There are those who love to be by the water.
To them, it is calming. To them it is a source of their happiness and well being. I believe that some of us simply feel better when they are in, on or by the water.
Michigan is very fortunate to have water surround us on so many sides. It affords those of us that need it, the calming effect that their psych hungers for.
It could be the gentle rocking that reminds us of our treasured infancy; a happier, simpler, care-free time. It could be the boundless eternity of flowing water; the giver of all life itself, surrounding and embracing us.
I suppose that when it comes right down to it, none of that matters. Boaters simply enjoy being around water.
Carl and I have played many a performance over the years for boaters, boat clubs and sailing groups. We have entertained on boats, on the water, weather it be in the summer or in the bitter cold of the long. frozen winter.
However, these last few year, since we have become lucky enough to be at Bumper’s Landing, (nestled in the water-rich confines of Harrison Township Michigan), we have learned so much that we had never imagined about these amazing individuals.
They are happy. All the time. Happy.
I endlessly marvel at that. The trivial trappings of everyday life seems unable to stick on them or weigh them down, as they do the rest of us.
I really think that the water gives them some immunity to the minutia that assails most of us landlubbers.
We go through our hectic lives, Monday through Friday, only to reach the weekend, where we spend endless hours trying to catch up to that elusive concept called, “Relaxation”.
However, once we arrive there, we are too exhausted to even begin to know how to actually relax and revel in it.
For those who get their energy and collective center from the waves, each and every day seems to be calmed by the ebb and flow of the water, seemingly coursing through their veins.
We are truly envious of them, Carl and I, to be that blissful all the time. Where nothing or no one can push them over the edge, like us mere city folk or country bumpkins.
That is one of the reasons that we feel so lucky to be included in their group. Kind of like, honorary boat people.
When we arrive, we take it all in: the interactions, the sights the sounds the smells and even the vibe that permeates the waterfront. It is all so amazingly healthy that one could even make a case for each one of us to move by the water; permanently.
As we set up each week, we observe the people, the interactions and the goings-ons around us. Boats pulling up, people congregating and drinks being consumed. All while we ready our gear for the night of entertaining ahead.
Saturday, things are a bit slower and easier than other days of the week. We feel less rushed and able to enjoy the entire process of playing music for this venue.
We love Bumper’s. We are very happy and lucky to be included in their musical line-up. Everyone there works so hard at what they do, each and every time they arrive at their job. We see that, and appreciate it greatly, as it makes our job so much easier.
When the staff does such a wonderful job, the customers are happy.
Happy patrons translates to a wonderful night, for everyone.
We believe that playing music in an establishment like this is pretty simple and straightforward. Show up on time, ready to entertain, and just have a good time doing whatever it is that we do.
I guess, making people happy via our music.
Our first set started out a little bit more up-tempo that we usually begin with, since, no-one wants to feel like they are being blown out of the water with loud offensive music.
Not for our first set, anyway.
It has been our goal this summer of 2018 to introduce lots of new music into our sets. Maybe not, “new” music; but music that is new to us, and the people that we see regularly.
They deserve it, and above all, we do not want to become stale for our patrons. Every week, we want to try to bring several new pieces of music into our shows. It also has the effect of keeping Carl and I more focused and involved in the shows.
So far, we have introduced about ten new songs, that have all been received well by our audiences.
I’m sure that it goes unnoticed, but we work on our craft each and every week to improve it in all aspects of our performances.
We study and research new equipment to continually deliver better, more enduring sound. We upgrade and groom our equipment to withstand the rigors of our week-in-week-out gigging.
We coordinate our wardrobe. We learn new music, we practice the delivery of each song that we introduce into our performances.
We even work at keeping ourselves healthy and in good physical shape, so that we are always able to fulfill our musical schedule. We are very proud that we have never missed a performance in over forty-five years of playing music together.
So with all of these things that are part of our inherent work ethic, it is so nice to be lucky enough to perform for people that are so appreciative of us and what we do to bring our shows to life.
We have studied them, Carl and I. We have observed them now for this third summer. We still don’t understand them, much. Or even how lucky we are to be able to be entertaining them on Saturday nights. But we certainly do appreciate being right here by the water, with them.
And, one more thing . . .
Working with tan owner and his staff that treats us like family is truly the best experience we have ever had in nearly fifty years of playing music professionally.
When I say working with, I mean just that. While some people direct from afar, the true leaders jump right in, should-to-shoulder and pitch in on every level to accomplish their goals together.
This has been what we have always admired personally. So I am acknowledging the incredible boss and amazing staff of Bumper’s Landing.
Being by the water for so long now, hopefully will rub off on Carl and I. We will become more pleasant and easy-going.
Or, maybe we will just play happier songs.
Either way, if we are playing them by the water, they sure will sound relaxing!