On Song Writing
Earlier this winter, I had an interesting experience at a songwriters festival down South. We were at a brunch venue on the Gulf Coast. It was a packed house, yet still intimate enough to view the performer from the bar, where we had managed to snag grapefruit mimosas and just enough standing room.
The songwriter was Stephen Kellogg, a heartfelt musician from New England who I very randomly remembered seeing some twenty years ago back at my college coffee house.
It was one of those chapters in life where I was going through some challenging personal stuff, and was fully thrilled to be day drinking with good girl friends, taking in a show. Then Stephen had to sing some song about objects in the mirror, reflecting on losing parents, celebrating family and big life moments…you know where this is going.
Suddenly and unexpectedly I found myself fighting back tears with every ounce of strength I could scrape together.
And it was not enough.
The song ended.
Then dear Stephen Kellogg, who was watching my emotional response to his song says to the entire crowd, “You! You there, in the brown. Yes, you. You are the reason I was put on this earth to play music.”
My friends turned to me, wide eyed, followed by the entire crowd. I turned and looked behind me, hoping…nope, he was indeed talking to me.
Songwriters are the story-tellers of our generation. They have the power. The power to draw the tears out, even if we aren’t ready for them. The power to remind us of some truths. To make us feel all the feels.
They can move us in ways we don’t know we need to be moved. So this is my plea. Buy the record. Go to the live show. Host a house concert. Get these songwriters into your lives, your ears, and your hearts.
I first dabbled into the music world by simply hosting traveling bands in my little pants shop. It takes no money to bring music alive in a town. It literally requires a few calls, a potluck supper, and a hat passed around so the band can make it to the next gig.
There are stories being told, let’s give them a listen.
And I should add that both my parents are in good health!
Stephen Kellogg, Objects in the Mirror:
There are those songs which speak to us at a time we need them. These songs can continue to speak across the years, eliciting the same response, keeping alive the same affection, sadness, joy, assurance, longing, conviction, connection. They can release in us our pent-up emotions, making us know ourselves a bit better, making us a bit more whole. Steven Kellogg is so right: that is his purpose, and we are so lucky to have him and his music, and songriters and music makers everywhere, to help us get through. Thanks for sharing him with us!
I love this, for so many reasons.
A beautiful story, and a beautiful song.
So, will Stephen Kellogg be at Red Ants Pants Festival?
Not this year, but we have a great lineup for you!