MY BUCKET’S GOT A HOLE IN IT … but it ain’t about beer
by Billye Merrill
I listen to a lot of Bluegrass music. The banjo is my favorite instrument, the fiddle coming in a close second. (Pun not intended, but I’ll let it stay.) I love the purity. I love the feel. I love the premise. One of my favorite “contemporary” Bluegrass groups is JUNIOR SISK & RAMBLERS CHOICE. That particular song AND album were the International Bluegrass Association’s song of the year and album of the year in 2012.
I was listening to their CD The Heart of a Song last weekend as I was tossing around ideas for this contribution to Gary’s website. It got me thinking about how, in a general sense, something is missing from much of the music that is produced, packaged, and released. I felt like Hank Sr. There is a hole in the bucket.
It’s the HEART.
Like many of you, the majority of my time and energy (AND MONEY) is spent in the music world. Live shows, CD’s, merchandise, the gas and travel expenses to attend a music fest. You know the routine. My friends and social life revolve around music. On one hand it is the passion that we cling to and live out day to day. On the other hand, we see what feels like a cold monster of an industry that mocks what we love and believe in with what appear to be imposters of our heroes and sounds that mimic what we treasure the most. It’s frustrating because it’s not just a song, it’s what Grandpa used to sing to you. It’s not just a set of lyrics, it’s a memory from a concert back in 1994. It’s not just a piece of property, it’s an album given to you by your favorite aunt. It’s who you are. It’s a lifestyle.
I see musicians, writers, venue owners, etc., so frustrated that they are ready to give it up. Where is the balance? There is plenty of ranting, raving, cussing, screaming, fighting and hollering. I’ve witnessed Twitter-Wars between artists or reviewers that made me wish I’d never been born. What came of it aside from fans feeling let down and a couple musicians making asses out of themselves? Nothing. There is so much negativity in our world today, do we really have time for it? I don’t. For me, the answer to feeling that I had a say so in what was happening in the music world around me became very clear.
It’s a CHOICE.
The radio makes you angry? Don’t turn it on. You hate corporate sponsored award shows? Don’t watch them. You can’t control that it exists, but you change your reaction to it. A few years ago, I stated an intention to myself that I would live as authentically as I could to my own soul. I shifted ME. Not “them.” Maybe you have to hunt it down. Seek it out. Find new venues. It’s out there. The effort to locate the type of art; music; people; & places I choose to involve myself with makes my life richer and fuller.
Take your bucket. Patch the holes with what and whom you place value upon. See how full it gets.
It’s a JOURNEY.
Here’s to your heart.