Borrowed, Learned, & Thought (or BL&T) is a weekly newsletter sent on Mondays. In every edition, I share weekly themes and progress in running an agency business/team and doing my best to live a good life. Published posts do not include all details shared via email to subscribers. Subscribe here.
"When you live your life through records, the records are a record of your life."
From "Mo' Meta Blues" by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Ben Greenman [Book]
I’m writing you from a car en route to Memphis, TN. I spent the weekend in Nashville with my friends Max and Eric. Eric and I are here for a wedding in Memphis on Friday with our significant others who spent the weekend at the future bride’s bachelorette party.
Getting back to Music City after more than a decade was the inspiring trip I didn't know I needed. Uninterrupted time with old friends watching varieties of live music was priceless. From the old-time blues players at Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar to a friend of a friend's concert at The Basement, seeing live music brought me back to the energy that once drew me to the stage. By mid-weekend, I was determined to get back up there.
Last night, Max took us to a Nashville staple, Rudy’s Jazz Room. After watching one audience member after the other go up to sing or join in to play with the band, I decided I had to get my name on the list.
The host was Junior, an older gentleman with his own brand of cool. One of those guys I could have spent all night learning about. Junior squeezed me in at the end of the list, and just before the night was over, I sang a rendition of Bill Wither's “Ain’t No Sunshine." It was just enough of a taste to leave me craving more.
I’m excited to re-discover my relationship with performing and look forward to seeing where it takes me next.
I’m going to keep it short this week and end with a couple of the artists that inspired me this weekend rather than the usual weekly music feature. Enjoy.
"Lost at Sea" by Elenowen (listen)
I'm not sure what it is about this song, but I haven't been able to get it out of my head since hearing it on Saturday night. Here's some background from Nicole, one half of the husband and wife duo:
a couple years ago i was in the studio alone hearing this melody in my head, but couldn’t find anything close to it on the piano. around the time i was about ready to give up on the idea, josh walked in and sat at the piano. i didn’t sing him my melody or really tell him anything other than the fact that i couldn’t figure out a song in my head. he started to play a melody and i almost fell over when the notes he was hitting were the exact ones i needed but couldn’t find myself. i stood behind him with my hands on his shoulders and cried as the words started to flow out and the song was born right there.
Kenneth Wright was performing when we arrived at Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar. We were entranced. His deep, soulful tone is exactly what you'd hope to find in an old blues bar in Nashville. We stayed for a couple of drinks and watched him take the audience back in time. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any audio of Kenneth's music but I did find this short video that captures just a moment of what we experienced last night.
What passion have I lost touch with? How might I re-discover that joy?