Many years ago my mom gave me a Wailin’ Jennies CD. My mom and sister had gone to a Wailin’ Jennies concert and my mom said it was her favorite concert of all time. Bracken and I listen to music together in the car whenever we’re driving anywhere and Jeff is working at home. (When the three of us are in the car together we’re usually talking instead, but sometimes we listen to music then too.) Every time I go to turn the music on, Bracken requests one, and only one, CD. The Wailin’ Jennies. I like to rotate through our music and change things up, but if it was up to him we would listen to that same one over and over, it’s his favorite CD that we listen to. I love the harmony of their voices and we both agree that they sound like angels singing. (My favorite song of theirs, by the way, is One Voice.)
Recently the three of us were eating breakfast and Jeff was reading the newspaper. He read a few things out loud as he came across anything interesting that he thought I’d like to hear. He said Ruth Moody, a singer from the Wailin’ Jennies, was coming to town to play music with her band! I’ve been wanting to bring Bracken to more live music (and he has seen live music during the day at the market), but I haven’t felt comfortable bringing him to the loud and overwhelming crowds at most of the music scenes around here. But a quiet setting at a bookstore? That sounded simply perfect. And I knew a nighttime music experience, staying up past his bedtime and getting to see one of his favorite singers (!), would be such a special experience for him.
Last week we had our night out. We had dinner at Laughing Planet. I like their paleo bowls, Bracken likes their sweet potatoes, and their smoothies are good too. (When trying to remember which place we were going to he asked “Is that the place with all the dinosaurs on the table?” Yes, that’s the place! You can play with dinosaurs while you eat.) We arrived early to Tsunami Books and got a seat in the front row so Bracken would have a good view. A woman there told me it was a great place to listen to music because the crowd was quiet and you could really hear the music. She was right. The space was comfortable and felt cozy, I couldn’t have imagined a better place for Bracken to see live music at night.
Jeffrey Martin opened that night and I really enjoyed his music, his voice, and his lyrics. (You can listen to him here and here.) It’s always a nice surprise to discover another musician you like. Then the Ruth Moody Band came up and played and what a treat it was to get to see them playing live! When they sang The Garden, I instantly fell in love with it and it’s a new favorite song of mine. (You can listen to the Ruth Moody Band here, here, and here.) I took a picture of Jeffrey Martin singing on stage, but after that I put my camera away and didn’t take a picture of the Ruth Moody Band because it was so quiet in there and there was so much magic in the moment, it just didn’t feel right for me to take any pictures. I didn’t want to pop the bubble of that amazing feeling in the air and all around the room that night, and the sound of the click, quiet as it was, seemed very out of place.
It was hard to pull myself away from that music, but Bracken told me he was getting really tired and wanted to go to sleep, and I had planned on leaving early for that reason anyway. I waited until a song ended, grabbed our things, and was carrying Bracken out with his head on my shoulder. Ruth said goodbye to us (one of the wonderful things about having the show in such a small, intimate space) and I told her that she was one of his favorite musicians and it was such a special night for him. She asked if he was asleep and I said “almost.” He was barely awake at that point. Then they joked that there were two front row seats that had opened up, and we made our way out the door. As if seeing one of his favorite singers wasn’t excitement enough for him, Bracken had her say a personal goodbye when he left that night.
What a great night! I was still glowing from the music for days afterwards. And the music is still living in me, the words still running through my mind. I love all different kinds of music, but acoustic music has a special place in my heart, and is the music that speaks to my soul the most. I enjoy listening to a new CD, each song you hear is a surprise, but the really fun thing has been listening to these CDs and hearing songs that we heard that night. Every time we drive past that book store or listen to the music, I’ll always be reminded of that special night. Bracken enjoyed his first nighttime concert very much. And I felt blessed to be there that night, it was a truly magical experience, and definitely my favorite concert ever. Words can’t express how much the music filled my heart and I’m grateful to Jeffrey Martin and The Ruth Moody Band for sharing their music that night, and to Tsunami Books for hosting, and to everyone else who helped make it happen. Thank you!