Music Heals

My husband Doug Thoms and I performing last summer as “Johnny & June” at The Interior Provincial Exposition in Armstrong, BC.

Just a short post today, An update, if you will. As you may know, I’ve been distancing myself from social media.  I’ll be writing a very involved piece about that soon. But in the meantime, I just wanted to note that I have been using the excess time, clarity and lack of anxiety (normally caused by the constantly generated FOMO caused by social media addiction) to write, create, and to really appreciate the beauty of the world around me. It’s been such a gift.

Last weekend I attended the Pacific Northwest Touring conference to promote our show, “Johnny & June”. It’s a musical and theatrical tribute to Johnny Cash and June Carter-Cash. I love this project for several reasons.

Firstly, it provides an opportunity for me to sing and make music with my husband. Harmonizing with him is literally one of the greatest highlights of my life.

Secondly, it challenges me to become a better musician. I have finally built respectable callouses back up on my fingers for guitar and basic banjo, and am on a mission to create my own original music again.  

Thirdly, it is a story about love – my husband and I get to share our own great love with our audiences through the classic love story of these two icons of music. The research I’ve done really connects me to their story, but even more, it makes me appreciate my life and love story with my husband Doug.

And lastly, it affords us both the opportunity to entertain and meet an entirely new group of people. In the years of performing nothing but adult content through burlesque, our audience was limited to a fairly specific age group and mindset. But through Johnny & June, I am fully enjoying the delight of bringing this great music and laughter to both an older generation who grew up with it, as well as families and children.

I adore connecting with people of all ages through music. I am grateful to the music which allows us to do so, as well as our talents which make it happen – not without practice, of course! But I’m also grateful to the practice and rehearsal itself– the feeling of growth which comes by conquering a new chord or a new song. Sitting on the patio and playing the beautiful guitar my husband gave me for Christmas, or exploring the possibilities of my newly electrified autoharp. Making people laugh as I goad them to play kazoo with me. Music unites our souls. Any music. Be it simple or complex. As long as there is joy in the music and the musicians, there is a connection forged with the audience which brings all of our hearts that much closer together. Music heals. I can feel it. And I am so fortunate to have the chance to share that healing with the people in our audiences.

There is a great organization here in Canada with the same name – I think what they’re doing is amazing. Check them out at https://musicheals.ca/

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