Musing While I Am Still Able

musings 250_edited-1No, the headline is not referring to the North Korean’s shutting down my Music Musing blog or the Beaverdam Tavern.  It is referring to the fact I am truly feeling old – musically, if that makes sense.  While my soon-to-be 51 trips around the sun have taken their toll on my body, I am truly feeling out-of-touch with the music world.

For a while now, this feeling has been lurking in the back of my mind like an awkward, nerdy kid at the prom – back in the shadows.  I scan the upcoming shows at our local arena and for the most part recognize the names, even if I don’t like them.  For instance, Eric Church set an attendance record at Bridgestone this past weekend.  I have heard of him – wouldn’t go see him in my living room, but still I know him.  So I scan the line-up for the Ryman auditorium:

  • Gregg Allman – ok, still alive I guess.  Seats still available for the show tonight.
  • Ben Howard – Thought he was directing movies when not at the Andy Griffith convention.  SOLD OUT!!!   People might be confused as me.
  • John Mellencamp – know him, like his stuff.  Tickets available.  Hmmm.
  • Trampled by Turtles – what the heck?  Who are those folks and how the hell can you not outrun a turtle?
  • Diana Ross – Still around – wonder if she will have a video of Michael Jackson?  Creepy.
  • Shovels & Rope – Sponsored by Lowes?
  • Lee Bice – American Idol right?  Getting better.
  • Willie Nelson = Sold out for two shows.  Good for him.  Folks must think he is passing one around, if you know what I mean…..
  • Hozier – Sold out.  Three shows.  Didn’t know they had a gym in the Ryman.

Okay, you get my point.  Then here comes the Bonnaroo lineup.  No, I won’t go, but it is cool to see who is coming.  The headline states – Billy Joel to headline Bonnaroo.  Now we are talking!  Finally a big name to hit Bonnaroo.  Then I start reading the other performers – uh-oh:

  • Mumford & Sons – Know them.  My youngest loves them.
  • Deadmau5 – Did the proofreader fall asleep on that one?
  • Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters – Not a Led Zep reunion, but cool.
  • Hozier – Again?  Maybe the championship game after the early rounds at the Ryman?
  • Spoon – For soup or your nose?
  • The War on Drugs – Guess the preceding question’s answer was “nose”.  Bet these folks will be busy at Bonnaroo from what I hear.
  • Tears for Fears – They were top 40 when I was in college.  Guess they are touring since healthcare costs are going up.
  • Shabazz Palaces – Sounds like a place where WMD’s were located.
  • Between the Buried & Me – Isn’t that a preacher?  Maybe they will pass the plate.
  • Pallbearer – Maybe opening (or closing) for Between the Buried & Me

Bottom line – I know I am old and really understand now how my parents felt when I brought home Van Halen, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Loverboy, KISS, etc.  I realize it is a “passing the torch” kind of moment, but it doesn’t make it go down any easier.  I will be over here in the corner with my iPod listening to my golden oldies.

Until next time –

Zach – aka the old Geezer

2014 Christmas Wishes

musings 250_edited-1Christmas. It’s coming, and in fact, it will be here within a week of when I write this.  Guess I had better be making that list for the Christmas Eve Wally World run.  I naturally thought about writing about my favorite Christmas songs, but then I wondered if I did that last year.  My crack investigative skills revealed that I mused about my favorite Christmas songs last year (http://beaverdamusa.com/favorite-christmas-songs/).    As I write this, Kenny Chesney just confirmed my musing for this week.  I was toying with the idea of compiling a musical Christmas list when KC’s “A Lot of Things Different” came on the iPod.  So here is my Christmas list of all things musical.

