We just got home from a terrific weekend, playing a showcase in Nashville and the W. C. Handy Blues Festival in Henderson, Kentucky. We saw some beautiful audiences and some fantastic other acts: Sonny Landreth! Jimmy Hall! Angie Aparo! Jamie Lynn Spears!
I try to say positive things about other performers and to keep the negatives to myself. So let’s just say that Sonny Landreth’s dad was not stalking and glowering up and down the hall backstage. Jimmy Hall did not require that the vehicle be parked at a certain angle before he would get in it. And, when there were still three other acts to follow, Angie Aparo did not take all the towels from the green room bathroom.
I’m used to sharing the stage with people who are happy to be there. Maybe I’m out of the music industry loop, but it was a shock to see someone so obviously miserable, someone who seemed to be there only because she was being forced to perform. It was like looking through a window into another, horrible world.
We drove seven hours last night to make it home for Father’s Day. In Kentucky yesterday I heard Jimmy Hall sing a moving song he’d written for his father, based on a talk they’d had when Jimmy decided he wanted to leave home and follow the music business.
Parenthood is not an easy road. You struggle to find the balance between leading your children and letting them find their own way. Maybe one day, if I’m lucky, my son will write a song for me. But if he doesn’t, that’s okay. The best things in life can’t be forced. That’s part of what makes them the best.