Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Circle of Strings and Music

Before Gayle Swinehart retired and closed Strings Music in Glendora California, there used to be a monthly invite only, after hours, acoustic jam with some of the local professional and semiprofessional guitar players who frequented the store. You never knew who would show up.  Likewise, you never knew if it was simply going to be a fun evening of jamming or if something magical was going to happen. Although I had been invited to other locations to try and carry on the tradition, I had not attended the jam in well over a year. I am assuming that some of the other players stopped attending as well.  Ultimately, the jam fizzled.  Fast forward to last night. It was the kick start in a new location, Alosta Brewing Company, in Covina Califonia. This was the first time that most of us had seen each other since regular attender Alan Saltsman had passed away.  Needless to say, the night was filled with heavy hearts and warm memories.  When it was local blues icon Stan West’s turn to pick the tune it was evident that we were going to live large in the moment. He started the up slide on this 1920’s Dobro Resonator and we were taken up to the clouds on the back of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”  Everyone took a turn soloing over the collective ensemble’s well wishes to Alan.  Yes, it was magical.  I am glad I decided to go.  Likewise, I am sad for the loss of a beautiful man and the missed opportunity to share the moment with some of our friends who jammed so many times with him.  Music really does bring us together.