This blog comes in three sections. Am sharing it because in the mix of living today, clouds can hover I know. Not all of life should be determined by the result of a football score. Far more than this, no suspicion or doubt that each of us could do better, at least emotionally. None of us is exempt—particularly yours truly.
This week my Colorado fishing guide, Rabbi Guide [aka Matthew Krane], posted a Facebook song. It was a youth singing…had never heard the song before. Looked into it…”Soulshine.” Was impacted by the following:
The group singing, “The Pine Beetles” has special people in it. I asked my Rabbi Guide to give me some details. Then I found the song’s words, then wrote the mother of the youth to ask her to send me her U-Tube. All that follows.
To me this is powerful…in each section. I focus upon Doc PJ…who is so much more than a band member. Read how much he gives of himself. Marvelous. And. The promise of the youth…Robyn Brewer? You must be filled with joy about your son, Jacob, and his singing. Thanks for sharing the video. And tell your son, he’s brought lots of Soulshine to my day. And I hope, fervently so, to the blog readers. Peace, Mark Henry Miller
From Matthew Krane:
Warren Haynes is a prodigious rock/acoustic guitartist/writer/singer who spent at least the last 15 years as lead guitarist for The Allman Bros. Band (tell me you’ve heard of them). His own band “Government Mule” is a huge touring favorite. We’ve been playing “Soulshine” for probably 15 years as well. The young man in the Soulshine video is named Jacob Brewer, son of dear friends of ours, Ben and Robyn. Jacob is this beautiful being, full of positivity (positive ions?), strapping at 13, a champion nordic skiing competitor (cross-country), a beacon of light.
We began introducing the idea of him playing a few songs with us 3-4 years ago but as he became quite proficient on the ukulele, he learned all of our tunes and became a mainstay of The Pine Beatles, if not the main attraction. He came down with a cold late Friday, canceled his nordic ski event in Steamboat (3 hrs. away), stayed in bed all Saturday then rallied for this performance. I’ve taken him under my wing during our rehearsals as you can see in the video. Dads can only do so much.
Doc PJ is indeed at stage right playing the orchestral bass which he taught himself to play. The instrument itself is third-generation handed down from a close friend’s grandfather. He’s been traveling twice a year for about twenty years now doing 4-6 week medical missions in Honduras, Vanuatu, Cameroon, Southern Sudan (gulp! where the mountainside hospital was bombed by a Russian aircraft-luckily very inaccurately), and Nepal. He sponsored a Nepalese medical student through school and helped revive a high mountain valley clinic above Kathmandu in the Langtang Valley. This clinic was destroyed by last year’s earthquake as was the entire valley, almost 5,000 killed-miraculously the student and his family were among the survivors.
PJ re-visited this spring with our dear friend Rob Millisor, generous benefactor to PJ’s Nepal cause: Doctors to the World. A week into the trip on a sunny day in the hills above Kathmandu, Rob was walking with the many villagers, bringing food/water/medical supplies with PJ. He had just been holding a young Nepali girl when he sat down, felt short of breath and died of a heart attack right there…a huge loss to that community as wells as ours in Colorado. Doctors to the World forges on (go to the Facebook site).
Our mandolin player is Mike Frantin, a superb musician and fine finishing carpenter from the ‘pulsating metropolis’ of Alma, CO. He’s a dedicated guitarist/mandolinist with an incredible ear for space and color in music, also learning violin and dobro. I’ve known him close to 30 years. He only came on for the last two rehearsals when our banjo player had to back out. Not seen, but heard is our newest player, Eric Fisher, on the dobro stage left (proud mom kept the camera lens on her son during that). Eric is an immigration lawyer who also, among other things, attended the Woodstock Music Festival. Shalom! RG
The Allman Brothers Band
When you can’t find the light,
That guides you on the cloudy days,
When the stars ain’t shinin’ bright,
You feel like you’ve lost you’re way,
When those candle lights of home,
Burn so very far away,
Well you got to let your soul shine,
Just like my daddy used to say.
He used to say soulshine,
It’s better than sunshine,
It’s better than moonshine,
Damn sure better than rain.
Hey now people don’t mind,
We all get this way sometime,
Got to let your soul shine, shine till the break of day.
I grew up thinkin’ that I had it made,
Gonna make it on my own.
Life can take the strongest man,
Make him feel so alone.
Now and then I feel a cold wind,
Blowin’ through my achin’ bones,
I think back to what my daddy said,
He said “Boy, in the darkness before the dawn:”
The video of Jacob Brewer and “Pine Beetles”: