Matt’s locked himself in the bedroom and is currently in the process of laying down fiddle tracks for the RBR demo! I am in the living room our little apartment here in the Mexico City with the door wide open--it’s cool and cloudy outside, and a Sunday, which means there’s fresh, delicious-smelling laundry draped in every nook and cranny of the courtyard. Best of all, there are fiddle tunes in my left ear from inside the bedroom, and music coming in from the courtyard where some young folks like ourselves are having a Mexican music jam of their own. There’s nothing like the exchange of a few tunes to make a community feel like a real community.
After heading back to Arizona from the East Coast, we unpacked our bags, then packed em up again and headed north for a bit o music at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. We were one of ten bands lucky enough to have a shot at competing on the renowned Telluride mainstage in the final rounds of the band competition. It was absolutely one of the most magnificent moments of our musical careers when we walked off the stage the declared champions! We are so grateful for the opportunities the experience has allowed us, including the recording of a demo to be released in September and the possibility of a small summer tour this next year! We’ll be sure to keep you updated on how these things are progressing. Next stop for RBR: Pickin in the Pines Bluegrass Festival up in Flagstaff, Arizona! Join us for a few sunny days of good pickin and playing…and for an affordable copy of RBR’s first EP, hot off the press! For tickets to and information on both festivals, follow the links below:
Pickin in the Pines: http://pickininthepines.org/
Thoughts on our win at Telluride:
It was a really mind-boggling and profound experience for all of us. Of course all of us bands aim for the grand prize, but none of us expects to attain it…it was such an honor. One thing that really shaped our experience was feeling that we’d succeeded in engaging, even moving the audience with our music. We sang, we played, and they listened intently and participated with fervor. Just seconds into the first tune, we felt at home on that stage because we’d managed to make a connection. We were comfortable, excited, energetic from there on out because the audience was comfortable, excited, and energetic along with us.
|And the winner is...|
This is why we play. This is why we love doing what we’re doing. And this is why we love being audience members, too. Music, like literature, poetry, art has the ability to connect people who might not be connected in any other way. The artist writes, paints, plays not only because it allows him to express himself, but because it allows him to connect to minds outside of his own and, furthermore, to instill in others happiness, sometimes sorrow, and oftentimes a sense of hope and a general satisfaction with life. Our ability to affect and connect with other people lends meaning to what we do.
Jen, Jesse, and Grace are setting out to lay down a few tracks starting on Wednesday, which will mark the final stage of our recording project via correspondence. Case in point! Able to connect in spite of a geographical separation of 2,000 miles! Thank you, music. And technology.
I’ll leave you with a favorite poem of mine by Emily Dickinson, who, ironically, lived in seclusion for most of her life. She’d be pleased to know that so many have been touched, healed, encouraged, and empowered by her words:
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Hasta luego (as they say down south),