Music is one of the legacies of our boomer generation. Patrick Ames of Palo Alto, California, a boomer musician himself, has written a piece for BoomerCafé about not just the role music plays in our lives, but about the role we play in the life of music. It’s called, On Boomer Playlists.
I’ve seen some good baby boomer playlists on BoomerCafé, all those great songs that remind us of the years when we boomers were growing up, from rock & roll classics to Motown. I can remember each and every song myself, as you probably can, sometimes with snippets of old memories associated with each melody. Great stuff.
And, as an active singer/songwriter in his 60s, I can’t tell you how many times someone in my audience has requested those old songs. “Play some ‘Traffic’” they request, or, “Know any Bonnie and Delanie?” I try to do one or two ‘covers’ as they say, which basically means songs that are already famous, that people can listen to over and over again, but there are too many new songs, new themes, and new music to write and sing.
It’s that way with a whole generation or two of active musicians who still perform. And I’m not talking about the boomer Rock Star who performs in concert at a huge football stadium nearby. I mean local musicians who have day jobs, families, kids, but still perform with lots of other musicians and performers, creating and playing original music. And it’s all local. There’s a whole organic food movement about eating local foods grown by local farmers— well, this is about local music by local musicians.
So, here’s a recommendation for your new year’s resolutions. Go out and visit some local live music.
Go to the bars or pubs in your town, the churches, the street fairs, the festivals You’ll be surprised by the number of middle-age boomer musicians there are, playing and singing throughout the week. Go see them. Go listen to them. Don’t worry about how you look, or how you’ve aged. Don’t feel “weird” because it’s the middle of the week and here you are, listening to, hopefully, a little loud music. Don’t convince yourself before you get there that this whole thing is ridiculous and you’re past it. Whether it’s jazz, or blues, or country, or a chamber quartet, there are boomer musicians playing in your town, right now, and other musicians of all ages needing your attention. Skip the TV some night and go discover your local music scene.
You’ll hear those great playlists over and over again. Only now in new and formidable arrangements. It’s quite beautiful.