By Kevin Alan Lamb
No matter your disposition, if you are lucky enough the music you love flows through your veins long enough to recreate a world you see, touch, taste, love, and lose in. When something is within you long enough it becomes you; the very way the soul of a man shapes his dreams, music breathes belief into these shapes, sights and sounds, until one day when there is no telling where it begins, and you end. And while it is literally medicine to navigate the weight created by water taken on in the struggle between high and low tide, I am most grateful for the cathedral of awe and wonder from which music has built my love into my life.
Greensky Bluegrass cannot be gathered, bottled, packaged and sold, but it oughta be. Certainly you can buy a ticket, take a ride, and collect some souvenirs along the way, but music cannot be incepted into the mind, if it wasn’t already in the blood to begin with. It is near impossible to fathom what it is that will take hold of your soul, but when it does, I recommend you cherish it; take several deep breaths and open your eyes wide to see and feel and be infected by the phenomena which you will do your best to understand, appreciate and internalize, yet somehow inevitably let slip away with exposure to struggle, scrutiny, and the constant bitch of time. But do not worry, even though it will feel like something has slipped from your fingers, it is impossible to lose something that is a part of you.
Two-thousand-and-seventeen was a historic year for Michigan and music, and we all know history is not made without great struggle and loss. But as a good friend recently reminded me, life is a persistent journey between struggles and blessings; and despite the pain we try to convince ourselves we’d prefer to perish from than navigate, those we love and the music we cannot separate ourselves from find a way to remind us that we must traverse through the darkness to better learn to illuminate what resides on the other side.
June bore the blessing of my first Bell’s Garden Opener, then took the life of my friend, and my friend Greg’s love. We learned what it means to be a family; we were reminded how much we need one another and how much more frequently we could say it. We took inventory of the lives music let us touch, and thought about what it might feel like if they were gone.
Are you looking out for me
Or am I left to be without you
It could be years of the saddest rhymes
Like hard times when a loved one dies
Or heartache in empty home
Forced to take the sleepless nights
Alone, alone, alone
But no matter your disposition, we are not alone because we have their music within us. We have Bell’s, train tracks, and the sound of a whistle blowing. We have Hoxeyville, Tied Down, and three sets to say goodbye to Charles Bradley and those we love and have lost in the pouring rain along the Pine River. Music is the current that keeps the river flowing, to places like Otus Supply, which embodies a dream of mine, a dream of many, made into reality. And while the flow of the river will not always allow us to be at The State Theatre for Thanksgiving, Mexico for Strings & Sol, or toasting champagne at The Riviera in Chicago, it will always bring us to one another, and for that – it is sacred.
Music is my drug of choice and Greensky Bluegrass is the current from which I find strength. I miss their presence from my life and my silly family who reminds to be extraordinary by being myself; being good to others; and learning to better let go, to let better in. Please join me at the venue I love, in the city I love, to see two nights of the only band to use my garage as storage thus far, and initiate The Fillmore Detroit into our holy doctrine. And always remember… Disney could concoct a character named Grit, forged from an acoustic and electric foundation of five visionaries who refuse to be drowned by the world’s shit, taking the stage each night intent on teaching others how to survive by swimming through their sorrows.
Just in case you were listening for one, This is a Good Sound.