The Wandering Dude: Talent

            Going out to see live music is something I don’t do as often as I should. But when my friend Steve Davison announced that he and two friends would be performing a mile or so from our east side condo, what could I do?

            Old pal and "road-trip buddy" Rob Middleton signed up for the mission as well and off we went last evening. In addition to Steve and his guitar artistry, the show at the “The Joint” on North Little Rock’s Main Street also included Micky Rigby, a local legend, and the gifted artist Danny Dozier from Batesville. As a special treat, Steve’s daughter and friend made a surprise guest appearance.

            Oh what an evening. After 40 years of traveling to night meetings, it takes a lot to get me out in these, my golden years. I’m inspired to do it more now though.

            We heard everything from The Beatles to Jimmy Driftwood with lots of original material fitted in amongst it all. Some of it made you laugh. Some of it made you smile. And some of it  just took your breath away and left you shaking your head.

 Sometimes, after a particularly exciting and deft display of guitar mastery, I wanted to jump up and yell, “Do you have the tab for that?”

            That’s an inside joke between Mike Benetz, my beloved teacher, and me. Seems many young folks don’t want to follow the true path to mastering an instrument. That is, practice, practice, practice. As one said to me once, “I don’t care about learnin’ no scales or chords, just give me the tab to “Stairway to Heaven.”


            Even practice, however, can’t produce the magic we saw last night. It’s what academicians call “a necessary but not sufficient condition.” No, those fellers have talent that most of us can only imagine. Our gift is that they have worked so hard to develop it. They do inspire one, however, to hone the level of talent one does have. That is one of the joys of music.

            The thing that intrigues me about guitar players is this. No matter how good one is, somewhere, in a cloistered bedroom or dusty garage, there’s a young kid that will tie them all in knots someday. I hope we continue to encourage and support this. We will always need live music to inspire us to higher feelings.

            If you don’t believe that, you should have seen the smiles on the faces of a couple of grumpy old men leaving the show last night.


"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." -  Maya Angelou


A lot of talen on one stage
A lot of talen on one stage

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