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The Medicinal Magic of Music

As you know, I am a music lover. I get immense joy from live music, photographing it, writing about it and the buzz of the crowds gathered at music venues.

Three weeks ago I broke my arm. The doctors have warned me to stay home, and protect my arm against bumps as the bone is broken into three and it needs to begin knitting together before they make decisions on surgery or any other treatment. I'm not very good at sitting still and doing nothing but I have very little choice in this matter.

I am now three weeks into the solitude of my physical healing, and the other night a friend decided to scoop me up and take me to a venue I had never been to before, The California. She knows the venue layout and said it would be safe for my arm. The California is in Santa Rosa at 728 Seventh Street. It was blues night at The California featuring the Blues Defenders. They play every Monday night with evolving special guests. This night the special guest was a friend from Chicago that I haven't seen for several years, Johnny Burgin. 'Twas nice to see this talented Chicago blues man, guitarist and vocalist who is now residing in Virginia, play live again. The Blues Defenders are the house band. They are a talented group of musicians, with Donny Mederos, Ian Lamson, Bruce Gordon, Jeff Piche, and drummer Nick Otis, (son of Johnny and brother of Shuggie). It was great to hear Ian and Johnny playing some really amazing blues together...what a great pairing that was! Ian is one of my absolute faves when it comes to blues guitarists and throw in Johnny Burgin and that combo is hard to beat! The club is fairly new, and I was very impressed. No hassle, and so so easy. The car park is directly opposite the venue and at fifty cents an hour makes it even sweeter!

That night was so medicinal for me. Not only for the sound and vibration of the great live music but seeing so many friends and familiar faces at the venue was a beautiful thing....I can absolutely call the evening musically medicinal. Thank you to all the warmth exuded by all from that evening.

I even found that I know one of the owners/board members of the club. I'm referring to my friend and wonderful human, Terry Sanders. Terry is from the band, Dylan Black Project. Dylan Black Project was the recipient of the 2017 and 2018 Best Blues band award in the North Bay. And The California couldn't have a better man on their board. Terry is an intelligent, lovely, huge hearted, super talented guitarist, and an all round beautiful kind human being. And I'm proud to call him a friend.

Behind this medicinal evening for me is my music loving nurse friend that was responsible for getting me out and protecting my arm on this night, my friend Karen. She follows live music all over the place and she also has a huge heart! Thanks to Karen, I had an evening of joy in this rough time I'm having at present. But I know, this too shall pass. It's like this for now, and this injury is impermanent and will hopefully be healed soon. I know a lot of people who are also having a rough time at the moment with covid and other ailments. I'd always suggest if possible to tune into some live music from home to help the healing. Or if you're Covid free and able, go to a venue and feel the live music. So if you're feeling down, or you're dealing with an injury like me, I invite you to go see some live music if you're able. It's really got medicinal properties and if nothing else can put a temporary smile on your face if nothing else. And as The Music Soup always says....never regret anything that makes you smile. Life is short, catch some live music. Here are a couple photos that Karen took for me on her phone that evening:

Photo Credit: Karen Cook 2023

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E. Brian Johnson
E. Brian Johnson
Aug 30, 2023

It is wonderful to see you out and about covering live music again - even under your difficult circumstances! You are a fighter and true evangelist for live music. Get well soon Cheryl!

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