Monday, November 25, 2013

Songs and Conversation with India Arie.....

I have been to many concerts over the years, and there is not one, that I can think of that has inspired me more, than the amazing concert I experienced on Nov 23rd, at the Keswick Theater, with the beautiful and talented India Arie.

As we waited for her to grace the stage, a young man named Gramps Morgan (solo reggae singer) who opened up the show, was quite good.  He is the son of reggae artist, Denroy Morgan. He sang a few songs, and entertained the audience. I also looked around at the crowd, and I was very delighted to see such a mixture of people; young and older, different races, and more surprisingly, a great deal of men. Many of them were not alone, with their wife or significant other, but it was nice to see.

Her "Songversation" Tour is just that, songs and conversation collectively that made for a very spiritual and emotional evening.  From my perspective, you have to be in a certain state of mind for a India Arie concert.  If you are expecting some booty shaking, an entourage of dancers, special effects, stage props etc, you will not get that here, but that's a good thing, because her show is so much more than that. It is all about India, her audience, and what she wants you to feel and experience as she takes you on a spiritual journey with her music and conversation.


I particularly liked how she opened with her message to us, about what she hoped we would take away from her show. Not many artists do this, (at least none that I have seen in recent memory) and she did it with such grace and class.  She literally prepared your mind and body for what she was about to do. When she walked out on the stage, she appeared a bit shy at first, but as she began to speak and talk a little about her life's challenges prior to creating "Songversation" I knew I was about to witness something special from her, and she delivered.

Because she is on tour, I am going to leave some details out (I don't want to spoil too much, in case you are planning to see her), because she did some amazing things at this show. A special moment for me was, when she began doing what I like to call "spiritual dancing" during some of her songs. It was so on point, considering the type of show it was.
 

Of course she did some of  her new with a mix of her old songs, opening with, "I Am Light", followed by,

"This Little Light of Mine"
"Video" Classic!
"I Am Not My Hair" (The audience went wild when she sang this, because she did something really incredible that took everyone by surprise),  that is all I will tell!
"Flowers" (from her new CD) I love this song, and she related this tune to family, whether it be blood relatives, friends, co-workers etc.
'The Morning After" - heartbreak and healing; she was so eloquent when she spoke about this
"The Truth" - one of my favorites, and she along with her back up singers performed this with a twist, so it took me by surprise, because at first I did not recognize it, but I loved how they changed it up.
"Brown Skin" - audience went wild
and then she left the stage, audience went wild again, asking for an encore, and she returned singing,
what I thought was the most beautiful song she sang all night (and she did a super job with all her songs)

"Ready For Love" from her Acoustic Soul CD, the way she performed this, literally brought me to tears!

Another notable thing she did,  was tell us about the projection screen behind her that she had been waiting and hoping for. The images on the screen were reflections of her music and conversation.  She loves the outdoors, nature, the sea, etc, and she wanted to present that to her audience as she performed. In addition to the images, there were spiritual quotes displayed as well. Very nice addition to the show!

Towards the very end of the evening, the crowd was starting to thin out, so I eased my way up closer to get the best pics I could. Not an easy task, when there are other fans trying to do the same, but there was a lady standing in front of me who saw what I was trying to do, so she leaned slightly to the left, which allowed me to get some really good shots, without the flash! 






 "SoulBird", so fitting for such an incredibly talented young lady.  She lit up the Keswick theater with her musical gift. The messages in her songs are all a reflection of many aspects of my own life and I am sure for others. Not taking anything away from other female artists, but India Arie, brings a whole new meaning to performing live in front of an audience. She was gentle, laid back, but often times expressed energy when she sang. She was also very poised and confident when speaking about her musical journey.  Speaking from a woman's perspective, we all still have that "little girl" in us no matter how old we get, and a few times you would see that in her when she spoke, but that only illuminated her true inner beauty.  Many artists will talk to their audience before and during a performance, but she adds a whole new dimension to reaching out and pulling her fans in to her music and who she is as a woman. I loved every minute of this show, and if she were here for another night, I would have been there for sure.  I have only been to the same concert twice in one weekend in my entire life, and that was to see the late Michael Jackson, and I would have done the same for India Arie.

