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Sunday, April 21, 2013

The power of music to unite people

By Ted Slowik

What a week. From the terrible bombing at the Boston Marathon and the dramatic manhunt that followed, to the disaster in Texas and devastating flooding here in the Chicago area, this has been one heck of a ride.

Don't know why it is, but this third week of April is the anniversary of a bunch of craziness, from Waco to Columbine to Virginia Tech to Oklahoma City, to Hitler's birthday to 4/20. Glad to put this week behind us and reflect on musical happenings.

In times of tragedy, music has the power to bring people together. Friday night I performed at Chicago Street Pub in Joliet at a benefit for Guardian Angel Community Services, an agency here in Joliet that helps people affected by sexual violence. Thanks Chris Flood of Flood Management Group for inviting me to be part of a show that was headlined by Alex Hoffer and featured appearances by Pat Otto and Eric Lambert, a very well-known and busy flatpicker.

Friday's show was extra special because it was an early all-ages show and my kids Hannah and Noah were there, as well as my brother Mike and his wife Diane. Noah shot a little video of the proceedings and posted it to Vine. I played some covers but stuck mostly with originals and got good audience reaction to songs like Murika and the Slowiks family song.

Tim Placher stopped by, and we talked about a show we're going to do together May 11 at 30 Buck, a bar the Thayer family owns in Joliet. We usually do these shows together where he plays an hour solo on the piano, then I do an hour solo on guitar, and trade off for four or five hours. We'll still do that but for May 11 the guys from Bluesonic want to get involved and play a set, so that should be interesting! Haven't fit a full band into that tiny space before so this should be fun!