Music has ability to heal

By Jeff Smith

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Last Saturday night I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of musicians who travel across the U.S. playing music.

The event was a lot of fun and I actually got to know the performers more than usual at a show.

I admire what they do especially how they don’t get too much money right now playing gigs.

I  haven’t been to too many concerts in my lifetime. But I could spend a lot of time and money going to them though. The genre of the performer doesn’t even matter to me that much.

There is a cathartic rush at concerts. I can feel what the songwriter or songwriters wanted to get through in their music.

I am grateful that there is live music at a place like the Miner Brewing Company and other places. One doesn’t have to go too far to listen to great music in the area every week. There are even great musicians that live close to Hill City, like Brent Morris.

I’ve heard people call music a distraction or just something to pass time in a car.

How about something to get people through high school or to understand the world better.

Music has got me through rough times and listening to great music also allowed me to connect with others in high school and college.

My family mainly listened to country music growing up. Country Christmas music is usually blaring from the stereo around Christmastime.

My sisters also listened to a lot of hip hop and pop growing up. I think that opened the door to listen to other type of music.

During my latter high school years I fell in love with indie folk and more alternative stuff. My musical  library grew quite a bit in college because I was writing and studying. I was also alone a lot, at least for my freshman year.

There are things that are constant over time and then there are things that change. Music has changed. My music preferences has changed over the years too. I used to only listen to country music.

My first song I ever heard on the T.V. was “How Do You Like Me Now?” by Toby Keith. I think at the time I found it funny. A lot of Toby Keith’s songs now or silly and mellow so I probably wasn’t too far off in thinking that it was funny.

Now, on any given day I could listen to anything from Kenny Chesney to Macklemore.

Music has always been there for me through my transitions of my life.

I think there are healing qualities to music. Writing, playing music and listening to it fixes people and restores their mood.

An example of this is the song Eric Church recently wrote a song about the victims of the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival.

One of the lyrics in his new song is “I asked the God of all knowing wisdom why you and why not me”.

He shared a genuine and honest moment at the Grand Ole Opry stage. Some of the people involved in the shooting came to see him.

He might have felt guilty for playing there.

He was definitely distraught over the ordeal and his song helped get him over everything that happened.

Although the shooting took place at a Jason Aldean concert he performed at the festival 48 hours before the infamous shooting took place.

Rarely does true sadness about other people’s misfortune get poured into a song. Church said he was broken and the only thing he has ever fixed anything is with music.

Music is powerful and meant to bring people together rather than divide people.

A number of studies show that the use of music for medical goals can reduce pain.

I think there is a cycle there too because a lot of great music is made because of pain.

Tom Petty, who recently died, was beaten and verbally abused by his dad who wasn’t exactly understanding of his son’s interest in the arts.

Countless other musicians overcame drug abuse, domestic abuse, poverty, unfair circumstances to make it big.

I think it’s also a tough life when you do finally achieve success as a musician because musicians are on the road so much.

So many people that make records or get to be on the radio mean a lot to me.

We need these people in our lives.

I will continue to support local musicians as well as those who perform throughout the country. Many of them try to lift people’s spirits in troubling times.

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