NASHVILLE NIGHTS | MEET MY SON EMERSON HART

When we have children we hope for the best for them, but truly, even with a crystal ball, we don’t know what lies ahead for them.

Once they leave the nest, they are on their own to chart their own path. We, as parents, just hope their journey is smooth without too many downdrafts and that their flight will lead them to a fulfilling life.

In this blog I am sharing with you a recent conversation I had with my singer/ songwriter son, Emerson Hart, lead singer of the 2x nominated and Platinum awarded alternative rock band, Tonic.

His first album, LEMON PARADE, had 5 top ten BILLBOARD HITS, one of which stayed on the top of the charts and became the most played song on rock radio that year, “If You Could Only See The Way She Loves Me.”

We talk about his beginnings and what it is like to be a a songwriter/singer and musician. I can’t use his music in my videos because of publishing and record company rights shared with him. I have posted below the video he speak’s about and that he filmed in London when Princess Diana died.

Join my conversation with a singer and songwriter on his creative process, his solo career vs Tonic and what is in store for 2019.

Copyright Sandra Hart ©️2018

All Rights Reserved

Can I do It Again?

I have been doing videos on my Youtube channel lately talking about bucket lists and not putting off one’s dreams. All of this has me thinking about my own list. How can I motivate others and neglect my own unfilled desires?

The last time I sang in public was at my oldest daughter’s wedding in the 80’s. It was in a large vaulted church and I sang Schubert’s Ave Maria in Latin. When I look back now to what seems a long lifetime ago and why have I chosen to lock away my voice after that performance I don’t know. Life just happened, I guess.

Taking into consideration it is said if you don’t use it, you loose it. If singing in the shower once in awhile doesn’t count, well, I haven’t used my musical voice in years. The other morning a fear shot through me. Just out of the blue. I started wondering if I have lost it. If it’s too late to get back the gift given to me that once was so much of what made me happy.

As a young girl I sang in church and in a girl’s choir. I soloed at my music teachers wedding and I dreamed of singing opera one day in Europe. I met my late husband through music. My son is a musician. My daughters love music. Music has always been such an integral part of my and my family’s lives. How can I let it die within me?

I started vocalizing a week ago. My voice is there within the rusty pipes. I hear it. It’s still there. I know it won’t be ready for awhile, but I am going to get it back – every scale run by scale run.

My bucket list? Recording a song or two. For me. Just for me. Never say never.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018©️. All Rights Reserved

Music Memories

Did you ever think that maybe the music that we have been exposed to by our parents as children has a great deal of importance in our formative recipe as to who we are today?

I recently did a YouTube video about my musical memories and how important they are to me. I was reminded by one of my fellow YouTube creators about music that her mother and father liked.

That conversation brought me back to a time that I had almost forgotten. My mother loved the music of Hoagy Carmichael. I can remember her playing his song, Stardust, over and over again. Every time it came up on our old wooden radio she would stop what she was doing and stand there living her personal Stardust dream. I was too young to understand it all, but now I wish in adulthood I would have asked her sometime during her ninety-two years just what that dream was. Mother’s music when I was a child resonated with me and I felt so it deeply in my heart because I loved her.

When I was about 12 years old for Christmas I found a music box that played Stardust. Every penny that I saved for Christmas that year went to buy that special jewelry box for her.

Throughout her life mother kept all of her precious jewelry in that box and I always knew when she was taking something out when the tinkling sound could be heard throughout the house.

When mother died and we were packing and sorting her possessions I kept two things; her purse that was filled with personal items and that music box.

Eventually, sometime when I was in my decoupage period I decided to decoupage the faded outside of the music box. Looking at it now, I’m not too sure it was the right decision, but it still plays.

Today I took mother’s music box out from my shelf in my closet. I gently gave the stem a few winds, just to listen to a few notes and it slowly plucked out the familiar tune. Next, I’m going to place my jewelry inside it’s empty faded velvet partitions. Then I will wind it fully and put it where I can look at it every day so that I can be reminded of my mother and the music that has shaped my life. I will remember through her music box the beginning if my own childhood dreams choreographed by Hoagy Carmichael.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2017. All Rights Reserved.

True Life Sweet Spots 

I  recently had to go in the hospital for a cryoablation for heart palpitations I’ve had since my twenties. I had a procedure done twenty years ago to ablate the pathways that were causing my heart to fire those extra impulses. Well, through the years they grew back and I have had to have another procedure to ablate them again. 

It just so happens that my cardiology surgeon is a big Tonic fan. Although we have had many phone conversations about the new cryoablation procedure, I hadn’t seen Dr. Todd Florin since my radiofrequency ablation in January, but he remembered all about Tonic when we met again pre-op. 

This time Dr. Florin spent at least a half hour with me just going over my procedure and generally chatting about life before l went into surgery. When I was finally prepped and wheeled into the operating room, he came over and said he wanted me to meet someone. He gestured to a handsome young doctor that was a part of his team to come closer. 

