Friday, February 04, 2005

steep canyon rangers

Last night I had a wonderful reunion with two friends, Jane and Trevor Sharp. We knew each other during our six years at Christ Church in Greensboro. Jane and I taught Disciple for several years, and Trevor and I worked on several projects (long range planning and the lay academy of religion). I had heard that their younger son Graham was in a bluegrass band, and then I saw in the Observer that the group would be in Charlotte, and when I was by Presbyterian Hospital one day visiting, I saw the sign on the Visulite Theater, "Steep Canyon Rangers", and I thought, "this must be a sign". So I got through to them, and we met, catching up before the concert, watching a little of the UNC-NC State game on television. It was also fun knowing that Liz was at the game. Trevor and Jane were of course delighted that Liz is at UNC.

The Steep Canyon Rangers took the stage at about 9:10 p.m., or so. They are superb. For those of you who are not bluegrass fans, you really need to hear this music live. They played for about an hour, then took a break (I got to see Graham, who was in youth/confirmation during my years in Greensboro), and then they returned. I left at about 11, which is late enough for me. Graham did sing his signature piece "Feeling Just A Little Like Dale" (Earnhart). The bass player was really hilarious, saying, at one point, "please buy one of our cds...we didn't go into bluegrass music to become rich and famous, and so far we haven't been disappointed". They are starting to really make it, which is wonderful. You can hear some of their music at, and they will also be playing number of times this year in our region.

An artist is a person who shares a gift, knowing, that there will most likely not be a tremendous financial reward or popular response. When this happens, it is of course a good thing. But the artist is motivated more by the integrity of the gift itself. These guys are artists. I was reminded, listening to them, that we are called in whatever we are doing to offer the gift with integrity and joy. The response makes it possible for us to share our gift, and over time to perfect it. But the response itself is not of ultimate importance. What is most important is that we share the gift.


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7:02 PM  

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