We've had two huge music days recently. Boise had a music festival atmosphere on Wednesday July 15 -- three terrific music events on one summer evening. First, Alive After Five downtown featured effervescent Carrie Rodriguez (right). Music lovers then walked up a block to the historic Egyptian Theater to drink in the ethereal voice of North Carolina singer songwriter Tift Merrit followed by Idaho's own Josh Ritter (above). Josh did a little something different on this his second night in town, he played with the Boise Philharmonic quartet in addition to his own regular band mates. Spellbinding! Those up for a real marathon that night could also have danced into the wee hours with the Wayne "the Train" Hancock at yet a different venue.
Saturday, we drove over to far eastern Idaho/western Wyoming to attend the second day of the Grand Targhee Music Festival. Two of our favorite musicians played back to back; the deeply thought provoking James McMurtry (above), and Sonny Landreth (left). From previous posts you know that we really enjoy Sonny's work. He's often said to be a "musician's musician". I've been thinking about that, just what does that mean?
I think it boils down to four qualities (above and beyond great technical skill):
- Constant innovation which builds upon previous work, it just makes for an interesting and cohesive body of work over a lifetime.
- Collaboration When Sonny has guest musicians he honors them with a lot of room to show their stuff; when he is a guest on another's gig he never duels, his musical contribution compliments and makes the whole greater.
- Community involvement Though Sonny travels constantly he always finds time to support hometown festivals and he was key in the fund raising effort to establish the The Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Professorship in Traditional Music at the University of Louisiana Lafayette.
- Good manners Sonny is unfailingly gracious and generous of his time with his fans.
I'm a bit slow. I've been pondering the equation for a while now. The six hour drive home from the Tetons provided me the time to articulate it. That's why is music my muse -- it nourishes the soul. ~ Lynn