The other day I pulled up my Kenny Wayne Shepherd Radio station on Pandora and took to posting tunes that were “speaking” to me. A friend and fellow music lover, Dazylady, told me I should check out the young blues prodigy, Quinn Sullivan. Her suggestion was great! The young man can wail on his axe.
Dazy and I chatted as we worked in our respective locations, punctuating sentences with artist names and song titles, which were followed with, “Oh! Good Song!” As the minutes turned to hours, my feet were still tapping, my head nodding and bobbing and then I noticed I had begun the Ray Charlesesque side-to-side sway. I chuckled and pointed out my observation to Dazy who laughed and asked, “Are you watching me?!” She, too, had begun the “Ray Charles sway”. One of us, maybe both, commented that it was a music-lover thing and someone who wasn’t one, wouldn’t “get it”.
Even back in my Middle and High School days, playing my trombone, there was something about playing music that you could feel. Gustav Holst’s’ orchestral suite, “The Planets“, and his First Suite in E Flat were songs I felt all the way to my core. I could hear all the parts as they intertwined with each other. The crescendo of the woodwinds to the soft thumping of the tympani behind me. These songs still make the hair on my arms and neck stand at attention.
I’m not the only person who is affected in this way; photographer Che Correa had a status message on Facebook that she was at a coffee shop, editing photos, bopping her head along to the music streaming through her headphones. She could see other patrons staring at her, some smiling, some giggling, but she didn’t care. The music was in her system and she was feeling it.
Days that find me commuting always find me rocking out in the car to my “destress” music, usually Metal, but my iPod is loaded with a variety of genres. A band I discovered in 2011 was Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. When their songs cycle through, I turn up the volume. I’m sure I don’t sound like Grace Potter with her husky, sexy, Janice-Joplin-like voice, but I sing along anyway as I drive.
I keep my eyes on the road and there are times where I spot fellow music lovers as I scan the roadway. Men, and the occasional woman, who are letting loose and belting out their favorite music as we wind and weave our ways home. We are those people singing at the top of our lungs, keeping rhythm with our thumbs and fingers on the steering wheel (and sometimes the door, dash, roof or even our passengers).
Some people don’t care for music (blasphemy!!), others merely enjoy it on some level but they don’t really get into to. Then there are the rest of us, who can’t fathom being without music. Rhythm courses through our veins intermingled with our blood. We hear melody in mundane circumstances, it surrounds us. So, when you see those of us who toe-tap, head nod and bob and begin swaying like Ray Charles… it’s a music-lover thing. You wouldn’t understand.