Some of you who've been keeping up with imagine/Northampton or this blog know one of our missional strategies is to connect with the artistic community in and around Northampton. Jim LaMontagne (a bass player) and I (a drummer) have been talking about playing with musicians in town. I and we have played with a number of Christian musicians in the area, but we really wanted to hang with players who'd not call themselves Jesus-followers.
Well, lo and behold, we are on our way! We've been rehearsing together for about a month, learning the songs and getting used to playing with the other guys. The key players are brothers: Mike and Steve Dubuque. We're geezers and 30+ years older than they, but it works. They are veterans of the scene in the area and have been for a number of years. They play guitar and sing. Mike writes most of the songs, although we heard a new one by Steve the other night. Mike comes to imagine and I've known both him and Steve for awhile.
The experience has been copacetic so far. We get along and the music is coming together. We even have gigs lined up in August and beyond. I haven't played regularly in clubs in decades so it will be both a little weird, and interesting to do so again. We're even playing in Northampton at the Iron Horse, and NYC in the fall!
Our goal is to serve the music with skill in the style appropriate to the songs. We want to comport ourselves in the clubs with professionalism and integrity. We also want to get to know folks and let them get to know us. In the long run, we want to love and serve the people we meet, and maybe be able to share the hope that's in us because of Jesus. Doing the music is a platform for the mission (although very indirectly).
So the adventure begins and I'm excited. At 61, I didn't think I would be in a rock band, but here I am. I haven't been in one since my late 20's. God keeps life interesting. I honestly hope not only will it lead to making good music, but Kingdom relationships will result - the reason I am here in the first place.
I would be woefully remiss if I didn't add I'm profoundly grateful to still be playing, and with passion and intelligence. Playing the instrument at all has always been a joy and a privilege.