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A Songwriter’s Pickin’ Party

hall of fame

 

I love updating y’all on what’s going on here in Austin! Texas is so unique and fun, I enjoy sharing stories with you. This one’s about music.

Jeff and I have always loved music.  Especially the folksy, singer-songwriter kind of music.  One of the things we love most about Texas and especially Austin, is the music. Texas has a rich tradition of raising up talented song writers from all over the state.

I love the song “writer” part of it.  I love to picture other writers doing their thing. I picture them in coffee shops and bars and around campfires.  I picture them drinking whiskey and staying up late and hanging out in little joints strumming guitars and telling stories.  Their songs make me dance and sing and think and pray and feel and cry and hope. Also, I picture all the characters on the TV show Nashville because to me, that’s what being in the music industry looks like.

My kids say all country songs are about trucks and beer. I like the ones about hometowns and farms and Jesus.

We were blessed to attend a cool event this weekend for the Texas Heritage Songwriter’s Association. We heard songwriters sing their songs.  This isn’t always the case.  They often sell their words and someone else sings them.  It was amazing to hear them interpret the songs in the way they wrote them.  It felt personal and intimate.

The three people that sang on the first night were Rodney Clawson, his wife Nicolle Galyon, and Raul Malo.  If you look these people up you will see what songs they have written and who has sang them onto the charts.  It’s pretty incredible.

This event was two nights and both were incredible.  The second night we were at ACL and I don’t have any pictures (I was too busy singing and dancing!) but here are some of the first night.

guitar on stage

 

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Please note girl in back with cute dress and cowboy boots! LOVE IT!

It should also be noted we were greeted by a red carpet lined with Longhorn Cheerleaders! And the whole night was named after a beloved Longhorn football coach, Darrell K. Royal.  So, it was typical Texas. Football and Guitars and Boots. Amen.

It may be obvious at this point that Jeff got himself a signed guitar.  He’s so excited!

As for me, I’m thinking I may start writing some songs. I’m sure that’s not hard at all…

Here’s one we heard live…the video is terrible because I’m not good at it (it’s really bad-it will make you dizzy) and I was lost in the music so just close your eyes and listen.  This song was written by Rodney Clawson (the guy singing) but was recorded by George Strait. Maybe you know it. 🙂 Also…the guy on the left…Raul Malo…I’m in love with him. He rocks! On the second night,  he sang again and he brought the house down. Truly…my new fave.  Seriously, get on Spotify…STAT.

©2016 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

The Music

It’s interesting. I just posted that I won’t be able to post that often and here I am posting.

Something came up.

A lot of things actually.

A lot of pain in the world and death and destruction.

There is a lot to talk about and a lot of people are talking and writing and spouting off what they think and politicizing tragedy.  I’m not going to do that.

I’m interested in people’s hearts and souls and stories.

My best friend from childhood’s brother passed away yesterday. They lived across the street from us all the years I lived at home (18 years). He was a big presence. He was a state champion wrestler and a football player. Mostly I remember him as a musician. He was in a band in high school and I remember when we were young, he played everything by ear.  I can visualize him sitting down at the piano and just playing something he heard on the radio. I also remember walking into their house and hearing the drums being played in the basement.  It was loud.

We looked up to him.  He was 3 years older than us and so cool.  He didn’t care about being cool which made him that much cooler.  He was a really, really kind soul.

I had a lot of drama in high school.  Much of it created by me.  I remember him telling me one time, “Sue, you have to ignore what other people think and say.  Just be yourself.” That meant a lot to me of course because I needed to hear it. I cared (care?) too much what people think.  I want everyone to like me and it was way worse in high school.  I’m learning. But he was just himself. Always.

Yesterday when I heard he passed I cried. We hadn’t talked in years and like I say, he was my best friend’s brother so he was like a side story to my friendship with her really.  I mean, to him, I was just his little sister’s friend.  I’m sure much of the time, super annoying. What I realize now is that often it’s those people on the periphery that affect us.  God works in the margins, amen?

Also, when he was around, he became the main event.  Honestly, he had charisma and charm and talent and kindness and the coolness just oozed out of him.

I didn’t know a house filled with live music being played except for theirs until now – my husband plays the guitar and my kids have all played at one time or another.  Music is a big part of our household now.  Thinking back on this makes me realize how much we are all part of each other’s stories.  How much we can affect someone with a kind word, some music, a song. I have no doubt he affected many.

It was fitting last night that I was at the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony while they honored great songwriters and musicians.  I thought of him and his love of music. Music brings people together.  It’s a balm for weary souls.

I don’t know much about his life after high school except the updates I received from his sister.  From the outpouring yesterday, I know he had a family and friends who loved him deeply. I do know he still played and sang.  And that brings me comfort.

There are a million memories of neighborhood shenanigans but the memory that will stick with me forever happened just about a year (or two?) ago.  We were at his father’s funeral.  He went up and sang a song for his dad.  He played the guitar and sang, “Why Me Lord?”  Afterwards I went up to him to say how great it was and he was humble as ever, he said, “I hope it was what he wanted.  He asked me to sing that one for him.”

I want to share it with you. I cried like a baby.

To Dan. Thanks.

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved