Friday, June 4, 2010

Continuing to play "until further notice"

Sometime in the late 90s, Mark and I became part of a worship band – first known as Band-Aide – that facilitated our church's Wednesday evening worship experience. More than a decade and several versions of that original band later, five of us, who have been known as Until Further Notice for at least 10 years, continue to find our way back to the music that first brought us together:

• Roger Lyons, drums
• Jeff Gremmer, acoustic guitar
• Dave Melby, bass guitar and lead vocals
• Mark Newcom, vocals
• Joy Newcom, vocals

and when we are fortunate enough to get on his schedule so he can join us in a reunion concert: Greg Owen, the man who can make a guitar sing.

Last summer, we got back together after a four-year hiatus for a reunion concert as part of Forest City's Puckerbrush Days. We had so much fun that we agreed to do a concert again this year on July 17, and we even added a concert on June 26 for our local Relay for Life.

I think the music is a tonic. We feel younger when we play - almost invincible again - at least for a little bit. And how we interact with each other is a good medicine too. We can talk about anything that comes to mind and have fun with it, even if it's serious business. In the time we've been Until Further Notice, we've survived a couple divorces, a bankruptcy, surgeries (for ourselves and our children), serious illnesses, career shifts, career ends and beginnings, child craziness and much, much more.

Last night, after our gear was stored and our minds began to shift out of musical mode, we sat on the floor talking about baseball (perfect games, bad calls, catching equipment, wild pitches, crazy teammates, and groin injuries), and we laughed and lingered as long as we could.

Our sound isn't fully back yet. But it's very close. Maybe we will even work up some new tunes this summer. Who knows? I'm just glad we've kept our covenant to one another to keep getting back together as opportunity allows - even if it's for a few concerts every summer. And I'm grateful we all still feel like we want to keep making music together - until further notice.

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