Jump the Shoal of Life

bryson photoThe only way to describe it was that it was a “pivot point” of life that I will never forget. Last Thursday night, at Eddies Attic in Decatur Ga, my sweet son was the opening act …. Yes his first professional gig and he totally rocked!!!

I had come back from a business trip a number of weeks past and heard the Bryson announce that he was going to open for Sydney Rhame, a marvelous young singer songwriter who was the headliner on May 30th. Now Bryson has been really working on his guitar and I knew he was very talented (a proud father comment of course) but the opening act? Just him? A 30 minute set of his own original music? Really??? I was convulsed by questions and nervousness. Was he ready? Were his songs really good enough? You know the normal kind of nervous parent questions, which only seemed to lead to more questions rather than a lot of easy answers.

Well the important fact highlighted above was that Bryson announced his plan, he didn’t ask our views/thoughts /or permission. When he was asked by Sydney to be the opening act, he quickly and confidently said yes. No asking or pausing, just yes.

Well to say the least we all were a bit nervous as we (Bryson, Jennie his awesome Mom, Marie his very encouraging sister, and dear old nervous Dad) headed to the club last Thursday night. As Bryson went off to do the sound check, we settled in and started to greet the growing number of friends and family who came out to see the show. It was amazing; 30 kids from his school came to see him and the show was sold out with 150+/- folks crammed in to the little club.

Well before you knew it, Bryson was up on stage (see picture above) and started his set of original songs. I am not sure how to describe my feelings during his 30 minutes on stage that night. Beyond proud, beyond impressed, beyond affection… maybe in another language there is a single word for the feelings I felt. In English all I can say was that I was totally blown away with pride and love, swimming in tears, listening to that boy sing and play his guitar.

In one of his songs, titled “Yearning”, Bryson says to “Jump the shoal of life and take my hand,” quoting Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The lyrics were poignant and deeply thoughtful; musically the song was intriguing across various tempos. Right there at about 8:30 last Thursday night, I had stopped being just the proud doting dad, I had become a fan!

Well Bryson finished his set, we all went crazy, and Sydney came on stage and totally rocked for over an hour. As the closing song of the night, she had Bryson come back on stage and they performed a cover of the Lunineer’s “Stubborn Love.” The whole evening was fantastic and pretty unbelievable! To say the least I felt ashamed of all of my doubts and early questions, now clearly washed away by the talent and the applause! As I age and work to become a better and better Dad, I know I will have more of these pivot points with Marie and Bryson; moments when their talent and courage push me out of being the nervous