Playing That Funky Music Is Harder Than It Looks

“Uh-huh, uh-huh, I LIKE it, uh-huh, uh-huh, THAT’s the way…”

Except now that I KNOW that’s the way, I like it a little less. Uh-huh. 

A couple of years ago, my guitar teacher, Bill, who’s really a frustrated jazz/blues star masquerading as a guy who works in a lumber yard, heard a friend say this about a piece of siding: “That’s got a super wide groove.” He decided that was WAY too good a name to pass up. So he bought the domain name, created a website, designed a poster, and started a band. In that order. And Super Wide Groove was born.

They played a 60s/70s funk/soul dance party a couple of years ago at our community center. Huge hit. Last year they did it even bigger and better, inviting a whole scad of singers and musicians to join in. Including me. I got to belt out “Heat Wave” and croon “Ooh Baby Baby” wearing a little black dress. Fun! But all those rehearsals? All that fiddling with equipment? It took HOURS.

But the result? Here’s what I’m talking about. No, that’s not me in that wig, it’s diva Lia Geever, the daughter of SWG’s ace keyboardist, Beth.

So when Bill decided to make Super Wide Groove super tight, with a dedicated core of singers and musicians, I passed on the offer. Two songs? Sure. But I didn’t want to make the band my musical focus. I like funk, but I don’t love it enough to give up two nights a week for NEARLY SIX MONTHS.

I know, right? Turns out playing that funky music is HARD WORK. 

The band is getting ready for its biggest performance ever this weekend. I’m still doing my two songs, along with a couple of other “guest musicians.” The rest of the band? They should be EXHAUSTED…I sure would be! But every time I breeze into my little bitty piece of rehearsal, they are more pumped than the time before. I am filled with admiration.

You know when people tell you to follow your bliss? It’s a beautiful thing to see. 

This weekend, I’ll be belting and crooning again, but mostly I will be grooving in complete awe and joy for my friends who are willing to work so hard for music’s sake. We will all “Get Down Tonight,” but no matter how much Funk everyone Gets, they’ll have nothin’ on those Groovers.

OK…here’s me. I’m not proud. 🙂

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When was the last time you laid it all on the line for something artistic? Writing? Music? Paint? Did you have to force yourself to work hard, or did the discipline just arise? Either way: kudos. And…keep it up! 

 

2 thoughts on “Playing That Funky Music Is Harder Than It Looks

  1. Love this, Gretchen. I’ll be away this weekend – with a bunch of Quakers who, yes, can “get down” – so I’ll miss the Super Wide Groove. I lay it all on the line as a writer every time I sit at my “keyboard.” I’ve also been known to belt out a great rendition of “Downtown.”

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