Playing From The Heart

I stepped out of my comfort zone this fall in attending the Women Writing the West conference in New Mexico. Surrounded and supported by creative women from across the country was very inspiring.
Susan Tweit, who I have followed for quite some time, shared with us her incredible journey, and encouraged everyone to WRITE FROM THE HEART. Your creativity comes to life, as you allow your inner soul to share the feelings and desire and emotions inside of us.

Three weeks later my daughter and I attended a concert witnessing the same ideal.  It was not with a pen, but with a bango, guitar, mandolin and keyboard. Did I happen to mention  all played by one person. The incredible John McEuen, founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. We an evening of memories and music unmatched in any event I have ever attended. John's music is music of America, but it is also music of heart and soul.

The NGDB became a part of my consciousness as a tween,1976 or 1977. Being the total nerd,  actually a title I am embracing a with pride as I grow older, I requested the sound track album of Paint Your Wagon. One of my favorite movies and who could go wrong with a stellar cast of Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jane Seberg, Howard Presnell. Of course, Lee Marvin was a favorite after his portrayal of Kid Shelleen in Cat Ballou. The album finally arrived and with great excitement put it on the turn table and waited with much anticipation. Credit was given to this band, music by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, never heard of them before, but since they were on Paint Your Wagon, they must be something very special. From that day on I have been an unequival Dirt Band Fan-they are my Beetles-it was the only music I listened to growing up and  since passed on my love of the Dirt Band to my kids (they didn't have a choice) We have had special opportunities to attend private concerts with John McEuen and Jimmy Ibbotson here in Colorado Springs. It was a very intimate and wonderful venue, but none could compare to the most recent.

John McEuen, only 19 years old when he and his brother, ventured from Orange County CA to Nashville TN to enter the music business. It didn't happen over night but through their belief and their persistence, music has never been the same. Their Circle Will be Unbroken Album, for the first time  brought together , the kings and queens of country music of that time. This group of long haired hippies had created a musical treasure that Nashville had never even contemplated.

 Listening to John share his stories was so inspirational. The highlight of the evening was his sharing of  movies and pictures from their trip to Russia in the early 1970's. The Dirt Band was the first American band to be allowed to play in the Soviet Union. It was an honor, not bestowed on by Beetles or the Grateful Dead. The  band with Colorado Roots, represented the US to their Russian audience.

 John related his experiences and his voice broke a few times when he recounted the freedom the music brought to those people, something they had not been able to experience, a freedom we all take too much for granted. His voice broke again, reminding us, if it were not for our veterans who have fought for this country we could very easily be like the Russia they visited.
John McEuen is a man who speaks with passion and plays with passion and I encourage you if you ever have a chance to see him live, it will be a concert you will never forget.

So in honor of Valentine's Day,  are you ready to take on the world and play with heart?


Diana Schmied said...

Visiting from Goddess Circle -- and I just had to comment that my first date with my husband was to a NGDB concert here in Memphis back in the mid 70's! Lots of nice info in your blog.

Blanche aka Dianne Hartshorn said...

how wonderful! Amazing isn't it the music they have shared. No matter how down I can be, if I hear a little Nitty Gritty on the radio, the bad always goes away

Kathy Widenhouse said...

Music truly speaks to the heart. How wonderful to share with these artists and experience the beauty they offer.

AMummys Life said...

Visiting from UBC.

I love it when music speaks to you. So much of it these days aren't really anything more than noise (or maybe I'm just getting old).

I'm not much of a country music fan though lol.

Blanche aka Dianne Hartshorn said...

You don't necessarily need to be a country music lover to enjoy the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.