Well, not tonight. I felt like Hank Williams on Saturday night. That’s when I went to hear my friends, Bill Stanek, Mitch Childress, Timothy Stanek and Melanie Stanek play and sing at Mo’s Edge Coffee House near the University of Memphis. It’s not that they played Hank’s music. They didn’t, actually. They played a few original tunes (written by Bill) … and Melanie sang a show tune, “Summertime,” (look out, Broadway!) and near the end of their set, Bill played and sang, “I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight.” (You can listen to Jerry Jeff Walker sing it here.)
That was your trailer (the first paragraph). Now, let’s back up and break it down. First there was the preparation. Mo’s serves sandwiches and snacks and espresso drinks… but if you wanna’ drink, (as Hank would say)it’s BYOB. So… my friend, Sue, and I decided to each bring a bottle of wine to share. Red wine. So, I was choosing between Red Truck and Red Guitar… and decided on the Red Truck. Sue ended up bringing Red Guitar. It’s from Spain and I thought I was going to like it better, but the Red Truck won the night. Well, until the music began. Let me set that up for you.
Bill Stanek is a mild-mannered computer Geek by day. And a wonderful chanter in our church. But he also writes and sings his own tunes from time to time. His friend and ours, Mitch Childress
(also a fellow parishioner at St. John) joined him for a few numbers on guitar and vocals Saturday night.
Bill’s son, Timothy, is a music major at the University of Tennessee. But he’s also been a member of Copper Possum for several years. You can read about them and listen to some of their music here. Tim does vocals and keyboard.
Youngest daughter, Melanie, is into theatre… here she is, belting out “Summertime” with a strong, soulful voice that will take her far.
A good time was had by all, as you can see in these pictures.
Now, back to “I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight,” the song by Jerry Jeff Walker that Bill introduced me to. I laughed out loud at some of the lyrics, like these:
I like classical when it rains and country when I’m in pain… and jazz when I’m confused and country whenever I lose… and rock and roll when I’m high and country when I’m losing control…. It just hit the spot.
The next day a friend sent me an excerpt from a paper about the effects of classical music on learning, memory and concentration. Evidently a high school kid did an experiment with mice and music, to find out if listening to certain kinds of music would affect the mice’s learning potential. Each group of mice listened to 10 hours of different kinds of music, and then were tested to see how quickly they could run a maze. The results are hilarious:
The mice that listened to NO music cut their time to run the maze by 5 minutes.
The mice that listened to CLASSICAL music cut their time by 8.5 minutes.
The mice that listened to HARD ROCK music added 20 minutes to their time.
The mice that listened to COUNTRY music sat in the corner weeping over their broken hearts.* (my friend just told me she added this line because she knew I loved country music....)
And then the kicker: “It is also interesting to note that he had to run his experiment twice as the first group of mice listening to hard rock music ate each other.”
Okay. If *my friend made this up I’m looking like an idiot about now. But it wouldn’t be the first time. In a future post I’ll tell you about the time I drove to Gluckstadt, Mississippi, looking for the Hiney Wine Store…. or maybe not.