Tuesday, August 11, 2009


2 a : depression of spirits : dejection b : a pensive mood

I've waited too long to post about the great trip that J & I took to Louisville a few weeks back to see one of our favorite bands play their final show. I'm not sure I can capture why it was so great and what I loved about it. Nevertheless, I'm going to try:

The show was ten days before our 13th anniversary, so it was a special night for a lot of reasons. It was fun to share the experience of driving a few hours north just for a concert. While it took a lot of planning to get the girls farmed out to spend the night with various friends, it felt spontaneous, young and fun. J and I have been to Louisville a few times and always enjoy the city. It was a quick trip, but spending the night in a nice hotel and having dinner at a bar followed by a concert felt more distinctive than an anniversary date here in Nashville would have been. We soaked up the time together.

It was also special to be a part of The Muckrakers' final show. A few months ago J told me to check out the blog of Rob Carpenter, the lead singer of The Muckrakers. I was skeptical that I would enjoy his blog. To say that I am not musical is an understatement. So what was I going to have in common with this guy? If he blogged about writing or playing music, I was likely to be confused, bored or both. Instead, I found a very real guy who wrote in an authentic voice about his life. Yes, he's a singer-songwriter, but he's also a dad, a husband, a baseball fan. Prompted by various posts, J and I had each corresponded with Rob via e-mail prior to the final concert. J introduced himself to Rob before the concert began and we were able to chat with him for a bit before the concert.

Since I'm not a huge music fan, there has to be a good motivator for me to go to a concert. I do enjoy small venues because I can often hear the lyrics better live than recorded (lyrics being the only reason WordGirl listens to music). The motivation for this concert was the time alone with J, the shared experience we would have after this anniversary road-trip and getting to see someone I've gotten to know via his blog play music.

In spite of the fact that this was a concert, there was a touch of melancholy in the air. It was, after all, their last concert. Rob, his wife and daughters were leaving Louisville not long after the final show and this was the last time these four guys did their thing together. It was a great show. They played all of J & I's favorite songs and then some. They came out into the audience and did a campfire style sing along. The band cried some. I cried some.

On the drive back, I told J that I was thankful that I didn't know I wanted to write until recently. It would be so hard to be Rob Carpenter and walk away from not just on the dream of this band, but his gift of writing and performing. While I don't know him personally, I get the feeling from all he's written about it that the timing of this is right for him. I hope he'll continue to write - music or something else. But it was somewhat sad to know our first Muckrakers concert would be our last.

Oddly enough (or perhaps not, if you know me), the touch of melancholy this concert embodied made the trip even better for me than another concert would have been. It made me thankful that these four guys shared their gifts with the crowd that night. It made me hopeful that they will find other ways to use their gifts. It made me long to stretch myself and reach for dreams that seem out of my grasp.

1 comment:

Variations On A Theme said...

Oh, how wonderful! And I completely understand about the touch of melancholy, but it sounds more like depth.