Well, another week has come and gone friends. I’m sitting here working in the Parks Office in Johnston, Iowa enjoying the beautiful fall weather. I make it a point every day at lunch to go outside and enjoy a pretty walk over by the river. And you know I have to admit, that even while I sit here working, I constantly have a tune running through my head! One day as I was taking my walk over by the River I kept repeating the lyrics, “well I sat way down by the river, let the waves wash my blues far away. It’s a beautiful day down by the river, no more troubles, no more sorrows in my day!” So with that going round and round in my head, I wrote the “River Song” in a matter of about ten minutes that day.
Isn’t it strange how inspiration can come from so many places in your life? A pretty day, the sunshine, my grand-daughter’s little smile, going fishing, a long walk in the park, pretty leaves on the ground and just life in general. What makes and keeps you inspired to get up every day and do your job or start your day? We could all make a very long list, I’m sure! But as you know from reading my prior blogs, music is what makes me tick and inspires me the most. My Mom always had KIOA on the radio or some country music channel tuned in as I was growing up. Morning, noon and night if it wasn’t Mom playing her guitar and singing, I got to hear Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, The Everly Brothers, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, The Beatles, and so many more I can’t even begin to list them all!
I talk a lot about Bluegrass & Country Music, but there’s a plethora of so many different styles of music out there. If you look at the music happenings around the Des Moines area there’s always somewhere to go to feed your soul some music. And don’t forget the kids! They are the next generation of music to be heard!
Have you heard of the “Play It Forward!” program? The Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa (BMAI) is a licensed affiliate of the Play It Forward! Instrument Lending Program, which was created by the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation (BHF). BMAI works with bluegrass musicians and music teachers to foster music literacy and performance skills in deserving young people (ages 8-21) by providing no-cost access to the primary bluegrass musical instruments such as mandolins, fiddles, banjos, and guitars. As part of the Play It Forward Program, BMAI works with bluegrass clubs and associations to find musicians and music teachers who are willing to become a bluegrass mentor for those young people who seek to borrow instruments under the program.
This weekend at our Honey Creek Festival we will be presenting our first instrument, a banjo, to our first participant in this program! I feel blessed to be part of such a wonderful Organization that is growing and making a difference in Iowa!
We are planning our first indoor Bluegrass Festival in Des Moines on Feb. 22nd and 23rd, 2013 at the Ramada Tropics. Mark your calendars for a fun filled weekend full of wonderful music that is family friendly! We encourage you to bring the kids to our festivals. I also encourage you to join the Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa, we are doing remarkable things to promote and educate people/youth about our music heritage in the State! See our website for more information on festivals, events and the Play It Forward! Program.
Thanks for reading this everyone…and whatever you do, STAY INSPIRED!!
See you down BrenLou’s Bluegrass Road