Photo By Tyler Lambert
When I was a kid, we didn’t watch much television. My parents didn’t own a color TV until I was grown and gone. On a regular basis, we would spend evenings playing music and singing. My Father played the guitar. Mom has many musical talents. She would play the piano, and sometimes pick the banjo. She plays the bagpipes too, by the way, but usually not in the living room. My sisters and I would sing along, and we worked our way through a big Alan Lomax songbook.
If you don’t know, Alan Lomax is famous for collecting songs from all over the United States. Most people credit him for introducing millions of people to American Folk Music. This type of music is the foundation for my love of music. Like children do, I took this blessing for granted. It wasn’t until I was much older that I grew to appreciate these evenings gone past. I didn’t know that in some families, they didn’t get together in the evening to make a joyful noise.
As I became a teenager, I turned to rock and roll, and expanded my journeys into musical landscapes. As a young adult, I liked all kinds of music. I went to live concerts with my parents, and then my friends. I started my own family when I was quite young, and had four kids in short order.
As a young mother, I often doubted that I was doing everything the way I should. One thing I know I got right as I worked through the days bringing up those sweet babies. They had a soundtrack! Through the years, I made sure that we listened to all kinds of music. I shared and recounted the old songs, like most parents do. But I’ve never been afraid of discovering new music and moving with the times.
We listened to music at home and in the car. As soon as they were old enough, maybe sooner, I would take them to see live music whenever I could. Now, we share musical discoveries with each other. We still see and appreciate live concerts.
Before long, they were each moving to their own rhythm, so to speak. My oldest son, Thom, is a fantastic drummer. He always amazed me with his ability to pick up different drumming styles within a minute or two. My second son, Travis, plays guitar and sings, the same way I did growing up. I’m always impressed with the way he sounds, whether he’s playing electric or acoustic. My youngest son, Tyler, is a beast on the bass. He’s a versatile bassist, and has a love for writing music as well. I don’t get to hear any of them play as much as I would like to. They have discovered that when you have to adult, you don’t get as much practice time in.
My daughter, Catie, is a huge fan of music, like me. Her ears devour every new sound, every old familiar tune, and she sings to her son. My grandchildren are the next generation of music lovers. One of the best feelings in the world is when I sing to my grandson Carl, and when I’m done, he looks at me and says “again”.
When my Grandmother died, they buried her with her harmonica. She started playing that when she wasn’t able to play the piano any more. I love my musical past, and my musical future. I’m so grateful that my parents took the time to teach me to appreciate a good song. I’m also blessed when I hear my kids sing it back to me.