Pete Seeger

I saw Pete Seeger perform live once in Columbus, Ohio, back in the 80's. He was the headliner following two bands who were very politically oriented and topical in their songs.. I don't even remember what they stewing about.. i just recall the sharp edges of their music and how I tired of it. Pete, however, came out with his banjo on his shoulder and 12 string which he laid down on the wooden stage floor, and began this stirring rendition of John Henry which completely changed the mood of the crowd. It was as if a warm current flowed over all of us and we were captured together inside his simple folk tune. I saw and felt something there that I think about to this day. His "presentation" was all about connecting with his audience. He had something to say but he was not going to hit you over the head with it. His abilities on the banjo and guitar and his crisp storytelling and lyrical singing voice and songs reeled me into how he saw the world and the battles he fights, the challenges we all face as a human race. I went back and read his book called "How Can I Keep From Singing". There was a time when I tried to fashion myself a "folksinger", and sang many of the famous "folk" tunes of the sixties. I still sing some of those songs occasionally to school kids, and I will always sing them if given a chance. I think that I have grown enough as a songwriter, singer and player, and an arranger and performer of songs that I don't need to force my opinion upon people as I may have once tried to do. Pete was always trying to get people to sing together, to join together in a cause. But he did it from a loving place and that I believe was the connection that took hold. I see it as a point of growth. I believe I have Pete Seeger, in part, to thank for that. It is singing from a loving, grateful place that connects with me now more than ever. I don't have to be Pete. I don't have to be sharp edged or opinionated in my music. I just have to take care of myself and the people who I love and who love me, practice, be prepared, learn and play well, connect with my audience whoever they may be, and be grateful for what I have. That much I received from Pete Seeger,. I only wish I could have met him and told him all this in person.

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