I am always grateful to have the opportunity to listen to superb musicians play live! I know that one of my recent letters spoke to the virtues of supporting live performance so bear with me as I take another tangent.
We recently got to catch the Tedeshi Trucks Band on tour here in Portland Oregon with bassist Oteil Burbridge (See our review of this event in this issue). So it is perfect timing that our July cover features Oteil in a stellar interview with Steve Gregory…
The most evident thing that I witnessed while watching Oteil play was the absolute joy with which he plays the bass. The smile on his face while he looses himself in a groove is contagious and is reflected on his brother Kofi’s and his fellow band members faces. I really felt that Oteil might have been the one person there that enjoyed the show more than the audience.
In all fairness, isn’t this the way that performing music should be? Aren’t we the privileged individuals with the gift of musical expression? Besides listening to brilliant musicians (as this helps us to grow and continue to be inspired), isn’t it the gift of playing for ourselves or for a live audience… that creativity and camaraderie that fuels our passion?
I believe that if you answered yes to the above, then you are in the right place and doing the right thing… I know there is a business aspect to being a musician and I am sure that traipsing all over the world can be tiring. (And speaking of that, PLEASE make sure to read Kilian Duarte’s piece, “Of Bread and Circus: How to Handle an Audience that is Not on Your Side“) Ultimately, successfully retaining that creative happiness is what drives the really great players.
Experiencing Oteil’s performance reminded me that I need to be appreciative for the joy I experience when I play. When I do this, then the audience receives that joy and the world is just a better place…
So, go out and play and let’s spread our joy!
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