Chasing live music experiences

I’ve threatened my spouse that my ideal retirement travel is chasing my favorite bands. A retirement roadie in search of live music.  Since my favorites include plenty of more obscure artists or voices from yesteryear? This would entail plenty of bars, festivals, and county fairs. Not just concert halls and stadiums. This is an example of living and sharing passions on the route to fulfilling purpose and happiness.

Mood Altering Drug

Music is my mood-altering drug. Pick your music pick your mood. Concerts with an artist that loves to perform? A guaranteed high.

Last Pre-Pandemic Road trip

On our last pre-pandemic road trip we made sure to hit Nashville. See our blog post, 7 Steps to be an Aging Prepper. Nashville included a review of a favorite senior living development, The Heritage at Brentwood. And tastes of country flavor, both food and music.

Recent Musical Highlights

Musical highlights in recent years include:

  • Trick Pony second row. A birthday gift from and with the First Daughter and her Mother. Featuring Heidi Newfield and Keith Burns. A long-time favorite we discovered together. Back when they were rising stars. At the Iowa State Fair. Multiple years. Multiple shows. We caught them one last time. Before they lost the rights to their own name. It’s a Heartache.
  • Jackson Browne. An unbelievably fortuitous front row seat. From my college soundtrack. A favorite singer, songwriter. And a reminder of time running out. Black and White.
  • Sunny Sweeney in a St. Paul dive bar perfect for the Texas Swing-inspired songs of heartache and rebellion. A ringing guitar and plaintiff voice asking, “Or do you have a better bad idea?” Better Bad Idea.
  • Alice Cooper third row center for the master showman’s Halloween musical theater. No More Mister Nice Guy.

Southern Rock Moves to the Country

I ended up a fan of Country Music. It’s where Southern Rock settled. Fell in love with Lori to AlabamaLove in the First Degree.” Our daughter grew up on Garth Brooks and other Country superstars of the 1990s. Though we missed Garth at the Iowa State Fair when he wowed the crowd as an unknown substitute for a canceled act. We’ve been to Nashville and the Mother Church of the Grand Ole Opry more than once.

Did a Christmas with Diamond Rio in Nashville. Saw Charlie Daniels at the Ryman. Discovered new artists in the circle like new favorite High Valley.

Family Tradition

So, in the Pandemic? Like Hank Jr. we’re following a “Family Tradition.” Saturday Night from the Grand Ole Opry is emerging as our weekly dose of music performed live. Opry Live. Even if we can only be there virtually through streaming on YouTube or Facebook.

Songs About Me

Kathy Mattea was in our living room. Asking, “Where have you been?” She still has that subtle vibrato and power. Cam played songs from her new album infused with her lilting, clear voice. I still think, “Burning House,” was Emmy worthy, not just a nomination.

Last week, Lady A played favorites like, “I Run To You” and “What If I Never Get Over You?” And impressed with a new debut, “I Swore I Was Leaving” replete with their seamless harmonies. But our favorite was the group songs with Chris Tomlin. Chris is a Contemporary Christian artist. Opry Live 11/20/20

Next week’s Opry Live? Teasing me with even more favorites. Trace Atkins and his Songs about Me. And the rising star, Matt Stell. I stumbled upon Matt early in the rise of his first hit. Long before it reached number one. I Prayed For You. Think they need a retirement roadie.

Country Music Made Me Do It

I’ve got a running list of artists I’m desperate to see live once the pandemic is slain.

Including my Canadian contingent: Meghan Patrick explaining Country Music Made Me Do It. The Hunter Brothers laying claim to the rural fields where they were Born and Raised. High Valley promising to Make You Mine. And Washboard Union looking for a Shot of Glory (maybe encouraged by drinking up my courage).

I need more Sunny Sweeney before another Ten Years Pass. And worth discovering or rediscovering? Matt Stell, moving Everywhere But On. Courtney Dickinson chasing Freedom down a two-lane winding road. Kim Richey agonizing over Those Words We Said. Suzy Bogguss‘s crystal clear voice promising Some Day Soon. Caroline Jones riding hard on Rise (Sing It Loud). Ashley McBryde remembering a father’s Bible and a 44. Carly Pearce singing anything. But for a sample her current hit, Next Girl. A retirement roadie wish list.

And more. Friends know my alter ego is a cross between Vince Gill and Darius Rucker. No shortage of ideas. But a lot of my favorites are the female singer-songwriters.

Your Retirement Roadie Suggestions for a Mission

Any suggestions for this Retirement Roadie? Or your own hunt for live music?

May have to organize our own music festival.

Passions to Purpose

Maybe for you, it’s not music, but you should be passionate about something and share it with others. In the pursuit of our passions, we find purpose and meaning. We’re social animals and need collective experiences and efforts to be happy.

Chasing songs about me feels like a mission. It’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses. . . After all Everybody Needs Somebody to Love.


6/15/2021 UC Davis: That Song Is Stuck in Your Head, but It’s Helping You to Remember

8/14/2016 The Best Brain Possible: How Listening to Music Benefits Your Brain