By Ken Boone:
My mother always told me that two ingredients to a successful marriage are:
The joint bank account has been another blessing in our marriage. You see, two of Celia’s favorite hobbies are doing logic puzzles and tweaking our household budget. Her squirreling away of money is now legendary. I have a two fully equipped studio spaces in my house because of her skill!
One of the things we used to talk about was our separate musical war stories. My favorite Celia story was about the time she played a lush, flowing version of the “Oscar Meyer Weiner” jingle at a church service, because her oldest sister bet her $50 she wouldn’t do it.
I have told Celia about all the times I bombed on stage. It wasn’t so bad because I always knew how to cover up the gaffes. There was one time at a high school assembly when the ad hoc band I was in couldn’t get past the intro of Santana’s “Evil Ways”. It was supposed to be a staged extravaganza complete with singers, dancers, and maybe even jugglers. What we didn’t have was sheet music, adequate rehearsals, or a clue as to what the hell we were doing. We ended up getting literally chased off the stage, which turned out to be an act of mercy for all concerned.
These comic moments weren’t just funny, but they were revealing. Celia and I both learned early on that the stage was a place that felt safe. Neither of us is a thespian, so dialogue wasn’t our fodder. It was music. Whether it was a hymn or a pop tune, we used them to escape our troubles, immerse ourselves in the music and relate to our audiences.
Because we considered ourselves misfits everywhere other than the stage, we had a distinct advantage over our peers. We didn’t suffer from stage fright. Celia has nerves of steel. No stage is too big or too small for her. As for me, I have no shame. While I care deeply about my audience and don’t want to offend their sensibilities, I can’t help but take chances on stage. Also, I know that deep down, a lot of audiences have a perverse desire to see and/or hear a proverbial train wreck, and I’m more than happy to oblige.
Once Celia and I began performing together, we developed a routine of doing a postmortem of our performances afterwards. Every time, we would end up discussing an audience member’s response to one or more of our songs. Our music has always been received very well, and one or more audience members will come up afterwards and tell us how that song impacted their lives, mostly in a positive way.
Years ago, we provided worship arts services for a multi-cultural church that was experiencing multi-cultural problems. One of the issues was the choice of music and instruments. When we added several our our arrangements of standard hymns to the worship band’s repertoire, things really came together. The American-born senior citizen members sang from a place of familiarity of old-time church. The Cambodian members were also familiar with these songs, but for a different reason. We found out that those hymns, in their native language, were sung as lullabies to them when they were children.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has a song that has given them inspiration, comfort and/or has helped them through a rough patch in life. Whether it’s a hymn by Fanny Crosby or a country classic by Willie Nelson, everyone has that song. When Celia & I play live in churches or faith-based venues, we mix some of or original tunes with our original, contemporary arrangements of classic, public domain hymns. For the secular gigs, we tend to stick to pop classics.
Falling back on our open communication strategy, we decided to develop a monthly podcast show about that very topic. We picked the name, “Songs from the Journey” and selected a soundtrack of songs we’ve previously recorded. We even created cover art, and a debut date, Wednesday July 17, 2019. We are contacting and scheduling guests who we find fascinating. As Celia said on her show, “ISO Peace & Healing,” our guests may not be household names, but they are rock stars to us!
We don’t have guests for all our episodes yet, so that’s why we’re reaching out to you, our audience. If you have a song and a story behind that song, please get in touch with us. Maybe we can make a podcast episode out of the song from your journey. We don’t really have a budget, but we’ll find a way to say thank you.
Back to my mother’s advice. The open communication Celia and I engage in has brought us to this point. Our joint bank account, along with Celia’s passion for tweaking our household budget, puts us in a position to purchase some logo-stamped swag. Our wanter wants you to share your stories, and songs, with us and our audience. So, come on our show and get a coffee mug!
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About the Author
As owner of the Descant Music & Media Group, Ken is a creator and producer of several podcast shows. He is also a music producer, as well as a writer and an accountant for small businesses and nonprofits.