There are few moments in life where I’ve had the thought or feeling, “I’ve made it”. This past weekend included one of those rare gems.
My dad and stepmom were visiting from Missouri which I was particularly excited about because they haven’t been to Houston since Magnolia Red was formed. Most of what they hear about my life is centered around this seemingly ambiguous job and these bands I work with. I was anxious to show them our offices and the studio. Also, Shellee Coley has been recording for her next album, so they were going to see a real glimpse of the whole music production and creation process. They stopped by shortly on Friday while we were in the thick of things and were very impressed with what they saw. Plus they were able to meet most of the people I work with.
The following day, as my dad and I were driving around town, I let him listen to a few songs off of the upcoming Folk Family Revival album (which will be released on June 28th!). I was particularly excited about this because it’s our first full length album to release and also because he was able to meet a few of the guys the day before. He seemed to enjoy the songs he heard.
Later that evening, we picked up my stepmom to head downtown. He asked that we play a few of the songs for her that he heard before. Of course, I was more than happy to do that. He began to pick out lines to the songs that he liked – repeating the “brilliance” of them to my stepmom and I. He mentioned the way certain instruments reflected the meanings behind those lines and how impressed he was with that. With nearly each of the 12 songs, he seemed to notice these moments. These are moments that our team at Magnolia Red would gush over during the recording, mixing and mastering process. Lyrical lines that I remember Mason playing for us a year ago with just an acoustic guitar, and we all felt the possibility of such beauty. And here I was, listening to my dad acknowledge those same things we dreamed of. This may seem like a nice sentiment – just not that big of a deal. But it was for me.
As a kid, what made me fall in love with music was recognizing these moments in songs. My dad and I would drive around listening to music (mostly 70′s classic and soft rock) and he would forever quiz me about the lyrical meanings, stories behind the songs and the ways the instrumentation reflected those meanings. He would create mix tapes of my favorite songs by Cat Stevens, Dan Fogelburg, Bruce Hornsby and the Eagles that we’d listen to on our six hour drive to Missouri for the holidays. We’d listen to those songs over and over again throughout the years. He’d point out some of the same stories every time, but I never got sick of it. Those narratives and those moments created such a deep love of music in my soul.
And here my dad was this past Saturday, pointing out the same things in music I watched being created by a band that I love and work with.
And I felt like I had made it in the world. National and international touring would be lovely, a huge catalogue of songs from all of our artists would be amazing, adding 5 or 10 people to our staff would be grand and a Grammy wouldn’t hurt. Those would be huge successes, but nothing could compare to the validation I felt from those few moments driving to Houston this past weekend with my dad.