Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My wife and I are having the pleasure of watching a young couple we know emerge from obscurity into the Kansas City music scene. We get to see this process and development of two people, both with a wonderful musical and creative talent, as they are putting it all together. Last night we went to a place called Knuckleheads and watched and listened as they worked out their first live recording for a CD. They are getting a following of serious fans and are being mentored by some of the local blues and jazz people. I am not an expert on this sort of thing at all, and I may be bias, but I kind of think these two have something special going on. I expect to hear them on NPR’s World CafĂ© show in the near future. That would be the perfect venue for the kind of band they are. (They have a drummer, a base player and a harmonica man). It’s a wonderful affirmation of sorts to see someone you heard play at church, or sing with their mom and sister, and thought, wow, that was really good, begin to get recognized by others. It affirms possibility in a world that can seem so impossible. It brings possibility home. To the front door, into the living room. It’s nice to have this view, as an older person, of someone’s progress. To see the potential, the work, the maturing, and the good fortune begin to blend together. I am excited for them. It’s a “follow your bliss object lesson.” A concept I deeply believe in and have not managed very well in my own life. Chris, the young man who leads this band with his wife, was confiding in me one day about the fears he has of success. He didn’t call it that, but I know what it was. He said he was afraid of loosing himself in the process of gaining some momentum. This was a while ago. My advise was unusually immediate. “Get over that and press forward.” It’s not such a good thing to have preserved some comfort zone against the fears of the unknown only to realize the only thing you preserved was an unmet potential. Joseph Campbell talks about following your bliss and all the seemingly magical things that happen to help you when you are on that path. He also talks, quite prophetically, about the consequences of refusing the call. Being someone who is accomplished at seeing the door open and talking myself out of going through it, I can unwaveringly advocate the former approach. So, Chris and Havala, this sentiment is for you: “You keep going!”


John Hayes said...

Hi Randy:

I agree with you wholeheartedly, as someone who also has had a knack for not "walking thru that door." I also think it's very exciting to see performing artists start to reach their potential in the way you describe.

Randy Watson said...

Thanks John, You would have liked this event. I hopw to be able to share some of their music soon.

Linda Pendleton said...

Sometimes the fear of success or the unknown that may come with it is enough to stop someone from taking that "risk."

I love to see muscians "breakout" and I look forward to hearing your friends' music.

Oh, that is a neat photograph.