Music is as essential to a good life as air and water. It takes you away from any problems you might be going through….it steals you from the pain or stress that may be weighing you down. For me, the job of a musician is to help you FEEL life. If a song touches you (with sad emotion or gloriously happy emotion)..it has done its job.
Last night I sat at a front row table with two wonderful people (Steve and Sue)…they were accompanied by their big beautiful dog, Annie.
The line-up for the songwriter-in-the-round show was: Laurie Anne Armour (LA)….(Doc) Tom Leytham, and Scott Koehn. I know LA and Doc well but Scott was new to me. I researched him on the internet before the show and saw he certainly is NOT new to music.
As I prepare to go to a show, I always believe something wonderful is about to happen. My belief was fulfilled with last night’s show.
Laurie Anne (LA) started the show with her song “Sailor take warning”. In the next round she played “The Color Blue” which was co-written with her dad, Smitty Armour.
Smitty is quite the celebrity himself…he is retired but he worked 4 decades in radio. He served as broadcast news director, anchor and writer. When you meet her dad it is clear to see where LA’s drive and determination as well as her talent came from….the peach does not fall far from the tree! While I am on this horse, I will ride it another mile….LA’s mom is the glue that holds it all together and she always wears a smile as she does it….Dotty Armour, you are a special lady!
LA went on to sing several of my favorites, “Sometimes” and “Take your Time”.
“Sometimes” talks about a time when she was sad and how she was lifted up from that sadness by her faith. “Take Your Time” is the story of her mother advising her not to rush into a relationship and be hurt again as she had been in the past.
She ended with “Bless the Soul”…such a sweet outreaching emotion is in this song; it makes me well up and I have to fight back tears.
Tom “Doc” Leytham took the center stool on the stage. He is an actual medical doctor and a musician as well. Tom started off with a song titled “Just a Song”….I thought it was a lot more than just a song. He also sang a song about the things his grandmother went through back in the days of WWII, when his grandfather was killed in the war (at the time his dad was only 4). His grandpa was from Theodore and that is where they lived and where he was buried. It made me think about all the things both my grandmothers and great-grand mothers endured. Times were much more bleak and hope was hanging on a very thin thread in those days.This song made me feel and think, that is what a song needs to do.
Tom’s song about his girlfriend leaving him for his pick up truck was hilarious.
I also liked “Bourbon is from Kentucky and Whiskey’s from Tennessee”.
Tom closed out his part of the show with a rousing Mardi Gras song. He pulled a tamborine from his box and handed it to Laurie Anne; she played it like a champ. He did what needs to be done; he closed his part of the show with something uplifting; leaving a happy feeling for the audience.
Scott Koehn was new to me. He hails from Atlanta, Georgia but currently happily lives in Orange Beach, Alabama. “It is a wonderful life”, says Scott, “Living on the beach and staring at the water rolling in every day!” I could tell immediately that Scott is a seasoned, skilled musician. He listened intently to his co-performers and he found a spot where he could jump in with some extra music to fill in and fill-up the room with beautiful sounds. Though he had not met the other two and they had not met him…he understands the language of music and he has the experience to know how to lift any song. I loved Scott’s song “Georgia Rose”.
He had a song he wrote at the behest of his friend…”On the highway of life, she ain’t nothing but a flat tire.” This was hilarious and I am sure it is a frequently requested song. His next time up, Scott told of writing a song about a girlfriend who became an “ex” and she continued to come to all of his shows, even with new guys she was dating. ..The song is “I don’t want to be here”. It was a song of pain and sadness…here is a sampling of the lyrics “I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be up on the stage, watching her dance with another man.” "I don't want to sing their love song". "I don't want to be here."
Like most songwriters (including my son, Eric Erdman)…Scott has lots of break-up songs and his lyrics fill the room with emotions that bounce off the walls as you listen and you relate and you understand the feelings he is presenting. Everyone has been there at some point.
These three singer/songwriters entertained us and helped us see that we are all holding on to this rollercoaster we call life. There are times you may be down, hang-on tight you will be heading up again soon.
Be sure to check out the music of these musicians. Especially follow up on Laurie Anne Armour as she has an exciting CD release party coming up on March 27th at The Peoples Room of Mobile. I have learned that just being in the room with Laurie Anne (LA) will lift anyone’s spirits. If you are having a bad day, hang out with Laurie Anne a little while, its the best medicine I know.
Thank you The Peoples Room for having these three
Thank you Jim Pennington
Thank you Laurie Anne (LA) Armour (laurieannemusic.com)
Thank you Tom (Doc) Leytham
Thank You Scott Koehn