan. The turnout was nothing like 2016’s Presidential election, but there was a line of well-behaved voters who had no idea which way the other would vote. We don’t ask. We’re not allowed but it’s also none of our business. We don’t ask … EVER … election day or not. Surely we find ourselves among like-minded people in the friendships we form. But we encounter all sorts of people on a daily basis. I don’t ask my postal worker or the gal at the checkout in my local grocery who they voted for. What difference does it make? Would I look at them in a different way? And I certainly don’t ask the people in our audience who they voted for. I don’t want to know. But sometimes I find out …
Jane and Carol are good friends. They come to a lot of our shows. They’re both singers in a choir which may be how they met. Both have good hearts and are always ready with a hug and kind words. They were at a concert we were playing just before the 2016 election. Not sure how it came up but we found out that one was voting for Trump and the other for Hillary. They made a point to say that they just don’t talk about it. Their friendship was based on way more than who they were voting for. With all the stories we’d heard about people unfriending each other on Facebook and family members never speaking to each other again, these two recognized that they had much more to talk about than who was gonna be President. What they have in common made them friends. And they are still good friends today. I like to believe this is true for most of us humans. Way more in common than differences. Today some of us are hoping for change and some of us are hoping things will stay the same. But I don’t know anyone who isn’t hoping the divisiveness, meanness, and hostility will stop. Civility and kindness can be found way more often in our day-to-day lives if we just turn off the t.v. or radio and share a conversation with someone about something we have in common. Music maybe??
POST SCRIPT: As I write this, NPR is on in the background and my ear caught a bit of the conversation Joshua Johnson (1A) is having with Bishop Michael Curry about LOVE. And they’d come around to the story of the Good Samaritan. He doesn’t ask about their political leanings, doesn’t care what race or ethnicity… just helps. Think I’ll have to go back and listen to the podcast.
Thanks to Mike Ball and his Lost Voices organization, I have had the privilege of spending a week (on more than one occasion) adding music and sometimes melody to the powerful words of the phenomenal girls at Vista Maria who, at ages ranging from 12 – 17, have survived the kind of trauma we could never imagine or understand. There’s really no way for me to explain the impact these young women have on me both in their bravery and gentleness. This blog post on the Lost Voices website is beautifully written by singer/songwriter and board member, Sharon Tse. You’ll be glad you read it.
This time of year is always rife with emotions from blissfully happy to supremely sad, and everything in between. Rod and I have been talking a lot about time and how we want to spend what’s left of ours. Not PLANNING on going anywhere but with so many friends leaving us far too soon, the urgent ticking of the clock has us contemplating how we’re spending our time. Joyfully, comes to mind.
We’ve been performing our new song “This Little Apple” since January and recorded it back in March with the intention of dropping it with some sort of fanfare but really, we just want to get it out there. So by popular request you can stream the recording here or click to download the hifi mp3.
Feel free to share.
June was one of those months where every show exceeded our expectations (and not just because we’ve learned that it’s best not to have any). Packed with amazing musical experiences, we just kept pinching ourselves when we looked around the stage at the incredible talent with whom we have the honor and pure joy of making music. It all started with our big 10th Anniversary Celebration of “In This Town” at The Ark on June 2nd, with our killer band members Jason Dennie, Ozzie Andrews and Mike Shimmin; followed by the wonderful Noreast’r Festival, followed by a glorious time at Above the Bridge Songwriter’s Weekend where we got to be on staff with John Latini, Jamie-Sue Seal, Pat Bergesen and Sigrid Christiansen. the following weekend it was back up north with members of the Yellow Room Gang: Mustard’s Retreat and Matt Watroba, for a handful of memorable shows at stunning venues. The month ended with a surprisingly special night at the Grass Lake High School gymnasium playing for a bunch of enthusiastic music loving cyclists (P.A.L.M. – Pedal Across Lower Michigan) and the big finish was our debut performance of our exciting new band Diamonds in the Rust. This band features two members of the Yellow Room Gang, Jan Krist & Jim Bizer along with Alan Finkbeiner. http://diamondsintherust.net. We are truly overflowing with gratitude and promise to elaborate more on a future blog post.