“Would you believe, this young surgeon is also a fan of Tonic. He must have been 12 when that first album came out! “ he said kind of amazed.
Well, it turned out this doctor not only was a singer/musician himself, but knew all of Tonic’s music. The last thing I remember as I was going under is being serenaded by him with his wonderful rendition of “If You Could Only See The Way She Loves Me.” True Story.  
Copyright Sandra Hart 2017©

Music Is My Memory Trail

(Author’s note: If your soul is rooted in music as deeply as mine, grab your earphones and reading glasses, if needed, and let me transport you with me to places in my past.)

“ I believe in teleportation and time travel,” he said taking a sip of his Old Fashioned. It was Friday and we were at a speakeasy watching bluegrass. I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly. 

“ Not in the sensational way, mind you. But in the way a waft of a certain perfume can take you back to childhood, or a song can being back a flurry of feelings you felt long ago.  Isn’t it strange and wonderful how our senses can give us context of the present, but transport us to the past?” 

He whispered to the bartender who came back moments later with a mint julep identical to the one he introduced me to when we first met….orange twist and all.

“Here. Close your eyes and take a sip of this.
Tell me…..where does it take you?  

Aromas and music are the two triggers that can transport me back in time.  Big band music  takes me back to my early childhood and our Sunday family outings to The Lotus Restaurant in Washington, DC. 

Rock and roll and the music of the 50’s bring me back to my high school days when we wore pony tails and bobby socks and the worst thing the boys could do was smoke behind the building or drink beer in the coal pits. 

Georgetown and  great jazz  wisk me back to my college years where we would spend our nights listening to Mose Allison or Dave Brubeck.  I can still smell the mixture of cigarette smoke and scotch that filled the crowded clubs lining the narrow streets in Georgetown. 

My child rearing years and the small tube radio that I always had on in the kitchen comes to my mind every time I hear Billy Joel and his romantic take on life. I was always dreaming through my humdrum life while being transported to somewhere beyond that kitchen and piles of dirty laundry by Billy.  

Now that I’m older and have Alexa in my life, I can be transported to any era of my life by just asking.   Transporting has never been easier! 

Copyright Sandra Hart 2017 

Believe It Or Not… You Are Creative

Who me? Creative? Don’t think so.

I have news for you. Everyone of us has some type of creativity inside of us, whether it be singing, playing an instrument, cooking, gardening, or creating a beautiful vision through makeup everyday. 

Life is more satisfying when we use our creative souls with an outlet. Expressing yourself boosts your brain, gives you satisfaction, boosts energy, relieves stress and most of all, brings us joy. 

There are five types of creativity:

• Artisan

• A-Lister

• Activist

• Game Changer

• Sensitive Soul
Let me explain the types and how important using our creativity is to us.  

Copyright Sandra Hart© 2017. All Rights Reserved. 

It’s An Oscar Peterson Kind Of Day

The skies are dark and the tropical winds are blowing much stronger than usual, it’s that kind of day here on the beach. Anywhere else up north the winds and dark skies would be rather depressing, but here, for me, it’s an Oscar Peterson/Cole Porter kind of day. When I woke up to grey skies I welcomed the change in the sameness tropical living sometimes brings. 

After my early morning walk with Sophie, nothing better than starting my day with a cup of tea, biscotti, Oscar and sharing my thoughts out into the digital universe. 

For me, music has always been a barometer of our culture. Growing up in the forties and fifties, music was happy, soulful, lyrics clear and smooth, the beat consistent. Songs were about love, the good life and moving on. Listeners could tap their feet, shake their heads and groove to the beat in ‘slo-mo’ or shoulder shaking heat. Music felt good.

As a teen I would lie across my bed and dream to The Four Aces, Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter’s lyrics. The future and the world was out there for me, just waiting. Of that I was sure. It was a positive world I would be walking into. The music that surrounded me told me so.

My husband, having celebrated his ninth decade on this earth yesterday has taken me back into his reality of WWII evolving into peacetime prosperity and a more civil and dare I say simple, moral times.  

What has happened to us as a society? Up until the music of the nineties and from there what has happened to lyrics with decency and morality in some popular music tastes? I can still close my eyes and dream to some, but I feel I’m in a dying generation as far as music goes.  

As the music becomes corrupt and dies, so goes the culture, so goes the nation. I never thought life in 2016 would evolve into what it appears to be today. I don’t think I have to spell it out for you, you must see it, too. 

©Sandra Hart 2016. All Rights Reserved

Cole Porter: His numerous hit songs include “Night and Day”, “Begin the Beguine”, “I Get a Kick Out of You”, “Well, Did You Evah!”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” and “You’re the Top”. He also composed scores for films from the 1930s to the 1950s, including Born to Dance (1936), which featured the song “You’d Be So Easy to Love”; Rosalie (1937), which featured “In the Still of the Night”; High Society (1956), which included “True Love”; and Les Girls (1957).