It is no wonder I have such varying musical tastes and influences
considering I grew up in a household where you would hear Bill
Monroe one minute and Engelbert Humperdinck the next. Today I
am the same way. I am certain if people could hear the stuff I listen
to they would shake their heads. Though now I tend to listen in
blocks of time or days instead of by the minute like I did when I was
a teenager. Everyone has varied tastes in music and songs that speak
to them. Please indulge me to share a few thoughts.
Hands down my favorite band of all time since I first heard them in
the early seventies is Rush. No one, I mean no one sounds like Rush.
In my group of friends I was the “Rush nerd” and liked them way
before any of my friends did, and I have good reasons that today I
love to tout! Three guys who still genuinely like one another
spanning a 40 plus year career with 24 gold albums 14 platinum
albums all without being endeared by the media. They in my humble
opinion epitomize the term “musicians musicians” and still sell out
concerts world wide when they tour. Rush has stood the test of time.
Have you ever heard something that just took you by the heart,
gripped it and would not let go? Something that was so soothing and
beautiful and uplifting that words almost can't describe? My best
friend Konstantin who lives in Siberia introduced me to the music of
Libera about a year ago and I am solidly hooked. Libera is a not for
profit treble choir from London England. For twenty plus years
under the direction of Robert Prizeman of the Saint Philip's Church
of Nordbury, South London transforms these little crumb crunchers
into the most beautiful group of singers you have ever seen or heard.
Any boy can audition usually 7 to 10 years of age and if selected
receive music and voice instruction and have opportunity to travel
the world and perform concerts until their voices change. Truly an
experience of a lifetime for each child. Ones heart and soul will be
spiritually touched when you hear their music. They have gold
records and numerous accolades on both pop and classical charts
from all over the world. Hugely popular in Japan and the
Philippians, Europe and gaining notoriety here in the United States. I
recently attended their Atlanta concert during their summer 2010
tour of the US. I must say that is was one of the most uplifting,
satisfying, ethereal experiences of my life. I invite you to see and
hear for yourself what my raving is all about.
Do you know who has more number one hits than The Beach Boys,
The Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined? Tired of
guessing? Think you know? The answer is the group of session
players who created and played the music on all those wonderful
Motown hits during the famous Detroit era, 1959-1973. They called
themselves The Funk Brothers. That fantastic music just grooved.
What was your favorite Motown hit? Mine: What becomes of the
I previously mentioned Bill Monroe. Gosh he invented the art form
we know today as Bluegrass. Countless acoustic musicians have
been inspired by this man and those who followed in his footsteps. A
huge musical legacy that is celebrated at music festivals all over the
world. Bill Monroe was my late fathers hero and inspired my dad to
play the mandolin and guitar. Dad won many ribbons competing at
bluegrass festivals. I in turn was inspired to play guitar. I love
acoustic music. Uncle Pen is my favorite Bill Monroe song.
I have to mention our very own national treasure: Doc Watson. How
many have been influenced by this man? I for one. You simply must
go to MerleFest in Wilkesboro. Worth every penny.
On a final note I want to tell you about another of our very own. Up
and coming singer song writer Tyler Nail. This Stokes County native
is a talented young man possessing unbridled passion for expressing
himself through music. His songs are honest, heartfelt and lived.
Sung with earnest conviction from the soul. Tyler, God has given
you a great gift. Do not let anyone tell you you can't, because I know
you can. He has recently self released a double CD entitled This
May Change Your Life. Tyler is a regular at Foothills Juice and Java
in King and a frequent performer there.
Dear readers thanks for your support and encouragement of my
articles and photography.