If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll know that I’ve been traveling frequently to see and hear Lizz Wright sing.
It is one great joy of mine. When I listen to her, it sparks ideas and emotions within me and influences my creativity. Her voice, words, music, style of singing, songwriting, artistry, and her very essence continue to inspire me in various ways.
We have known about each other for nearly four years now, ever since I went to Madison, Wisconsin, to see and hear her sing for the first time, to give her a song (Lizz Wright: The Sweet Honey In The Rock) I wrote about her, and to give her a digital frame with some songs and a “Seattle Bouquet” (macro shots of flowers I had taken around the Seattle area) on it. Those things were tokens of my appreciation and affection for her. I was so taken by her then and I still am. I told her about my website, the first post that I had just written about her (Lizz Wright: Doing One Thing Really Well), and how to contact me if she ever needed to.
That day in Madison, she and Rachel (a talented piano player) were walking North toward that triangular building on the corner (in the picture above), and I was walking West, away from the Capitol, toward that same corner. I was walking back to my hotel to get ready to go to the show. I assume she and Rachel were doing the same thing.
When I was about 10 steps from the corner, I suddenly saw Lizz walking across the street, about 10 steps from the same corner I was headed for. We would have met right at the corner had not that group of 5-7 people rushed right in front of me to get across the street before the light changed. I then had to go around them and catch up to Lizz from behind, which I did.
I introduced myself and we talked briefly. She told me to come up to the stage after the show to give her the song. Then as we continued on our separate ways, I marveled at the serendipity at work and wondered what it meant. I think things happen for a reason. But now, four years later, I still don’t know the reason for meeting like that, but I never forgot that moment.
Then during my recent trip to see and hear Lizz sing in Paris, Budapest, Vienna and Zurich, we had another moment like that.
I had just watched her show in Paris and early the next morning I was checking in for my flight to Budapest for the next show.
As I was standing there in line, I saw Lizz and the band checking in on the same flight. I said, “Lizz! I really enjoyed the show last night.” She just nodded. Then I boarded the plane first and sat down. Soon afterward, I saw Lizz as she passed me on the way to her seat somewhere behind me.
In all my travels to see and hear her, we’d never crossed paths, logistically, like this, ever. And of the 10 cities and 4 countries I have been to see and hear her sing, I’ve only seen her after the show, to simply say hello, about four times.
Anyway, on this flight, I had a middle seat, flanked by two empty seats on both sides of me. A Chinese family approached and stood right by me. They were comparing seat numbers and talking amongst themselves.
I sensed they weren’t going to be able to sit together so I said, “You guys can sit here together. I’ll take your other seat. I don’t care where it is.” (Actually, I don’t like middle seats so I was glad to give it up. I just hoped his seat wasn’t also a middle seat.)
The Chinaman told me his seat number. As I walked back to it, I immediately realized it was an aisle seat right across from Lizz’s aisle seat. So I sat down there and I thought to myself, “This kind of thing only happens in the movies.” I couldn’t have planned that even if I wanted to. No one could.
So that’s the second time we were “put together” (the first time being when we met on the street accidentally in Madison). And I’m clueless to what it all means, if anything, at all. But I marveled once again, at how serendipity works in our lives.
But it doesn’t stop there.
I had planned to ride a train from Budapest to Vienna, the next morning after the Budapest show. I like riding trains, especially through beautiful mountains. As I entered the train station, I ran into Lizz and the band, once again, on the station platform.
At that point, I was beginning to think, “When is this going to stop!”
Then, when I arrived in Vienna, it turned out that Lizz and the band were checked in at the same hotel as I. There were many other hotels in the immediate area so I thought, “What were the chances of this happening too?”
I’m a platinum member of that particular hotel group. I like their hotels. Plus it was two blocks away from the Konzerthaus where Lizz would be singing. And right across the street from the hotel, there was a park that had a basketball court. For all those reasons, that’s why I chose it.
That was the last serendipitous event of the trip.
Next, I took a train to Zurich, which was my last stop, before heading back to Seattle.
Unfortunately, from here on, I’ll be unable to travel to see and hear Lizz sing, indefinitely.
Not by choice, but by circumstance.
Of course, I’ll be listening to her CD’s, watching her youtube videos, and following her on Facebook. But it’s not the same as seeing and hearing her live. I’m going to miss that a lot. She’ll always be #1. In my book, no one can ever top her. I’ll always anticipate something artistic and “seeworthy” from her. I’ll always want to buy her new music. I’ll always want to see and hear her sing whenever and wherever I can. She’s important to me. Her pure talent and the truth and authenticity in her music speak directly to my heart and have held my attention since day one, when I first heard her sing those first four notes (🎶….The moon and you….🎶), and I didn’t even have a clue who she was at that time.
I’m sure other singers affect other people that same way. Everyone has their favorite. But she is my favorite forever.
Seeing and hearing her sing was like the icing on my travel cake. I like traveling but it just makes it that much sweeter when I get to see and hear her sing too. I never tire of listening to her. For me, that’s the difference between her and other great singers in the world. I’m totally biased when it comes to her. She sets a high standard of living for herself and sets a good example for others to emulate. I admire her for both, what she does and who she is. I’m proud and happy to promote her whenever I can. She’s endlessly fascinating to me.
For now, as I recall the wonderful places I’ve been to, the events I attended, and the people I’ve met, during the last four years, since I started traveling to see and hear Lizz sing, I feel immense gratitude for how it all has enriched my life.
Today, I celebrate Lizz, with this slideshow of some of my favorite places and times, from the past four years. I think it’s only half the story but you’ll get the idea if you check it out. Btw, the song she is singing is “Dreaming Wide Awake”. Lizz wrote the song.
If a picture tells a thousand words……..you’re going to be up all night reading this!😀
After I finished the post, I revisited youtube to listen some more to Alison Krauss and the Union Station. I hadn’t listened to her music for awhile and wanted to see if there was anything on youtube by her that I hadn’t heard before. She has a very distinctive voice, just as Lizz does. So I like her style of singing very much too.
I was thinking how very different their styles are but they both appeal to my musical sensibility and taste.
So I listened to a few of Alison’s videos on youtube for a little while. The one that really got to me was “Blue Lonesome”. It has the iconic Bluegrass style of singing from yesteryear. When I tried to sing along with the song, I found it difficult to emulate, at first. I don’t naturally sing that way and I wondered if the person who wrote and sang it first, naturally sang that way or did it evolve into that. It’s in the style of “Man of Constant Sorrow”.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the slideshow and “Blue Lonesome”. (By the way, if you can’t find soul in “Blue Lonesome”, you got a really big hole in your soul!)