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Are We There Yet? vol. 71

Last night, my wife and I joined a group of friends for a concert at Wolf Trap. For those of you not familiar with the DC area, Wolf Trap is formally known as Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. It is located on 130 acres in Fairfax County, Virginia and we had lawn seats for the performance by Amos Lee.  With a temperature of about 75 degrees and low humidity, the setting couldn’t have been more perfect for sitting under the stars listening to good music. I have to give a shout out to our good friends, Marcela and JC, for organizing the entire night and even chauffeuring us around.

I have to admit that I didn’t even know who we were seeing until we left for the concert and I hadn’t heard Amos’ music before. I was going to enjoy time with our friends; something we have missed dearly over the past 18 months. For me, the concert was just the excuse for gathering. But, sometimes, when you just go with the flow, that is when the magic happens. 

Amos Lee is a 44 year old American singer songwriter whose mentors included John Prine. He played tributes to Prine and Bill Withers, both of whom died this past year and will be missed. He is a former school teacher who left the profession to pursue his passion. He sings of optimism and hope even when reflecting on the seemingly many disastrous breakups with women he loved. He is also a fantastic storyteller blending narratives in with his music to paint a picture of who he is.

He opened the night with the song Worry No More noting that he tended to be a worrier. I immediately knew I was in the right place at the right time. The song opens “Even if it don’t come true, dreamin is what dreamers do” and the chorus is “worry no more, worry no more, there’s an open door for you.” The open door for me last night was the invitation to a concert. I didn’t accept the invitation because I saw the open door but more because my wife told me that I was going to a concert on Thursday night. But, I’m going to start looking for more of those open doors because what’s inside might just be amazing. Here’s to the dreamers in the world and the doors they open.

Click on the link below to see a performance by Amos Lee.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U31JQkLYu5s

This week’s selection is:

BOOK:

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

Al Woodworth of Amazon Book Review calls this novel “a propulsive and comic neighborhood epic set in the 1960s with a cast of characters that are beguiling, boozed-filled, and larger than life. When a young drug lord is shot in broad daylight by a bumbling drunk known to everyone as Sportcoat, the Brooklyn neighborhood they live in is upended. As Sportcoat comically and unknowingly dodges the police, his actions ricochet around him, igniting a web of drug wars, backdoor dealings with mobsters, and church brawls that demonstrate just how vital yet fragile communities can be. Deacon King Kong tells the fictional story of one Brooklyn project, but in so doing tells a broader story of race and religion, getting by and getting out, and how grudges and alliances become embedded in the foundations of our neighborhoods.” I found myself embedded in this story and loved the way McBride brought these characters to life.