Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hey Mr. Tambourine Man Play a Song for Me

Much to Jonathan's delight, our son attended his first concert at the tender age of 12 weeks. Jonathan's "Riding the Storm Out" concert took place tonight and was a resounding success. He came up with the idea a few months ago. It's been a few years since Jonathan's last house concert and I believe that he has been hankering to organize some music, especially here in Music City. So, he came up with this idea as a wonderful way to combine his love of singer-songwriters with his grief support work.

In recognition of National College Student Grief Week, Jonathan planned the entire event, including booking the talent, marketing the event, managing the logistics, and acting as emcee. I had heard two of the artists before with Jonathan - Christopher Williams (left) played at a house concert in the "party room" of our condo building in Silver Spring and Amy Speace (center) played at the BlueBird Cafe when we went there with my parents (she also played the now legendary "rooftop" house concert that Jonathan hosted while living in Dupont). The third artist, Peter Bradley Adams (right), was part of a duo called eastmountainsouth that recorded a song - Hard Times - that Jonathan put on the first CD that he made me when we started dating. Jonathan knew that all three had songs in their repertoire that conveyed loss and would create the kind of reflective, yet not too melancholy environment that he wanted, and they did not disappoint tonight. Beyond their musicality, I was struck by their willingness to make themselves so vulnerable through their music. I know that for many, a creative outlet helps sort through the grief and the hurt, but to then make public such private feelings is so brave. As much as we, the audience, enjoyed the show, it seemed that these musicians enjoyed being part of it, too.

With the exception of an out-of-nowhere scream that was thankfully NOT during a performance, Anderson just laid back in my arms and took it all in (sometimes with his eyes open, but mostly with them closed). Perhaps he was so good because he was no stranger to these songs that he has heard often at home. Jonathan is doing his best to instill a love of music, preferably "our" kind of music, in our little guy. I'm sure this is the first of many opportunities for father and son to enjoy music together.

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