It feels like a milestone. September 18 of last year was my very first gig. By June of last year it was obvious that band was losing their bass player. He was spending more and more time in Colombia, and other bass players in the area were busy with their own bands and unavailable. Joel had a bass. I played piano when I was young so I have a basic understanding of music. Could I learn to play that big thing with four strings and keep the band going?
it was a lot of time and work and I didn’t have a life for quite a while. And, as I announced Saturday night, I didn’t do it alone. My husband Joel spent endless hours working with me, helping me learn songs, helping me understand equipment and sound, and practicing with me. Chris, our drummer, has been super supportive and also practiced with me for hours and hours. The venues where we play and their staffs have been wonderful, welcoming, and supportive. And, most important, the people come out to hear us! Our fans have been wonderful to both the band and to me personally, and without them none of this would be happening. I am very grateful to everyone who has made our success possible.
Now, after a year of gigging it’s quite different. I actually feel like a musician, a bassist, not someone just doing a job and hoping to not screw up anything. The power to actually create the music, and the power of the low end, the bass with that huge sound that lays down the groove, the foundation, it’s pretty cool! After a year of playing together the three of us have become a tight unit and we really sound like we have our act together. We have a larger variety of music and styles now, and enough songs to fill more than two evenings of music. This has allowed us, and especially me to slow down the pace and bring other aspects of my life back like friends, biking, painting, yard work (it looks like work but is mainly enjoyment), and other hobbies.
Maybe this is a fitting time to bring out this song that we haven’t listened to for ages. We are working on it and it should be ready by this coming weekend. When I met Joel in 1990 he was in a band and would sing this song so beautifully it would just melt me. One night we were out with friends and the song came on the juke box, and we danced. It was the beginning…. I never would have believed anyone if they said that 28 years later we would be married, happily retired in Panama, and playing in a rock band together!
This retired life in Panama, it’s a wonderful thing. When the need to make money is taken off the table it changes everything. You do what you choose to do, not what you have to do. Your head is in such a different place, a much less stressful place. Then this beautiful country with these lovely people, that is just icing on the cake. Why me? How have I been so fortunate? I wake up filled with gratitude every day.