Sunday, November 28, 2010

The music warms the heart

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- Of all the things for which I am thankful, music is near the top of the list.

At its best, it's a balm, a best buddy. Thus it was at the Down Home last night, when Robinella brought her sweet sad songs to the Tri-Cities for Thanksgiving.

The old favorites were there, "Man Over," still lost forever; "Teardrops," still not making a sound when they fall to the ground; "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," Hank's weeper, still pure and poignant. And she pulled some gems out of her bag of tricks, including an Aretha Franklin cover, sweet soul, heck yeah. The best band -- Justin, Mike and Taylor -- backed her up and she joked and grinned and strummed her guitar and made us feel good.

The Hobarts were here from Cincinnati. The best part about this whole thing is the friends I've met through the music. It has, quite literally, changed my life.

We hold on to these moments ever so tight anymore. Now that Robin's not playing down the street each Sunday night we savor the sunshine, put a little away for a rainy day.

If you get a chance, make the jaunt to Johnson City to the Down Home. It's quaint and it's cool and you can write on the bathroom walls. And the good ones come here, to play and sing, and they tell you if you want to talk during the tunes, take a hike.

It was the perfect period to the holiday weekend, a jump-start to Christmas season, as friends gathered to hear good music, the kind that warms the heart.

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