To say that I love music would be an understatement. It's a part of my life. It has been a part of my life since I was a child. Let me give you some facts about me.
1. I started singing songs before I could talk.
2. I wanted to name my first dog Barry Manilow (settled on the name Muffy since she was a she).
3. I had a record collection by the time I reached 5 years old and my records were EVERYTHING.
4. I once traded a favorite toy for an Air Supply album, pre 5 years old.
5. I thought I would marry Eddie Rabbit.
6. I was pretty certain at one point I was Annie.
7. When driving in a car I would sing along with the radio out the back window thinking that if someone was listening to the same station and saw me they would think I was singing the song.
8. I know the song lyrics to pretty much every song I've ever heard in my life...even the dumb ones I wish I could forget.
Seriously, this list could go on and on and on. I have a broad style of music that I love, but I love nothing more than someone that writes their own songs and can play an instrument. Although, I'm sorry Taylor Swift...I won't ever like you...never ever ever ever ever.
The first artist that I completely became enthralled with was Tori Amos. I thought her music was beautiful, her piano playing haunting and powerful and her lyrics painful and comforting at the same time. I saw her many times and will always be a fan of those early albums and B sides. It took a LONG TIME for another artist to grab me like she did and then suddenly there he was...Ray LaMontagne. I had never heard a voice like his or lyrics that could grab my heart like his could. When I saw him live for the first time he didn't speak and barely opened his eyes but for me it was love at first site/sound. Around this same time I also discovered Damien Rice. Together those two men were like peanut butter and jelly for me. In fact they once recorded a song together and I just about died.
Then it went quiet. I would hear songs I'd like, but listen to an album and be disappointed. There was music out there, there was stuff I loved but there was no one that could move me with their words. The sound of a musician is important but I have learned that for me it has more to do with what they are writing on the page. I can get lost in the beauty of lyrics.
Finally, the silence was broken. I was sent a song from my niece, who is my insider to new artists, and the minute I heard that song I knew I was listening to magic. I immediately went and listened to the whole album and by the end I was enthralled. The Lone Bellow was everything that was missing musically for me. Their sound was captivating, their harmonies were inviting and listening to the lyrics was like finding a religion. They spoke to me and had meaning on so many levels. I knew I wanted to know more about them and knew that I had to see them live. Lucky for me they were playing at Stagecoach Festival, which I already had tickets for. I was not disappointed, seeing them live was even more spectacular than I could imagine.
I found myself really latching onto a couple lyrics and started throwing around the idea of getting a tattoo. There were two that I really liked, but one just didn't feel right. It was something I felt like I wouldn't want to explain later why it meant so much to me. The other was perfect, but I couldn't figure out how to do it right. Then I found an image of a tree and it all came together like a puzzle. The lyric is from a song called "Tree to Grow" and it says "a tree I grow to let you know, my love is older than my soul." When I heard that lyric and that song all I could think of was my husband Bill. We have been together 15 years this month and for me I feel like I have always been with him. I feel like I have loved him my whole life and beyond that. I decided to celebrate our 15 year anniversary with something permanent to solidify how much I cherish him. The end result was more than I could have ever hoped for.
After having this done I shared it with the band online and received a message back. I was so excited that they had seen it and that they perhaps knew how important what they are doing is. Yes, they just make music but for me music is so very powerful.
Last night I was lucky enough to see The Lone Bellow again.
They are on tour and came to Sacramento. I was able to show the band members the tattoo and I hope in some way was able to show them how much their songs mean to me. Although I must admit, when I'm standing there talking to them I feel like a fool and for someone that likes words I sure do get tongue tied!!
They were a couple songs into their set and about to start their next song when Zach, the lead singer, announced that there was someone special in the audience who used some song lyrics to celebrate her 15 year anniversary and here was my song. I cried. I stood there singing along and crying in the middle of a crowded dance floor. This is the second time in my life that an artist that I love has sung something and dedicated it to me. To say that this is marking off a bucket list item doesn't even seem to do it justice. I captured a little video during the end of the song, you'll have to forgive my voice at the end, but they wanted us to sing along and I was going to do JUST THAT.
Thank you The Lone Bellow for putting such beauty out there in the world and letting people hear it and be moved by it. I can't wait to hear and see you again.