Tuesday, September 23, 2008


The Westobou Festival has taken the town. For ten days, it is impossible to see and do everything from art openings to choral and organ concerts to theater and film to lectures and readings. On Friday night, our choices were jazz, a silent movie or Christine Kane's Concert. I had blogged about Christine. Her concert was in the neighborhood, so it was an easy decision for older daughter and me.

Dusk was fading into night as we walked the block or so to the recently restored historic building. We followed others into the building and looked for seats. We were delighted to be sitting with our old friend Don Rhodes and we chatted about how we knew about Christine and her music. We had not seen her in concert, but Susan and I had found her creativity and motivational blog and then her music. Don had searched for links to the music to get information for his weekly newspaper column.

With Christine Kane, there is no band and no backup, there is just Chris, her voice, her guitar and her words breathed into the space of the music. She sings about unspoken truths which everyone knows is truth -- strong women and Southern nights, perfect vehicles for coming and for leaving, Jazz musicians and falling in love with the wind . . . . From the seat next to me, I heard murmurs of excitement and genuine appreciation and I knew that Don Rhodes -- whose column is the longest running Country Music column in the US, by the way -- had fallen in love with this music during an afternoon of youTube viewing.

We listened to Chris but also to Don as he anticipated phrases, marveled at the guitar playing and the range and texture of her voice. Over almost forty years of writing his Ramblin' Rhodes column, he has interviewed, met or written about everyone who is anybody and some who aren't. That he still had the ability to be enthusiastic about a new voice, made this more than just a Friday concert for us.

For me, the experience was like one in my early years of painting. I happened to be at the right place for spending some time with long-time American Watercolor Society President Mario Cooper. As the two of us wandered through a gallery of faculty paintings, he critiqued them for me pointing out design flaws and successes, suggesting good things to mimic in texture and color, and generally showing this new painter how to look at art. It was an opportunity to discover a whole new way of seeing.

Now, thanks to our friend, Don Rhodes, I have a new way of listening.

Don's column about Christine Kane
Christine Kane's Website

BushStrokes (c) AAB


Christine Kane said...

Hi Annette! Thank you so much for such a wonderful write up! It made me smile.

Don actually emailed me a link to your blog so I could see this. It was great to meet you in person.

Annette Bush said...

Turn about's fair play, Christine. You've made us smile through your music. Maybe there will be an occasion for a longer visit another time.