Singer/songwriters Kenny Loggins, Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman recently formed the new band Blue Sky Riders, and were profiled by Huff/Post50 in February. They are finishing their first album and will be chronicling their experiences as a band in this blog.
For the past 10 years or more, the music-biz experts have insisted that the adult audience has grown apathetic about music. But that's not what I've been seeing lately. Everyone that I tell about the new band is encouraging and enthusiastic; often asking when the CD is coming out with, "Man, do I need some new music!"
Which begs the question, "Do we ever outgrow the need for music that touches our hearts and souls?" I just don't believe we do.
Music is one of the primary things we have in this world that makes the weight of existence a little lighter. We need a soundtrack. We just do.
That adults buy less music now is partly because we're not the kids we once were, sure; but could it also be because the record industry simply abandoned us for the "easy kill," our teenagers?
I've always said, "Rock n Roll is music of the kids, by the kids, and for the kids." But what of music by and for the rest of us? Does nothing noteworthy happen to us past the age of 30? Is there nothing really worth singing about, once the blush has left the rose? Once the backseat of the Chevy becomes once again, just another chair? Let-alone, one with a baby-seat in it?
Isn't the rose itself still worthy of a song?
I believe it is. It has to be. It just requires more willingness to observe, to feel, to chronicle. But who will write our soundtrack? And how will we find it if the record companies won't promote it and radio won't play it?
From where I stand today, moving another step closer towards making my dream of Blue Sky Riders a reality, this is not only an opportunity to reinvent myself, my music, but also an even farther reaching way to reinvent HOW we reach each other.
In the world of today, we all are the record company. We are the publicist. We are the media. This is the moment.
Finally we have the power to take our music back, but we must now make a partnership with each other, an agreement to be our own "record company," to use the social networks we've inherited from our children to find each other again. It's essentially the same thing we did not so long ago with our "jungle drums" back in our teens; but now when we click "I Like," every one of our "friends" is instantly informed that this might be something they'd love too, something that's telling our story, something we may need to express our joy or ease a friend's pain. That something is probably music.
Music is still an important part of the human experience. Over the years, it's become the soundtrack to our lives; it underscores the most important passages we will and have experienced.
We've created the "playlists" for our own and our kid's weddings, watched our babies being born to music we chose for those cassettes, selected music as emotional background to the "home videos" of our children growing.
Music kept us strong through personal adversities, and we even used music at the funerals of our loved ones, too many now to mention. I myself heard "Celebrate Me Home" at my own brother's funeral; a moment I never could have anticipated nor will ever forget. I was filled with grief and pride, as I knew in my heart that that song was written for "that moment." I always knew what "Home" I was referring to, I just thought it would be mine, not all of ours.
But music does that. It belongs to no individual. It is ours for the taking, emotionally; and that's the power of music. What speaks to our hearts we listen to over and over, year after year. It feeds us when almost nothing else seems to be able to. Not movies, not goods and services from Main Street, not anything but the love of our families and friends and the music we share with each other. It still belongs to us, really, and it's about time we took it back.
Perhaps it's our own faults? We let them tell us we're not important as music purchasers anymore, and we believed them. So they stopped making music for us. We've been ignored as viable "music buyers" for a long time now.
But once again, "The times they are a-changin'." Can you feel it?
And my friends, music is just a metaphor for what's to come.
Can I get an amen?