When I was a senior in college, I had two very good friends that I knew from my Improv Group, who lived in an apartment across the street.
These were the kind of guys that, when you visited them, you felt like you were going into someone’s home, not a beer-stained-pizza-box-filled college apartment. This was partly due to the fact that one of them was Californian passionate about cooking the perfect wholesome meal and the other one was slightly OCD and kept the place meticulous, and it was partly due to the fact that they hilariously embodied the stereotypical roles of husband and wife — one chiding the other for not picking up after themselves, the other puttering around worrying if his roommate was out too late, both keeping each other up on current events, and supporting with laughter and constructive criticism every joke or sketch comedy idea that was passed around.
Did I mention that they were my friends from Improv? In other words, they were the perfect friends to pop by for a visit when I was too sick to go out with my girlfriends.
One evening I did just that. And it turned into one of the most memorable of my college experience ... and that is saying something. Because college (high school kids — if you are having trouble deciding your future — this is just so you know) is insanely fun.
I stuck my head into the door just as an undercooked roast chicken with garlic cloves and scorched and smoking rosemary stocks sticking straight up from it, came out of the oven. I said he was passionate about cooking, not good at it, right?
They were in the middle of a working out a new comedy routine. I let myself in and sprawled out on the couch. One of them said, “Sick, huh? Let me play you the best song to listen to when you are sick.” I don’t remember what song it was, but the three of us just sat there quietly listening until it was over. Then someone said, “I know another great song ...” and we played that song too, once again, quietly listening, enjoying every breath, every beat, every bounce and rhythm change, every choice of every word.
When it was over, we sighed a happy, contented sigh — letting the feeling that the song awoke in our bodies drift around for a moment. And then we did it again, and again and again. We spent four hours sitting on the couch, staring up at the ceiling, listening. Listening to the words and feeling the way that the lyrics made us feel, letting the musical bliss take us on one journey after another. “Music Listening Night,” is what we called it.
The summer I was 19, I met Andrew Dahl-Bredine. He was a friend of my brother’s from college who came to stay with us. Within minutes of meeting him, it occurred to me that Andrew was someone who I admired — not for something he had accomplished in his life, or for any particular talents he had. I simply admired him for the person that he was, for the way he chose to walk through life.
Andrew has a certain way of looking at people right in the eye and after being looked at in the eye like that enough times, it starts to stir life around in you. But that summer I felt like I woke up to life, beautiful exquisite life. I started staring longer at sunsets and the stars, I started rejoicing in the way that the wind feels on your cheek and in the smell of the ocean at night. I knew at that early age that Andrew was one of the most incredible people I would ever get to know in my life.
And this was before I knew what he could do with music.
This was before he knew what he could do with music.
Ten years later, my husband Tim and I asked him to bring his band to my parents’ ranch in Washington and play for our wedding. Today, I am excited and proud to be able to bring Andrew to Pagosa Springs to share his gift of music and his gift for life.
On Friday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts is hosting “An Evening with Andrew,” which features award-winning singer-songwriter Andrew Dahl-Bredine from Silver City, N.M.
We invite you to come join us, to lean back in the comfy chairs of the Black Box Theatre and stare at the ceiling or into those soulful laughing eyes, and listen. Let the lyrics and the rhythms and the sound of the voice carry you away.
Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door and can be purchased at www.pagosacenter.org or by calling 731-7469.