House Band Wines

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A Toast to Elvis & Dreaming Big in 2012

   Dec 27

A Toast to Elvis & Dreaming Big in 2012

Last night I had an amazing dream; I was a friend of Elvis Costello. As friends are apt to do, he was allowing me to indulge myself and take advantage of our relationship. My evening dreamscape was an outdoor amphitheater surrounded in a warm mist and soft white light on the edge of a placid body of water. I was onstage with Elvis, sitting about ten feet apart — the intimate audience of maybe a thousand guests murmuring with great anticipation. This was an MTV Unplugged / The Actors Studio fantasy-mashup of the mind and I was the rock ‘n’ roll equivalent of James Lipton.

James "The Dawg" Lipton of The Actors Theater

James "The Dawg" Lipton of The Actors Studio

Between pensive, down-tempo songs performed on his acoustic guitar, Elvis and I bantered back-and-forth about the evolution of his career, from pub rock to punk/new wave to singer-songwriter to abstract composer to activist and seemingly everything in between. I fielded questions from the audience, who by the way were as dazzled as I by this once-in-a-lifetime experience. And when the lights came up, there was a warm embrace between friends as a respectful and restrained wave of applause washed over the stage. Bravo!

Then the dream got even better. Backstage, my group of friends, whom I play music with recreationally, joined us…along with Diana Krall. Following handshakes and hellos, Diana (yes, we’re also on a first name basis) broke out her guitar to share a new song she’d been working on. As happens in the realm of dreams, we were all instantly braced with our instruments, me sitting on my cajón laying down the beat, improvising with Diana and Elvis to a song I’m sure will soon be a hit.

Perhaps this is a moment of TMI, but as we countdown the final days of 2011 and roll into 2012, we at House Band Wines believe that we should all dream big. This is especially important for musicians who constantly bare their souls in song and struggle everyday to survive in a time when their art is under attack by the mundane tasks and tariffs of life and a business that appears a bit rudderless as it attempts to steer a new course.

So we raise our glass to all our musician friends, and those we have yet to meet, as they create one of the most important elements of human expression — music. Cheers to a successful 2012 filled with peace, understanding and creativity!

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