By BRADLEY ROBERTSON
Would you consider yourself a musical person? Maybe not as in you necessarily play an instrument but that you have a deep seeded love for music as it’s weaved into your daily life?
My answer is a definite Yes.
I came by it naturally as my father was always playing music in his car and at night when he worked on architectural drawings. I have a vivid memory of my father playing jazz in his car; he would tap his rings on the steering wheel along to the rhythm of whatever was playing on the radio, creating his own instrument while driving through town.
I was introduced to all types of music growing up including opera, the Beatles, hits from the ‘70s and soft rock and country from my mother. I appreciate it all; music is something that has carried me day to day no matter what life has offered.
I saw a couple friends in downtown Auburn last week and they tossed up the idea of hearing live music at the local hot spot in Waverly, Standard Deluxe. John Paul White was to be the performing artist, whom I had never heard of, but I thought to myself, “huh, that sure would be pleasant.”
As with all things Covid-19, live music has been almost non-existent since March 2020, unless you caught a live show on Zoom or Instagram. And when only essential workers could be in public last year, musicians were not considered in that category.
I contested this idea personally thinking to myself, “oh but to bring joy and life to people in a state of possible misery, what could be more essential than music?”
And so I found myself sitting in a lawn chair last Friday, under a soft night sky, amphitheater style, next to my fantastic friend listening to John Paul White, who come to find out had won four Grammy awards.
White was striking and attractive, a Johnnie Depp appearance but slightly softer and in southern gentleman attire. He held his guitar with ease and grace, and his voice weaved straight to my soul in words and rhyme. His folk tune carried the crowd in sheer goodness and summer luster.
I did not know how much I needed this music of John Paul White until complete joy spilled over me. And I witnessed the same feeling come over the 250 or so attendees listening next to me that very night.
White mentioned at the beginning of his act that this was his first show back since the start of the pandemic. His sweet words of gratitude and appreciate struck me as for a second I slipped into his shoes, wondering what it must have felt like for him to be standing on this lone southern stage.
Music is essential. It is essential to heart and soul, community and compassion. When else in the world do people of different strokes of life come together to sit still and just be in the presence of now? To feel things deep inside that the stranger sitting next to them has no clue of, and he too is feeling his very own secret things, both in quiet ponder of here.
Music is true art. And only a select few people roaming our world choose to take up the act in honor, to serve all of humanity. And what more is it a privilege for people like you and me to see it, to listen to it, to take it in and interpret the things of life which we cannot do on our own accord.
Music has met me head on in all spaces of my life, and I’m betting the same is true for many of you.
If you are feeling safe and confident in this still pending Covid crisis, consider visiting the music scene in Waverly at Standard Deluxe. Scott Peek, owner, has been serving up life in music for 30 years now, and his cultural work continues, bringing people together for the purpose of creating harmony.
The musings of John Paul White are in my soul to stay, for that is what music does, carrying us through today, no matter what is to come.
You may visit www.standarddeluxe.com or here is the lineup of music for the next few weeks. Maybe I’ll see you there.
7/30 – Parker Millsap & Fish Fry by Wiltons Catering
8/07 – Pony Bradshaw
8/28 – Futurebirds
10/16 – Fall 280 Boogie
10/30 – The Pine Hill Haints