Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Son's First Gig with Tennessee Line
My son Lawrence Hill has recently become - to everybody's surprise - a member of the Country group Tennessee Line.  This group, started by Randy Wayne Dallas, also includes Arlene Fowler and features amazingly close harmonies to compliment Randy Wayne's guitar mastery.  The photo above is from their first gig at Ri'chard's Louisiana Cafe, where they performed 14 of Randy Wayne's original songs.
The big surprise here is that I trained Lawrence as I was trained (and as his pianist grandmother was trained) - classically.  My own preference is opera, since it reflects much better than country the types of feelings I've experienced.  Over the years - many times from experiences I've shared with Lawrence - I've learned that many varied types of music are 'real' and valuable.
For me, there are two criteria for a musical experience to be 'real' and worth spending your time on.
  1. The music has to express real feelings somebody somewhere felt sometime.
  2. The performers have to be fully invested in expressing that emotion, involved in the music, and involved with each other. 
An exciting performance only happens when all the musicians feel the music and each other.  Just as hunting dogs know instinctively where all the others are, a musician should become part of a larger whole.  This is the electrifying 'it' that can bring  spontaneous applause.
Tennessee Line has 'it', even if it's not my personally preferred version.  I was especially moved by 'Where Sorrow Goes to Cry', a rather deeper bit of emotion than generally found on the Country circuit.  
I'm so glad Lawrence has this kind of experience.  He got just enough musical experience in school and various choirs to want more of it - and a little chance at the spotlight.