Music is a balm like nothing else

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“Look at you, still pretty as a picture. Look at me, still crazy over you. Look at us, still believing in forever. If you wanna see how true love should be then just look at us.”

— Vince Gill, Look at Us

Some gifts are worth waiting for.

For our wedding anniversary back in April, I opened a gift that thrilled me to pieces but required a wait that seemed such a long one at the time: Doug had purchased tickets to a Vince Gill concert to be held at Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall in August.

It most definitely was worth the wait.

Playing to a packed house, Gill proved his soulful tenor voice remains amazingly strong and pure. He took the stage at the prompt minute the concert was slated to start — that alone is a rarity in the live concert world. Gill put on a powerhouse performance for nearly three hours with only one brief intermission.

I was born to love country music, listening to the greats with my daddy, memorizing lyrics long before I could read. He had grown up in the 1930s listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio with his grandpa and shared great appreciation of legendary gospel and country music which brought both joy and solace throughout his childhood.

When I first heard Vince Gill’s powerful tenor voice with Pure Prairie League in the late 1970s, I couldn’t wait to share it with my dad. It was 1983, the year Doug and I married, when Gill broke out in his solo career, with hit after hit landing him in the national spotlight. He is often described as a reluctant superstar, and his humble and affable demeanor and self-deprecating funny stories on stage reinforce that description.

His instrumental abilities are stellar, leading an equally impressive band for an appreciative audience. He continues to write, record and perform, and says he is grateful for a gifted life.

Breaking out so successfully when he did, my children jokingly say they grew up knowing Vince Gill as their mom’s other love, his music a soundtrack to their childhood. We danced to his rockabilly tunes and sang along with his ballads, so filled with angst it could bring us to tears. It was our son who quickly secured tickets for this show, knowing it was a perfect anniversary gift, “at least for one of us,” his dad said with a grin.

Experiencing a live performance is, for us, a rare and wonderful treat. Gill said that after the pandemic shut down three years of touring, it was a thrill for him and his band to perform in front of an appreciative crowd. The joy of soaking up that shared excitement with nearly three thousand others felt like a much needed sparkling stream of positivity.

Great music can move us to laughter and to tears, create shared stories which both transcends and unites generations for all time. The first chord of a song can place us distinctly in a certain moment of life. Music is a balm like nothing else, carrying a solitary life with an incredible feeling of brotherhood in a way which nothing else accomplishes.

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