There are lessons everywhere if you keep your eyes – and ears – open. Sometimes you go to a rock show expecting to just enjoy the music but you come away with a much deeper wisdom than you expected.
So it was when I went to see Bonds of Mara recently.
As you know if you listened to my episode with bass player Dave Benedict, the members of that band were drawn together from the ashes of other very successful Canadian bands. We’re talking big record sales. Bus tours. Arena shows. They were rock stars in the classic sense of the word, but in different ways and for a variety of reasons, those bands went away.
And what were the members left with?
You’ll hear about it all when you listen to the episode. Let’s just say that Dave and guitarist Sal Costa went through some stuff as members – and particularly as former members – of big rock bands. I’m fascinated by how people react when life changes as dramatically as it did for those guys. They both had to withdraw. To reinvent themselves. To find their fire again.
Bonds of Mara is the result of that process, and it’s exciting to see all of these guys doing what they were born to do again and appreciating it so much. Again, these guys are used to playing big crowds, but they are back at the beginning now, playing small clubs to relatively small audiences, but with the kind of ambition that served them so well the first time around. I’m so impressed and inspired by their willingness to do the work. Do the grind. Build from the ground up. I know a bit about how much work that takes. The humility really resonates with me.
You can learn more about Sal’s story via his TEDx Talk below.
So Bonds of Mara brings the spiritual and musical heaviness in this episode. I bring the awkwardness, courtesy of a confession I was reluctant to make about country music. I’ve been learning a bunch of songs for a country gig and … well, it’s affecting me in ways I didn’t quite expect. Sometimes you dig into a thing and it shakes your foundations.
Finally, I’m recommending that you watch the Woodstock documentary on Netflix. Fascinating footage of what was genuinely a cultural moment in history.
No new episode next week. Your humble host is doing some evaluating, but will be back soon.
Until then, here’s Bonds of Mara.
And Sal Costa’s TEDx Talk.