It’s definitely been one of those weeks when I’m in the home routine— trying to keep up with the going ons of a 3 year old, a 5 week old and my wife, while getting the oil changed in the car, cleaning up the house and figuring out who needs to eat when. At the same time, I’ve been answering e-mails about gigs, practicing some new arrangements and trying to generally get in better shape for the upcoming tour season—feeling like living in 2 parallel worlds…. Obviously the 2 intersect and cross over, but it’s also important to keep the head clear for each part of our lives, at least I think so…
Anyway, these are also the times that I ponder the big picture stuff…. Like, why do people want or need what I do? Amidst all of the tv stories and real life stories that I witness, of people struggling to make ends meet or dealing with personal heartbreak or sickness, it makes me question why people are able to or want to come hear me play some polkas on my squeeze box.
I found a quote from Wynton Marsalis “Art and culture are a way to remind people what their reasons for living are. They’re your traditions, your history and a way to survive throughout time.” That seems to sum up one train of thought for me…. I mean, there are a good portion of people, myself included, that feel it’s good to have a connection to our past in order to appreciate our present.
At the same time, if we’re just honoring the past, it seems like we might not be growing in a fashion that is relevant to our current and future surroundings. And our current and future surroundings are the ones we really need to be concerned with these days… at least most of us….
So I find myself thinking- Why do I do what I do? It’s hard to come up with one specific answer but, I think it’s because I feel the need to connect with people. For a few hours, I aim to bring some happiness to people in my audiences. I’m lucky enough that I get to meet a lot of my audience- in person or through e-mails that I receive through the year. They’re a cross section of people—old and young, rich and poor, conservative and liberal, etc…. but they all want to be happy… and I do my best to help them!
As I prepare to start hitting the road seriously for the summer, I thank you for letting me into your lives. I hope that my music continues to be a positive soundtrack in your car CD player or when you come out to a gig. Most importantly, as we all figure out what we have time to do, or not, I hope we can all appreciate something beyond the daily necessities….. as those things- music, art, dancing… are what really keep us going… whether it’s honoring a history and tradition as suggested by Mr. Marsalis or celebrating our existence today and for the future.