Over the past several years, I’ve done a ton of song research for my Rehearsal series. It starts in 1974 so I have to be careful not to use a song before its time, but also to make sure what I use fits the mood of the particular scene. I’ve been fortunate to have received a few great suggestions from loved ones.
One of those was a song my aunt suggested that Susie, my young heroine, would love. I had to look it up since I recognized the title, but barely. She was right. Susie would love it. So do I.
It’s funny. Since that suggestion came to me and I put it in Rehearsal, it seems to have come alive in my own life. I’ve always been music obsessed. Music does indeed help me drift away into a better place, either calmer or more energetic or whatever place it is I need at whatever moment.
When I moved here four + years ago, I found an incredible radio station that played all the oldies I love. They played Drift Away often. Sometimes a little too often, perhaps. But when I hear it I think of the suggestion and the love with which the suggestion was sent, as well as my character and her story, and my own. Rehearsal has been an escape, an energizer, a calming influence just as music itself.
Dobie Gray singing his hit, Drift Away, in 1974:
That beloved radio station faded into oblivion and I’ve yet to find another I love as much, but I found something even better (or as good, since I can’t call it up on demand!).
Drift Away done live by a local band. I love live music, especially incredibly well done live music. The one in my area I most enjoy [shout out to Mandolin Whiskey] does this song at every show and I’m grateful.
I’ve lost much interest in most concerts these days, and I mean the big ones that cost an incredible amount of money, plus the drive and the rude/drunk/loud audience and the lines and… so on. Now and then I think a big act is worth it, and I very much look forward to seeing David Garrett soon! Overall, though, I’m much happier to find a good local band where I can drive down the road in a few minutes or so, grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine in a small local venue, and kick back and unwind as I listen.
I know there tends to be a prevalent attitude that local means second rate, at best. After all, these people are just folks from your town. How big a deal can they be? How good can they be? That attitude needs to be demolished the same way the prevailing thought about indie authors being all second rate wannabes who can’t get a contract needs to be demolished. Look closer. Sift through all of the struggling artists of all kinds in your area to find those who truly deserve your attention. They are there.
After all, every big name started somewhere local. There’s even a big time rock star who is from my adopted home town. Second guess your attitudes and biases. I’d rather drive thirty miles to go see my local faves than five miles to see many of the big names that come with a ton of hassle. And how do you beat a personal “thanks so much for coming to see us” with a handshake?
Buy Local isn’t only for produce. Try it with the arts. And get lost in the unexpected pleasure of it.
Do you have a fave local artist who could use a shout out? Post it in my comments. Links welcome (no R rated links, please).