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Peanut butter crackers taste best and a hotel feels best at the end of a long day. I picked Brian up at eight this morning. We drove the the Nashville airport, rented a car and headed for Augusta, Georgia - land of biscuits and sweet tea and boiled peanuts. (Oh well, two out of three are in heaven.)

Tonight I played - this is good - a singles only coffeehouse at a Baptist Church. Yea, that's what I thought. What? But it's actually a pretty cool thing they've got going on at Warren Baptist Church.

All the food you could ever want to stuff in your face. (Really good chocolate chip cookies - I had six.) Candle light. Comfy chairs. Great sound system. Nice folks all around. And a couple hours of music. (With an intermission of course.) All for $5.

About three hundred folks spent the evening eating, talking, laughing and listening. I was told I'd be background music. I was warned that people wouldn't be there for me but to see each other. I'd ordinarily say no to a gig like this. For no other reason than, well, honestly, I have an agenda at my concerts. I have something I'm trying to communicate. And communication kinda requires listeners.

But I took the gig anyway. It reminded me of the first gig I ever did. Becky (my wife) and I played a gig together a long long time ago in Tyler, Texas where I'm from. She plays the piano - if she has music in front of her. And I used to play the sax pretty well. Long story short, we got roped into playing a singles Valentine banquet at our church. Shlocky standards like Misty and My Funny Valentine and even worse: Stephen Curtis Chapman's I Will Be Here. Great song. Just not on the sax.

Back then I took the gig BECAUSE I was promised we'd only be background music. "No one will be listening. They'll be eating," they said. Instead we played in the center of the room, after dinner was eaten, for couples sitting in a circle around us. Listening. Intently. To our bad bad music.

Luckily the promoter for tonight's show was wrong as well. About the background music thing. I was background music for seventy percent (Brian's guestimate) of the crowd until I talked about Compassion International. I didn't ask people to listen. But mysteriously they did. It was the oddest thing. The low rumble at the back of the room turned to total silence in seconds as I spoke about the thirty-thousand children who died today because they didn't have water and food and medicine.

I arrived not knowing why I came here. Why would I agree to be background music for a singles event? Why? Was it just nostalgia? Seems like a bad fit for what I do best and who I think I am. Fifteen saved lives later though, I have my answer.

I love my job. And these crackers are pretty good too.

We've got Willow Creek tomorrow.


Anonymous Los said...

Go give Willow some Shlog

Blogger Seth Ward said...

Thats pretty amazing.

Hilarious story about you and Becky btw. BIG outloud laugh at that one. I think you should bust out your Sax sometimes in your concerts. Hey, why not? Your probably pretty darn good at it sooo.... lets here it man.

Blogger Brack said...

Ummm, I'm hoping that all three of those are in heaven ;)

Blogger Kev said...

I once got a call to play three hours of solo saxophone (that's right, all by myself, not even a piano with me), at a wedding. I was quite relieved when I looked at my schedule and found out that I was already busy that night, because that would've been a beating.

And Shaun, if you're ever in Tyler, let me know and I'd be happy to make that trip one more time to give you a little saxophone refresher course...

Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

IT WAS WONDERFUL!!! Shaun you're always so great! Loved every second of the night.


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