September 30 Final Friday at JWrigley was dimly lit, and warm with the chatter of friendly conversations wafted on the earthy fragrance of pinot noir.
I haven’t been performing at wineries for the last couple years. Partly because I wanted to simply focus on team-building in my role as worship pastor at a church. That effort is developing nicely and we have strong leaders emerging on that team, so I feel a bit more free to take on other projects.
Still, and mostly from habit, I’ve been saying “no” to winery invitations. Until a couple months ago Jody asked me to play a Final Friday at JWrigley. As soon as she asked it was “yes” in my spirit. Then as we drove back down the hill Darlene said, “I hoped you would say yes to this one!”
I’m very glad I did! We had a blast. This gig brought about a musical reunion with my two of my friends from the band We Three. They are a brilliant sibling trio band, who used to be my bandmates many years ago. We’ve not performed together in over 5 years, and this past Friday we got to revisit some of those magic memories.
Bethany is just a monster bassist and Joshua is a percussionistic force of nature! It’s so much fun playing the old tunes with these guys.
I played alone the first hour, just Man With Guitar. That was fun too, and I think I tapped into a reservoir of passion, the insinuated sadness of our miscarriage from 2 weeks ago. We are joyful and happy, we’ve never been closer to God or one another, all that great hope-filled stuff, but the sadness is still true and real and I think some of it surfaced in my singing. I call it Healing Out Loud.
The other thing that I felt and expressed as I sang was an ever-increasing love for my life partner best friend wife. I remember a different performance last year when I sang Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love,” and Darlene was visibly annoyed that I wasn’t singing it to her. What she didn’t know is that I actually was singing it to her — I just hadn’t told her yet! Last Friday, everybody knew who I was singing to.
I’ve been singing with Holly Kirby lately and I’m excited about where that collaboration will go. She joined me on vocals for some of my originals at this gig. Great vibe, powerful voice!
Those of you we met for the first time at Final Friday, so nice to meet you! Please do stay in touch. We love sharing our lives and stories with you! Thank you so much for your love and support. My wife and I totally felt embraced by all of you!
Pockets and veins of Joy everywhere, healing out loud!
Next stop, Youngberg Hill Winery on Wednesday October 12 (That’s Darlene’s birthday). Join us if you’re in the area. I’ll be performing with Petra Bolton that evening. She’s amazing, and so much fun! Ask her why we call her Blueberry!