And I say, “Hello.”

Check one, two. So I am stage diving right into the undoubtedly over-saturated world of music blogs. Why would anyone (or especially me) want to do that? Well, like many others I have spent my whole life surrounded by music as a listener, an observer, and a participant. Music speaks to me and makes me feel an elation that nothing else quite matches. Lyrics swim through my mind, become my life philosophies, and shape my being. Rhythm pulsates, providing energy and momentum.  It is time to share those experiences with the rest of the world and hope that my audience will discover some new music and artists, nod their heads in recognition and perhaps surprise as I discuss familiar songs, and find enjoyment and inspiration when I cover live performances.

What is my music background? I grew up with a father who played piano, organ and accordion. He performed at local supper clubs and bars, church and town picnics, weddings and anniversary parties, and even senior living facilities. Through him I became familiar with many old standards from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s and a smattering of old-fashioned country western tunes. It seems likely that hearing him practicing molded my brain toward music.

My music involvement once I started school included five years of piano lessons, school choir in junior high and high school, and teaching myself guitar at the age of 13 (in a limited way — I knew about a dozen chords). I wrote a score of teen angst type songs over the years on both piano and guitar. During university, I spent several months as a member of a choir in Chicago, but class scheduling conflicts forced me to give it up.

On the listening side, most of junior high was spent completely obsessed with and listening almost exclusively to The Beatles. In the early high school years musicals were my thing, particularly Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera. My senior year and most of university were spent listening to the radio and the few cassettes and CDs I owned on repeat. Moving to a big city enabled me to start attending my first live (mostly alternative rock) concerts.

Several years passed in which I was caught up in various life changes and my interest in playing and seeing live music waned. Then, about three years ago I realized I didn’t want to wake up one day when I was much older, reflect and regret that I never did take proper guitar lessons. Within a week of this realization, one of the parents at my son’s school sent an email out saying their son was taking guitar lessons and making great progress and highly recommended the teacher.  So his teacher became my teacher. I too progressed quickly by learning many of the songs I loved and wanted to learn.

Having started playing guitar again, I decided I would like to see more concerts. These shows have been a wonderful source of inspiration and motivation for me. I also began taking photos during concerts (where allowed) and sharing them through Facebook along with some comments about each show. This led a friend to suggest I start a music blog, which leads us here to this first post. Welcome to “You Make My World Rock”!