I’m a Jill Scott fan from afar. I say that because while I like almost all her music, frequently play her Pandora station and listen to full albums on Amazon music, but I can’t name more than 3 of her songs off the top of my head. One of them is the one that I posted. It was my go-to during the months I worked night shift and I used to play it over and over. I don’t know how but her songs feel like a warm blanket on a cold day. They are genuine, transparent and capture the human experience with a lot of honesty. I got the chance to see Jill in concert over this weekend and she was great. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of a fan of music that not only tells a story but also transmits the emotion of the artist. That’s why I love Jill. Her music is warm and friendly reminding you of a godmother or beloved aunt that’s being honest about her life and experiences with love.
This past week I had the opportunity to attend the concert of a singer I really appreciate. Working a traditional schedule makes being out late on work nights a challenge because of the consistent early mornings. However, it was something that I really wanted to do and none of his subsequent tour dates coincided with my travels. So I went and had a good time. I had listened to this particular artist for most of my life and it was great to be at a concert where I knew all the songs. While I sat up in the rafters (literally) I could see everything and had a great view of the stage. It always amazes me how easy it is to have specific memories whether good or bad to be associated with a song. Whenever you hear a certain song you can be transported to years prior and remember all the emotions connected to a specific memory. When I worked in a nursing home I remember how much music time meant to the residents because it brought back memories of their younger years. It wasn’t uncommon to see a few tears shed as they reminisced about the “good old days.” One of the reasons why I think music therapy can be so effective for people is that it really is a universal language that conveys the human experience in a way that everyone can relate to.
It’s been a really long week for a variety of reasons so I decided to make the best of my one day weekend. One thing that I really enjoy is music because it’s a universal language. There’s rarely any significant period of time that goes by without me turning on a song or playing an album by an artist I enjoy. I haven’t gone to a concert in a while because I’ve been either traveling or working but when I saw a flyer advertising the concert of an artist who I enjoy listening to, I bought a ticket on a whim. While I really wanted to stay at my house and sleep, it’s a goal of mine to get out more and be more social. Plus, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to go somewhere that didn’t require me to use my professional skills in some capacity. Despite the fact that I bought a ticket, I almost decided against going last minute because of all the extra effort. But I went and I’m glad I did. The concert featured soul music and many of the songs performed were remade versions of some great hits from decades past. Avery Sunshine was among one of the artists that performed and she was absolutely amazing as she sang and engaged the audience to sing her background vocals on one of the songs. There was great energy and I enjoyed sitting back and taking it all in. I have a lot of respect for artists who can hold a space without losing the audience and still be their authentic selves. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the concert finished around midnight or so. It reminded me of how therapeutic music can be. Maybe the focus this year will be on exploring where I live instead of traveling quite as much.
One of the highlights of my year was going to Tori Kelly’s concert when she was out here. If you’ve never heard of her I definitely encourage you to check her out. She’s a phenomenal artist who is extremely talented. She did her entire concert with just her voice and a guitar. With all the artists out there who have absolutely no talent, she’s a breath of fresh air. Her songs aren’t over-run by too much instrumentation and her vocals are crisp and clear. And the added bonus is that she writes her own songs and they’re really good. I first heard this song when she did it at her concert and I really liked it. It’s optimistic but not over the top. Just a great articulation of where she is in her life. I can relate.