It’s the time of year to look back and ponder life’s bounty, and members of the area arts community are certainly grateful this Thanksgiving. Here are some thoughts collected by e-mail from local performers.
Guitarist Bryan Nutter is particularly reflective this year: “Gratitude is such an empowering thing to have and to be able to give,” he says. “A lot of people go through life without knowing how appreciated they are. I am very grateful to be able to work with this particular group of musicians, The Lazy Boy Rockers, and very thankful for the people around the band who appreciate what it is we do. This has all been reinforced with the recent sudden death of one of our members. Dealing with the shock and grief has been made a lot easier for us in the band with all the tremendous support from those around us. Being in a successful working band is about cooperation and compromise and we all know that we’re very fortunate to be able to do what we do. It wouldn’t work without us all being appreciative of each other. We know that there are a lot of musicians out there (good ones) who wish they could be doing what we do.”
Reid Trevaskis plays guitar with Manchuka, Lisa Marie and the All Shook Up as well as his own band, the Funky Knights, a group that began in the late ’70s and recently released an album of new material. Says Trevaskis, “I’m thankful that my parents were able to live long enough to see that I had become a successful musician, and eternally grateful to them for affording me the privilege to follow my dream long enough to achieve success.”
Andy Laliotis of Blue Light Rain and the recently reunited Lamont Smooth, says, “I’m thankful for supportive family and friends that have stuck with me in good times and bad, and have always been there to catch a show no matter what band I’m playing with and cheer me on even when the night’s not going so good. I am thankful for all the people that have been there to guide my musical journey through life and have helped me when I most needed it. Most of all I’m thankful for my mother, who left this world too soon but fought for her life every step of the way and showed me how to be the best person I could be.”
Comedienne Alana Foden Susko hosts Comedy on Purpose every second and final Thursday of the month at Fody’s Tavern. Says Susko, “I am thankful that I laugh every day. I am grateful to have many incredibly talented comics as friends always trying to one-up the laughter factor. Laughing is my second favorite thing to do.”
Jim Roach is an area promoter gearing up for the annual WZID Make A Wish benefit live broadcast on Dec. 15 at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. He says, “I’m grateful to have a job I love and a family — my wife and daughter — who support what I do. I’m certainly blessed with all the talented people I get to work with.”
Singer/guitarist Terry Ray Gould says, “I know I am fortunate to have shared music and friendship, often intertwined and indistinguishable from each other, with so many wonderful people in my life. Music bridges across personal differences and troubles, to help share a smile and good moment in any language, at any time, and in any place. Music really is the sound of life.”
Jeff Richards and Eden’s Lie recently released their seventh disk of original music. Richards says, “We are thankful for friends, family, a great local music scene with so many awesome bands, the opportunities to get our music heard and all the wonderful people who listen support us and give us the chance to Rock!”
Mark and Debbie Bond began as members of Last Kid Picked, and for the past several years have performed as a duo in area clubs. “I am sincerely grateful for all the blessings in my life,” says Debbie Bond. “A great family, wonderful friends, health and happiness, but when I think about being grateful as a musician, my number-one joy is simple. I get to enjoy my passion with the person who shares my life. My husband and I have been performing together for many years, and I still feel blessed to know that we share this special bond. I don’t need to drive off alone to hook up with other musicians to do a show, then come home, fresh with the energy of a great show, only to realize that I can never explain that feeling. He knows, because we share it. I am deeply grateful for that.”
Jonathan Sarty leads his band, the White Mountain Boys, and says, “I’m thankful for the chance to dream. I don’t know why I was born into this life with so much opportunity. It is painful to think of how many people in this world would die to have the rights and privileges I have. I am most thankful for the chance to show all those less fortunate people in this world that I care for them. I am thankful that I have the chance to do something for others, especially those who are so oppressed that they have no choice but to think of only themselves, and have never experienced the joy of being able to do for others.
Spectris guitarist Christopher Bergmann says, “I’m thankful for my wife [and] for small favors. We found out a few weeks ago that my wife’s cousin is the producer for DreamWorks’ upcoming Fright Night remake starring Colin Farrell and David Tennant, and two of our songs, including one we wrote especially for this, will very likely be used — a new song, “Nothing To Fear But Me” (available for download on the Spectris Facebook page), and “Anxt,” our big instrumental. So fingers crossed!”
Singer, songwriter and guitarist Carey Lee Rush says, “I’m thankful for a still blossoming local music scene. There’s something for everybody and every taste, every level and every instrument, and that has never really been the case in this area. There is so much real talent here, and some of the teaming is magical.”