  • Another chance to see Glen Campbell at the Ryman – For some reason, I passed on his farewell tour when it stopped at the Ryman.  Wish I had that one back.
  • New music from Eddie Van Halen – Give me anything Eddie.  Transpose the phone book into music and send it out.  Been too long.
  • A Nashville appearance by Sammy Hagar – Sammy is slowing cutting down his touring schedule.  Would like to have one more chance to see him solo.
  • A clear way to store of my family’s music on the cloud and we all have access to it – but keep e-mails, etc. separate.  This is my project for the new year.
  • That year’s worth of concerts at the Ryman they keep advertising on Facebook – The Ryman has become my favorite concert venue and they are getting some great acts.  Of course, I realize I am now old – I don’t recognize the names of acts that sell out two nights there while my favorites wind up on Groupon.
  • Another chance to talk to Charlie Daniels – saw him in the valet parking line waiting for his car at Vanderbilt Medical Center this past year.  My car was there and traffic was waiting on me to get in and drive off, so I didn’t talk to him.
  • An unlimited iTunes card – I keep coming up with these songs to download…..

I realize that I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams, so I am content with just continuing to blog and have you read it – well, except for the Sammy show.  I will not be appearing on your monitor until after Christmas, so I hope that you have a great Christmas, enjoy time with loved ones, and think about those less fortunate.  Also, if you could, please forward the musing to your friends, post to your Facebook wall, or re-tweet.  It is the gift that is cheap and hopefully will make you think occasionally.

Merry Christmas!

Zach

Coal Miner’s Daughter Comes Full Circle

musings 250_edited-1Loretta Lynn debuted on the Grand Ole Opry stage at the Ryman Auditorium in 1960. In 2014, she headlined a show there for the first time and I was there. As wild as that seems, it is understandable in that the Ryman has only been hosting solo concerts for the last 15 years or so. Regardless, it was a treat to be there on many different levels. She played two shows (Friday and Saturday) and I attended the Friday show.

I grew up in Waverly, TN which is a scant 10 miles from Hurricane Mills, Tenn., where Loretta has had her ranch for several years. I went to school with a couple of her daughters and in a strange twist of fate, one of my sons goes to school with one of Loretta’s grandkids. During my growing up years, I wasn’t a country music fan, but have grown to appreciate some of the music I shunned in my youth. Therefore, when I learned of her two shows, I was decided it was time to go see my neighbor – Loretta.

Watch a short video of Loretta’s performance

The Ryman was packed on a stormy Friday night. Loretta’s daughter, Patsy, came out and welcomed everyone to the show. She talked about her mom having entertained folks for 54 years!  That’s a long time for any musician or singer. The surprise of the night was the opening act – Brandy Clark. With a wonderful voice and a single band member (acoustic guitar) to back her up, she captivated the packed house with her songs. She proved her songwriting chops by playing two of her more popular songs that she wrote – “Mama’s Broken Heart” by Miranda Lambert and “Better Dig Two” by the Band Perry. After about 30 minutes, she gave the stage over to Loretta’s long-time backup band – the Coal Miners. They were led by her son, Ernie who sang two songs to get the crowd warmed up.

lorettaThe crowd went nuts when Loretta came out. She spent the next hour singing her songs and cutting up with the band. Most of her banter was with Ernie who would tell off-color jokes and his mom would fuss at him. She clipped through all of her hits at a pretty good pace. Her vocals were strong. Not just strong for an 82 year old – strong period. She was suffering from a cold or sinus junk, commonly called the “Tennessee Crud”, so that caused a couple of missed words to cough; but her band would step right in and keep on singing. There was one mix up with the set list where we got the first verse of a song a second time. About halfway through her set, she did sit in a plain folding chair to rest her back.

I noticed that when she was standing, she basically stood in one spot. At first, I attributed that to age, but it hit me – most classic country acts did that – stand and sing. There wasn’t a whole lot of moving around I guess until Garth came along and brought rock & roll theatrics to country music.

While classic country may not be my cup of tea (sweet please), you have to respect Loretta for her enduring songs, vocal strength, and classiness. I was glad that I was there for her first time to headline the Ryman. Thanks, neighbor.

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