Music in My Heart

featured on the essential life

Growing up, there was always music in my home.

Whether it was my dad blasting Classic Country records in the basement, my mom rocking out to Neil Young, my brother inviting me to come listen to Iron Maiden, or both of my sisters singing along to Tiffany, there was always someone testing the limits of their stereo, & seeing just how loud they could get away with playing their music before someone complained.

Music in My Soul

The love of music is something that my family passed onto me, & it is something that still sticks with me today.

Sitting here now, I can measure my life by my favourite albums.  It all started with roots planted firmly in the eclectic musical influences of my family.  There are parts of me deeply entrenched in Johnny Cash, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Dolly Parton, & other country artists.  There are other parts of myself in Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen, & classic rock.  The largest part of my musical life, however, blossoms out of a close bond with my older brother & the music he would listen to.

Growing up as the youngest of four, with my brother 12 years my senior, endowed me with a deep appreciation of music I should have been too young to appreciate.  I was welcomed to spend endless time with Larry playing Nintendo while listening to hours of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Megadeath, Billy Idol, & the like. 

This was the musical platform from which I jumped, head first, into an ocean of music which became my confidant, my best friend, & my life raft in times of need.

A Life Saved By Music

A great deal of my life has been spent listening to and loving music.  From my first album (Paul Young's "Greatest Hits"), to my favourite album (Nine Inch Nail "The Fragile"), to the most recent album I've been listening to on repeat (Frightened Rabbit "Painting of a Panic Attack"), music has always been there for me.

Nine Inch Nails has served as the soundtrack to the lowest & most depraved moments of my life.  In times where darkness was all I felt, & wallowing was the best hope I had at anything positive, listening to "The Downward Spiral", & 'The Fragile", where like clumsily intertwining my fingers with someone else's & holding on as tightly as I could. 

In times of wisdom and enlightenment, there was Alanis Morissette, a woman more awake than any human has any business being.  Her writing has proven to be nothing short of enlightening.  A large part of who I am, & who I want to be, I found in the lyrics of "Under Rug Swept", & "Flavours of Entanglement". 

There are times when I feel like going home, and, for me, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, & Alabama, feel like doing just that.  From the first notes of "High Cotton", to the sing along jingle of "Cadillac Ranch", it feels as comfortable as fluffy, warm socks, on a chilly winter's day.

Then there is everything else, every song that has ever meant something to me, & the moments, suspended in time, attached to each note, & every single lyric.  Every 90's rock album is a trip deep into nostalgia.  Every Perfect Circle song is a piece of my life waiting to be played on repeat, while I sit here, on the floor of my present, listening.  80's metal reminds me of where it all started, & I love it all.

While I have moved on from the tumult of my youth, & the necessity of a proverbial hand to hold, I am so grateful for my musical roots.  I owe a dept of Gratitude to Trent Reznor, Maynard James Keenan, Ian Curtis, Martin Gore, Brian Malko, & everyone else who has written a piece of music I could hang my hat on. 

For now, I will sit here, flipping through tacks and pull me back into moments in time. I am so grateful for music.