I am very much looking forward to seeing her again in the future, and I hope I get to meet her and express to her how life changing her show was for me. She will forever be my"spiritual sister"...


 
Do you have a favorite India Arie Song?  Have you ever seen her live?  Your thoughts and comments are welcome!

.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I AM GOING WITH THE BEST PERSON I KNOW - ME!

I contemplated this for weeks, and decided a few days ago, if I really want to go to a concert to see one of my favorite acoustic soul artists, who better to go with than me?  My husband and I don't like all of the same things; that includes, movies, food, and music.  But isn't that the beauty in relationships and marriages?, you don't always have to like the same things. 


Case in point, I have been wanting to see artist, #India Arie since her 1st CD release in 2001 (Acoustic Soul)...since that time she has been a force to be reckoned with. There is just something about her music that feeds my soul when I hear it.  So when I read that she was going to be here at the Keswick Theater the week before Thanksgiving, it was music to my ears.  However, one of the first thoughts that came to mind, who will I go with?  I didn't really want to ask the hubby, because as I said before, our interest in music differs (with the exception of Jazz, which we definitely agree on), so I thought about asking my sister, or one of my girlfriends.  

I went back and forth about this for days, all the while continuing to check the Keswick Theater website to see what seats were left. Since the show is in two weeks, I did not want to impose on anyone at pretty much the last minute, and just when I was about to give up and not go at all, I thought to myself, why I am struggling with who to ask at the last minute, when the one person who is available to go is ME?

So there you have it, I purchased my ticket and now just counting the days with excitement.  I don't know what I am more excited about; seeing India Arie in concert for the first time, or going alone to see India Arie in concert for the first time! sorry for the repeat, but it just seemed to fit.

My point is, doing fun things with family, friends, husbands, or boyfriends is great, but you can also do, fun and amazing things by yourself! The choice is yours. Never let a person or thing stand in your way of doing what feeds your soul!

Stay tuned, November 23rd is fast approaching, and I will be singing, one of my favorite songs by India, "Strength, Courage and Wisdom", all the way to the Keswick Theater!

"A man who procrastinates in his choosing, will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance" - Hunter S. Thompson

I love this quote, because it made me realize, had I procrastinated about going to this show, all because I did not want to go alone, or burden anyone with a last minute decision, ultimately my choice would have been made for me, by the circumstance of the show being SOLD OUT!  Yikes! just the thought of that gives me chills.  Ahhhhh, life is good! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I WILL ALWAYS BE HIS #1 FAN!


What better way to spend my Saturday morning, after eating a bowl of cereal, sipping a cup of hot Chai and watching my husband practice his online guitar lessons!  Just when you think you know someone, they go and do something totally out of the box. 21 years together and I never knew he wanted to learn to play the guitar. Seriously, I didn't! 


Is it a hidden dream of his, to one day play at a gig, in some small, back alley club, where locals go after a hard days work, for a drink, good conversation and good music?   It could be his dream, (he has not confessed that yet) but it suddenly occurred to me, that when we were at the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Fest a few weeks ago, I saw how mesmerized he was by anyone who was playing a guitar.

When we were at the Delaware Distillery jazz fest after party, listening to Four80East and Matt Marshak kick out some awesome tunes, we had the perfect seats, right next to the band.  James never left his seat, and Matt was standing directly next to him, pounding away on his guitar, and his eyes were fixated on the guitar and how Matt was playing.  I then thought to myself, wow, it is not only about the great music we are hearing, but for James, in his mind, he's probably thinking how he would love to one day play 1/2 as good.

Whether he will ever reach his full potential at playing in front of an audience is really not the point; The point of it all is the journey he is on doing something for himself; something that motivates him, inspires him and gives him joy. Myself, his children and his extended family & friends, can be his audience, his fans and I think he would be just fine with that..Are you doing something, an activity, that tugs at your soul, that gives you joy?

"Focus on the journey, not the destination.
 Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in doing it"...Greg Anderson