Last weekend marked my last gig with Steven Courtney + The Suitcase Musicians for 2012 and it sent me to reflecting upon my opportunity to perform w/Steven and his band of Suitcase Musicians.
It was round about last February when I first was pitched the opportunity to perform w/the Suitcase Musicians. Initially, Steven asked me if I’d like to play guitar and keys in the band. FLATTERED by the opportunity to be a part of one of my “local musical mentor’s” band, I emphatically said YES w/little hesitation and was stoked for the departure from “my musical norm”!
Shortly thereafter, Steven came to realize that what he needed most in his band was a bass player…. so my post switched from guitar/keys to bass. Despite my protests and hesitations to Steven of “I don’t really play bass!”, I gave in to his encouraging words of “It’s like a guitar, it has strings, you’ll figure it out!” and I took the gig.
I am happy to say that it’s been nothing but a treat and joy ever since then! Musically, playing bass has taught me a TON more about music and “it’s delicious layers”. On a performance level, there’s something really, really special about what Steven does for so many kids in our area…. IT TRULY touches my heart! I often feel myself overwhelmed when I get to be a part of putting smiles on little friendly faces! I am not sure if there’s an easier crowd to win over/perform for than kids!(?) It seems like if you keep it fun and upbeat, that’s all that really matters to get ‘em interested and “hummin’, tappin’ and a clappin’ along”!
I would be falling EXTREMELY short of my effort in writing this blog if I failed to mention that each and every one of my Suitcase Musician band mates are great folks… I am better for knowing them, sharing in many a laugh and for getting to spend time with them!
So, as 2012 comes to a close… I am sent to that place of pondering that a New Year sends us to. (I wish a New Year did not do that… it can be painful). This year I am very, very thankful I took a leap of faith and followed my good friend’s advice to step outside of “my musical comfort zone” and join his band of Suitcase Musicians! It’s been insanely rewarding and filled with so many simple gifts of good times, laughter and lessons!
I look forward to what 2013 may hold for me and encourage you to pick up “your bass” this year and see what surprises it might hold for you!
Happy Xmas & a Happy New Year to ya… Mark