As I stood on stage at the Jones County Fair these past few days, while Leigh worked his magic during an instrumental break, I couldn't help but marvel at how things can come full circle as they do. One March evening, I stumble upon a Nashville bar and get invited to play "Free Fallin'" with Leigh; then one July day, he's giving new life to my own music. Sometimes life has a way of working out without any conception as to how, leaving me in complete and utter awe. This weekend was no exception.
After I met Leigh in Nashville, I was like, "I want that dude in my band someday. Without a doubt." Although I'm not quite ready for a full band, I flew Leigh to Iowa to play with me for the Jones County Fair, to see what it was like to take my one-girl band to two strong. Of course, things don't necessarily work out without a bump (or three) in the road.
Bump #1: I wake up at 6:00a.m. on Thursday morning to a text from Leigh. "My flight got cancelled. Working on rebooking." (Sorry, what?!) Over the course of the next six hours, Leigh's flight was rebooked or delayed six more times, and the refresh button on my phone's flight updates took a serious beating as I kept trying to figure out if he would make it to our show on time. (He did, and with half an hour to spare.)
Bump #2: Setting up my sound system in 5 minutes with 105° heat index and minimal soundcheck. Enough said.
Bump #3: I leave the piano stand at the fair on day one, leaving Leigh to play his piano on a chair during our one rehearsal. (Mama Myers saves the day, of course, and goes to get one from the music store.)
Bump #4: Playing two of the three shows through Thomas Rhett's and Keith Urban's soundchecks. News flash: Their speakers are a solid 10x the size of mine. (But we turned up our volume and held our ground.)
Bump #5: Driving Leigh to the airport at 2:00am on Saturday morning through torrential downpour, and then playing another show at 3:00pm that very day. Driving? Piece of cake. Driving through horrendous storms? No, thanks.
The rest of the weekend was bump-free. Sure, we were dripping sweat throughout the whole show, and I can't pretend that was particularly enjoyable. But, every minute of the weekend, I was marveling at how lucky I am to live the life that I do.
I was all grins during our shows, hearing the new dimension that Leigh brought to my music with his piano skills and voice (watch a snippet here-- it will come through as a download-- complete with Thomas Rhett's guitarist's soundcheck). Keep the grins rolling as a bunch of the people I love were gathered at Singlespeed Brewery, drinking craft beer and celebrating the move to Nashville. Smiles keep on coming (my face started hurting a bit by day three), as I revel in the fact that this blissful endeavor is my career: I'm lucky enough to live my passion day in and day out, with wonderful human beings like Leigh joining me along the way.