(Photo by Lance Taylor
Used without permission)
But Thursday night was the first time I saw Brian perform in person. I discovered firsthand that he's a mash-up of singing and songwriting talent, charm, and down-home cool. Brian draws you in and just makes you glad to be where you are.
Although all the songs he performed were stellar, here are a few that I can link to for you: Steamroller Blues, In the Morning You'll Be Gone, Wagon Wheel (that's Stephanie in the peach-colored top screaming after Blake turned his chair for Brian), and Somewhere Maybe Carolina, a song Brian wrote with Austin Jenckes while they were competing on the show.
Main Street Crossing in Tomball was the venue. It's a great place to enjoy live music and good food in an intimate setting. According to Stephanie, the audience consisted of 120 of her "best friends," which included a few of my HP friends and colleagues, like Lance Taylor, Bill Shields, and Bryan Weldon.
What made the evening even more enjoyable for me was being accompanied by my kids, Angy and Zach. It was the first time the three of us attended a musical performance together since the Pink Floyd concert at Rice Stadium in '94 (along with our good buddy Nick Zogg). Goodness gracious, that was almost 20 years ago!
I've got to give a shout-out here to the best daughter- and son-in-law in the world, who stayed home with the little ones and let me have that all-too-rare time with just my kids. But I think for the next special event, Kelly and Darrell should go with me and let Zach and Angy do the babysitting.
These "kids" are in their thirties, so I need to learn how to transition out of the mother hen role, at least in public. When the waitress came to our table, Angy ordered a drink first, then I ordered one for myself and coffee for Zach, which he planned to have since he was on antibiotics after a root canal. I didn't specify cream and sugar, and the waitress didn't bring any. Zach said that either she wasn't a very good waitress or he just looked too manly to use cream and sugar.
She turned out to be a pretty good waitress, so it was probably the latter, which Zach proved by drinking his coffee black (also a testament to the quality of coffee there). Then he teased me about ordering for him. I was oblivious to my faux pas until he mentioned it. Angy told Zach that he should just be glad I didn't jump up and shout, "Give my son his cream and sugar!" (Think Shirley MacLaine in "Terms of Endearment" screaming at the nurses to give her daughter a shot.) I guess I should let my manly baby boy order his own drink from now on.
Toward the end of the show, Zach got out of his chair and squeezed in beside me and Angy on the cushioned bench seating. Snug between them, I had one hand around my sons's muscular arm and my other hand resting on my beautiful daughter's knee. Together, just the three of us, we were wrapped up in listening to Brian sing with genuine southern soul. It was one of those perfect moments that I like to write about and keep thinking about so the memory doesn't fade away. It was just too good for that to ever happen.
|All for one, one for all|
In my previous post, I talked about how things never turn out as good as I imagine they will. But it was different this time. Everything was as good or better than I had even imagined.
I woke up the next morning singing Brian and Austin's lyrics (which come to life so beautifully with the music): Your imagination got the better of you / Keep on singing like it's gonna come true / Somewhere maybe Carolina / There's a light that you've been looking for / Somewhere memories can unwind / Oh somewhere maybe Carolina / Follow it down the east coastline / Somewhere you can ease your wandering mind.
I never had to leave home to find my Carolina. It's right here in Texas. And if you ever have the chance to see Brian perform here (or anywhere)—take it. He really is even better in person.