Saturday, September 29, 2007

Just another night at the stage door

I was asked if I would do concession for a concert I hadn't really intended to go to. Not because I wasn't interested but because September is just busy. Well, since it was going to be free except the cost of a little schmoozing and money counting, how could I refuse. So I went. And fell in love with music all over again.

His name is Kelly Joe Phelps and by his own confession feels socially awkward between songs. However, from an audience perspective he makes you feel as if you are in his living room having a weekend jam session after a hearty potluck. He is quiet but clever and inviting. Good entertainment from the first hello. Then he starts playing....

His fingers literally dance over the strings of his guitar as if they were life long lovers. The picking is complicated but the music simple enough to draw you in. We sat there in awe as we watched him caress his music from those strings. Beautiful. As if that isn't enough, he starts to sing...

I would use the term "voice like an angel," if it weren't for the incredible raw humanness he sings with. He hits you with wave after wave of unashamed emotion. It's been a long time since a musician brought tears to my eyes. Especially one whose story I didn't know well. I think it took me a few songs before I managed to actually hear the lyrics. Which are, in themselves, testimony to incredible talent and heart. It made more than one of us wonder what the heck this guy is doing playing at the stage door and other such small locations.

The musician in me is more than a little envious. It is simply unfair for the universe to bestow such talent on one individual. Yet the music lover in me is so grateful that such talent wasn't wasted on someone who doesn't get it and wouldn't use it. I have walked away with a sense of being satisfied as though I have eaten or slept well; as if my soul has been well nourished. I am inspired again to continue on my own musical journey, remembering that the very best part comes in the sharing.

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