Saturday, November 14, 2009

Performing With My Sons

Back on April 18, 2009, I wrote about the opportunity that I had to sing in church with my favorite daughter (actually, she is my only daughter, but she is still my favorite!). Even though I have been involved in professionally performing music for over 30 years, I had never had the chance to perform with my own children.

So, yes, the little girl who used to hug her daddy good-bye as he left the house on a Friday or Saturday night to play music, eventually grew into adulthood and, yes, finally shared a song with me in public.

Well, 2009 has been quite the year, as I recently had the chance to perform with both of my sons at the same time, making 2009 the year during which I first got to perform with all of my kids!

During a summer outdoor concert for which I was hired to perform, the organizers wanted me to showcase some “youth” for about five minutes during my performance. I boldly asked if I could have my own sons perform and, much to my delight, the question was met with a resounding “YES!”

So, after a few weeks of rehearsing a tune that I wrote for the occasion, we were ready to showcase our stuff to the world (well, at least 250 people). With me on vibes, my oldest son on guitar, and my youngest son on the drum set, coupled with pre-recorded piano and bass parts, we were ready to go.

About 45 minutes into my performance, I announced that the organizers had wanted me to showcase some youth. So, as we had a previously unused drum set on the stage, I asked if there was a youth boy/girl who would like to come up and play the drums. I looked around the audience and said, “Why, yes, we have a young man in the back who has volunteered.” The audience appropriately cheered. I then announced that he was coming up with his own drum sticks. The audience began to sense a scam! I then complimented him on his good looks and suggested that he must look just like his dad! The audience erupted in laughter and cheering as they realized that it must have been my own son who was making his way to the stage!

I then asked if any youth boy/girl wanted to play the previously unused guitar that was on the stage. A young man raised his hand and I said, “Why, yes, young man, please come up and join us.” The audience cheered. I then mentioned that he was also good looking and that he must look like his dad, too! The audience again cheered when they realized that I was just about to perform with two of my own children!

(Keeping it from a clean sweep with all of my kids was the fact that my daughter was performing music at a professional level in another state!).

At any rate, we started the nearly 8-minute tune (they agreed to “lower” their standards and play some Smooth Jazz with me), which featured the melody, a vibes solo and extended guitar and drum solos! Needless to say, my boys made me proud with their professional and prepared approach, their conquering of nerves, and their terrific performances.

In fact, when we finished, I told the audience that I had always told my sons that they would always have a place to live until they surpassed me in music proficiency. I then said that, based upon the performance that they had just given, they would be exiting the home right after we got home! The audience cheered wildly for both boys – deservedly so! They were outstanding!

Yes, their performances were terrific! But, even if they had performed poorly, it was a treat to FINALLY play on stage in public with my two favorite sons!

They each have terrific music careers ahead of them. And, even when I become old and frail (which will be about 150 years from now!), I will still remember the day that we shared a stage early in their careers! YES!!

Paul W. Reeves

No comments: