Think about the first time you experienced one of your favorite artists. How many times have you listened to that person since? What were you doing at the time? How were you feeling? Why did you put it on in the first place?
I guess what I'm getting at is these people and their creations become a part of you if you let them. They become your friends and your family. You invite them into your home and they stay for dinner. They become your distraction, your heartache, your oxygen, your down comforter, your raincoat. And some of them never wear out.
Why is that? What makes one better than the other? And why do we listen anyway?
And on nights like these (and stages like Passim), you have the opportunity to make a lifelong relationship with an artist. I wish I authored the following, cuz it speaks the truth: If you listen close, you'll hear someone telling you your own story.
That's really why we listen.
I find it hard to describe how and why music is so important to me, but here Jim did it quite eloquently. I have shared more than one of these moments while he was in the room and I feel lucky to have found several people who get how a song or a concert might forever alter my outlook.
One example (since it's playing in here now): Having heard snippets of Lucinda Williams, I wasn't really enamored until that one afternoon when Those Three Days played on the overhead system at work. I didn't know it was her, but I was overcome. It was spring at the most beautiful restaurant in the world and I had just been sitting on the deck easily talking about nothing with a new friend (and I hadn't made one of those in a long while). That smell of blooming flowers and the absolute absence of anxiety had me content at the hostess stand when Lucinda started belting it out.
Since then, every time I hear it I remember the peace of that moment, my friend, and all the new layers of experience I've had each time I hear it again. Music is totally awesome.