No beauty shines brighter than a kind heart. Last night at The Peoples Room, I witnessed eight men, many dressed in military-ish type clothing, all with smiles on their faces. These guys turned out to have the kindest hearts you could ever know. Their band is larger than you normally see in this small room…The band is 7 members strong and the 8th member is the sound engineer.
Dr Stephen Andrews is the leader, spokesperson, primary vocalist and bass player.
“Bubbla” (Everton Bryan) is the dual keyboard player and he does back-up vocals
“Mahga Joint” (Bernard Powell) is the drummer
Matthew Jacquette plays electric guitar (he is the youngest member of the band)
The horns are played by two brothers:
Saxaphone is played by Everton Gayle
Trombone is played by Everald Gayle
(both brothers do back-up vocals as well
Derrick George is the percussionist…he is fabulous on the bongos, he also played a cowbell, a wooden block, a tamborine and cabasa. Derrick also joined in often as back-up vocalist and his voice was smooth as it could be.
(Sound Engineer was Errol Brown) He had his hands full with so much going on at once, but he remained calm and got it done well.
This unusual band has an unusual name “PIKKIHEAD MILITIA”…
Stephen told me that the word Pikkihead comes from when some of them were teased (including himself)…they were actually bullied at times…pikki is like a more familiar turn I have heard “nappie”. They decided to turn that bullying word into a positive. Militia is usually defined as a civil population that supplements the regular army in an emergency.
This particular militia is manned by warriors of love and kindness.
These gentlemen have come together…all are musicians…all have at one point lived in other parts around the world and all now call Mobile and its surrounding communities their home.
They joined together to make music (thats what musicians do). They are making music with a purpose…to help people who are suffering or having great struggles in this life…they want to make a difference.
Last night’s show was a benefit to help victims of domestic violence. All proceeds are going to The Penelope House. There were a couple of people in the audience who were there to represent The Penelope House and enjoy the performance.
Between songs, Stephen Andrews spoke of things in life that can hurt us and things in life that can make us sad. He told us you may be feeling low but know that you will be feeling up again soon, you don’t have stay down.
He spoke about break-ups in relationships, he talked about the difficulties of losing your mother long before her time on earth is complete. He said “We are all orphans in this band, we have lost our mothers.” He spoke of people who are in the arts: artist, musicians, photographers, journalists,etc. and how very important these people are in our world. What a sad and dark world it would be without them.
He started the show with a song he called Misery Paradise. To listen to his words, for me, is like being in a classroom with a lesson in compassion for your fellow man.
He even had a song called “All About Me”…which is about the abuser in domestic violence. The words gave me chills “Who cares what you feel, its all about me.” “I don’t care what you say, its all about me.” (I am a victim of domestic violence and this song spoke to me loud and clear.)
His song about mothers who left too soon brought me to tears. As I observed the faces of these 7 men, all of whom have lost their mothers.
Oh and “Train Coming”….says “there’s a train coming”…I could envision that train coming down the tracks to take me for a ride.
At one point, Stephen spoke about one of Eric Erdman’s songs. It is called “Hard To Get Rid Of”. It says “At first she was playing hard to get and now she’s playing hard to get rid of.” He said it happens that way some times and then he did his song that is similar. It is called “Baby Let Me Go”. It says “Oh baby, baby let me go somewhere you won’t go.” Or “Baby, baby you should go somewhere I won’t go, like southern Idaho”.
He says, “I fell out of love”. (it happens to us all.)
From my eyes as I watched these guys, I saw good men who care. I saw skilled musicians who are trying to give back to the community and help to make our space a safer, kinder more caring place to be.
When you hear “PIKKIHEAD MILITIA”…think of people with big hearts who care about those who have been mistreated, those who are suffering, those who are bullied, and even those who are now suffering in prison.
It is true that no beauty shines brighter than a kind heart. It is true that sometimes what may seem like a miracle is just good people with kind hearts.
To check out the music of Pikkihead Militia, go to their website pikkiheadmilitia.com
I attended the show with friends and my son and grandson…I am so glad we went.
Thanks Jim Pennington and The Peoples Room of Mobile for presenting this group.
Thanks Pikkihead Militia for sharing your music and your hearts with us.