We all know that it’s been a rough few years for everyone. With focus shifting from one global crisis to another, it can be easy to get discouraged. If we spend too much time on our phones, we can easily become convinced that everything is awful and there is not a lick of hope for the human race.
It’s important to remember that it is usually in the trying times that creativity has an opportunity to thrive. In contrast to many other prominent figures, musicians...no, music has the ability to pull together humanity. Whether through the nostalgia of an old familiar tune, the excitement of hearing a new favorite for the first time, memories and emotions start flowing that manifest in a tear, a laugh, a smile.
From the raucous abandon of swing in the 30s and 40s to the unifying harmonies of folk and the screaming guitar and rebellious cries of rock in the 60s, music has been a way of standing up as a people to say “We will not only survive, we will thrive.”
These songs keep the story of the human race in our minds and carry it forward to future generations. We, as music lovers, have the right, and some might say the responsibility, to preserve and share these songs so that the story continues on.
Many of our area’s local musicians are songwriters. In fact, this part of South Georgia has been cultivating songwriters and storytellers for more than 100 years. They have tales to tell, for those who will listen. We are so fortunate to have such a welcoming, thriving music scene with venues comfortable for everyone of any age.
I have a small challenge for our readers. As often as you have a chance, visit one of those venues when they have live music. While you’re there, throw a $10 or $20 in the tip jar and ask the performers if they have any originals. Then sit back and listen to them tell you their story in song. It’s a fantastic way to learn about someone else, and maybe even learn a little more about ourselves.
I’d also like to take a moment to encourage our local and regional musicians. For those of us out here making music, it can be challenging. Gas prices are rising, and gig pay isn’t moving. Hang in there and keep doing what you’re doing. Keep telling our story, whether it’s in reminding us of stories from years ago or introducing us to new stories from your point of view. Music is what keeps us human and connected. Let’s stay connected. Let’s continue to discover Bulloch County and the stories she has to tell.