After being back from the tour with Ben Harper now for a few weeks I’ve realized that it has taken me this long to describe what it was like for me to be on the road with him. It’s not because there isn’t much to say, but because it is hard to know where to begin. I guess the first day of the tour might be as good a place as any. I arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the 25th of September. I was very fortunate to have friends there who generously opened their home to me for the night. The next day I sent Ben a text asking, “Wanna play a concert tonight or something?” to which he replied, “Why not?”. We met up at the Michigan Theatre where I stood backstage as he went through and sound checked his instruments and sang a few songs. I couldn’t help but remember how exciting it was to see him perform for the first time years ago. As he was playing songs that I remember learning when I first began to play the guitar- it seemed all the more surreal.It all became very real once I had my guitar in hand and sat down center stage, in the middle of that beautiful concert hall to do what I had come to do. Each night I learned something new as I watched Ben perform from backstage. I was as captivated as the audience in front and I tried to adjust and perfect my own set. His performances were spectacular- averaging around three hours a show and doing it all for the crowd and for the love of music. What more could I ask for? I was simply learning from one of the best.
After my five openers were finished I rode the bus with Ben down to Philadelphia to pick up my guitars and enjoy one more of his performances before heading home.
As I was visiting with Ben before the show I told him that I was looking forward to singing with him again. He asked me if I wanted to run through the song “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison. After we played it, he just looked at me and said, “We will probably play it”. So, to my surprise I found myself on stage for a sixth night playing along side Ben Harper. As he invited me on stage he asked me “How ya doin?”, I responded, “I’m doing fine” but I was thinking that I simply could not be better!
The tour ended for me with the high hopes of more tours to come and the prospect of recording my third album on the west coast as soon as possible. The most encouraging thought is that this is only the beginning and that there is more to come if I continue to walk forward in faith and gratefulness to the God who has continued to bless this wonderful adventure.