Thanksgiving ripens...

Things come together... they fall apart, too but often they come together in ways that are magical and healing.  As part of my Thanksgiving commitment, I'm going to post a few of the comments my Thanksgiving Eve band mates sent me since we played together on Wednesday night. They are words of gratitude born of a shared sacred moment. We could never purchase or earn such a gift - only receive it openly and revel in its beauty while it lasted - and then return thanks. Here are their words (with a little commentary.)

+ "We couldn't do that again if we tried... even if we sat down right now to score what we think took place we could never do it again. It was sweet in the moment - and then gone." (A few instrumentalists talking about adding embellishments and riffs to a vocalist's tune that took us all into the heavens for about 5 minutes.)

+ "It was awesome last night... and I am berry thankful to be a part of that family and would love to participate more often if there is a place for that."  (An affirmation about the love experienced in this unique community of musicians.  And believe me, there IS a place for that more often so stay tuned!)

A host of the musicians expressed their gratitude for both great music and the loving community we encountered:

+ I truly love the sense of community I feel with you all... I am still flying high from the concert last night. Playing music with you all is profoundly sweet and I am thankful for the opportunity to share that with each of you. There were lots of amazing musical moments! Today, I feel full of gratitude... and thrilled that we were able to raise so much money for such a worthy cause.

+ Let me add my thanks to you all for the great people you are and being a part of such a collectively sweet time: an oasis - such a joy sharing in the music with you all. It gets better and better every year!   Be safe and have a meaningful and fun Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year...I look forward to seeing you next year or better yet, sooner!

+ Sun is up....Thanksgiving feast with family was bountiful and beautiful....and, our Rolling Thunder Revue is still playing thru my brain.  What a great night it was...and, what a great bunch of folks you all are.  Such a privilege to join you.

Well, it was a privilege - a great blessing shared and received with grace and awe - for like St. Paul (McCartney) said: "in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Two other comments explored something that is close to my heart - the flow of a show - and Dianne and I have been laughing about this for a few days.  When we got home after the gig she said, "Most people have NO idea how hard you work on a set list, do they?  They just experience things flowing together so that it all builds to the climax. And they think it happen automatically or by accident.  Little do they know that you STUDY set lists!"

It is true:  I DO study set lists - and they've become an odd way of being prayerful about our gigs.  I want to discern what makes a show soar - or fall flat?  What do artists like Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, U2 or Over the Rhine know about that unique flow of trusting the Spirit and planning?  I diagram the set lists of successful concerts to visualize the arch of the emotions and music.  And then I pray - and diagram - the songs in our set list taking note of the individual artists and the group songs.  And I revise and revise and revise.

+ Words are not quite adequate to describe the joy and pride I felt in being a part of Wed night, so I won’t really try. All those gifted musicians coming together and the final results so magical... I’ll share and create music with the 2 of you anytime under any circumstances.  

+   I am so very happy that I was able to take part in the great music making with old friends and new. And a big shout out to King James for leading us through a heartfelt and seamless production(We were laughing afterwards that I ran the show like Springsteen - no ambiguity about when we started, when we ended or who was in charge - and how that really helped 23 musicians on stage play as one band!)

Check out Dianne's take on the gig @

One of my favorite poems, "A Man Lost by a River," by Michael Blumenthal brings it home:

There is a voice inside the body.

There is a voice and a music,
a throbbing, four-chambered pear
that wants to be heard, that sits
alone by the river with its mandolin
and its torn coat, and sings
for whomever will listen
a song that no one wants to hear.

But sometimes, lost,
on his way to somewhere significant,
a man in a long coat, carrying
a briefcase, wanders into the forest.

He hears the voice and the mandolin
he sees the thrush and the dandelion,
and he feels the mist rise over the river.

And his life is never the same,
for this having been lost -
for having strayed from the path of his routine,
for no good reason.



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