With Some Final Thoughts on the Whole Tour
Dallas & Fort Worth
Following our three amazing shows in Austin, we drove back up to Dallas for some more musical mischief. It was nice to have a couple of days to just relax and spend time with Family before a 5-day stint of shows in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the harrowing experience, we had on Wednesday afternoon. We were getting ready to go play a show for my Dad and many of his fellow residents at Vista Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and as I was just about to head out, the tornado warnings went off! So, Erin, my sister Amy and I had to get into her “tornado shelter,” their first-floor bathroom. The warning didn’t expire for 45 minutes, so we sat and waited it out, together.
When the warning expired, we headed over to the nursing facility where we were joined by my cousin Tom Demer, to sit in with us for the show. Tom, who plays Viola in the Dallas Symphony, is also is quite an accomplished Fiddler. Well, you know what they say about playing in Texas, “you’ve got to have a Fiddle in the band.” He joined us for a 90-minute set of songs for the residents and staff at Vista Ridge. My Dad really enjoyed the show, grinning from ear to ear the entire time.
Next up, a show at famed Dallas music venue and listening room, Opening Bell Coffee. Opening Bell is a true Dallas destination venue. This stage has hosted the likes of Maren Morris, Leon Bridges, Drake Bell, Sarah Jaffee as well as many former contestants of NBC’s The Voice. On the Bill with us was popular Dallas area songwriter, Graham Jones. We had so much fun sharing the evening with Graham, a truly gifted songwriter, singer and guitarist and we were very well received by staff and patrons alike.
Our next two shows were a bit “closer to home.” We played at Old Town Wine House and Old Town Brewhouse in Lewisville, just north of Dallas, where we have lots of family and friends. True to form, they all turned out, to listen to us. Now, my family and friends there in Texas really know how to throw down! So, as you can imagine, it was quite the party. Of course, all the other patrons in both venues joined right in. We had it goin’ on!
Our last show in the area was one of my favorites and one of the highlights of the trip, for me. We played at Shaw’s Patio Bar & Grill in Fort Worth.
What makes this so special is the gathering that occurs outside on their patio. On Sunday evenings, Shaw’s hosts the Kyrie Pub Church, an interdenominational fellowship led by a local Lutheran Pastor, Philip Heinze. Folks come to enjoy fellowship, a beer, a meal and to hear an inspiring message from Phillip or another local pastor.
As it says on their website, “Kyrie is a worshiping community for the wicked and the thirsty meeting in a pub on Sunday evenings.” “Worship usually consists of live music, gospel preaching, communion and sharing peace.” They open their hearts to people from any walk of life, gender, race, culture or sexual orientation. “All are welcome,” says Phillip. To me, that’s what The Gospel is all about.
Some Final Thoughts
What an amazing three weeks! My first but certainly not my last SERFA conference was just an awesome four-day experience. There was so much to take home, where do I begin? It was an opportunity to observe and to learn so much from some of the best Folk/Americana singer-songwriters in the country. Watching them perform, chatting with them, jamming with them, fellowshiping with them was life-changing for me. The professionalism with which they all carried themselves and the humility with which they were willing to share their knowledge and experience was truly impressive. I came away with more focus and perspective than I had before I went. I came away with a much clearer and even larger vision for what I want to be doing with my music. Most of all, I came away with some amazing friendships that I will cherish, forever. Thank you SERFA for changing my life! Thank you Matt Lindi for insisting that I join FAI, and that I go to SERFA.
Let me just say, I love what I do for a living. I get to Play music of my own creation and connect on such an emotional and even spiritual level with other human beings who truly appreciate the songs. It just can’t get any better than that. But it does. I get to share this experience with my daughter, now there’s something truly special! And I get to travel all across this great land doing this thing that I love. I’m blessed beyond measure, and I know it. To Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Charleston, and so many other cities, I say this. I will be seeing you all again! I’m in it to win it. I’m in it until I can do it no longer. I love what I do for a living. Did I say that, already?