I’m not sure why I am writing so much on music topics lately, but somehow there are always interesting aspects to consider that I hadn’t thought of before.
How does the likeability of a musician affect your affection/disaffection of their music? Theoretically, it shouldn’t make much difference. Lyrics are powerful and musical chords and sequences are so mathematical that they almost leave the artist right out of it.
Yet, likeability of the artist is a big factor….with me anyway. A few years ago we went to an Al Stewart (Year of the Cat) concert in San Francisco (pictured above). I always liked Al’s historical/ballad-like music. Three of us went to the venue early as a really good restaurant was connected and we decided to have dinner there, then catch the concert. In the restaurant was a closed-off glass area with a large table in it. Not long after we arrived, a guest arrived with his wife and two other couples. As we were right beside it, I peered in and could hardly believe it….it was Al Stewart dining right next to us! Of course I peered over as much as possible to observe his habitat like he was a fish in a fishbowl. Strange, he seemed pretty normal……
When we entered the concert, we had the good fortune of being very close to the stage (part of the benefit of having our meal in the restaurant). Al comes on, and his whole concert was performed with a big smile on his face. What you see in this post image is typical of his full concert. He explained his music, had some fun with his guitar foil, Dave Nachmanoff, and created the sense that he was a really nice ordinary guy and his extraordinary talent spoke for itself. As a result, this year we attended another concert of his in Glasgow Scotland and it was equally enjoyable as he invited an original member of his 1970’s crew to join in the concert. I couldn’t help but like the guy and would attend another concert whenever convenient. All not bad for a guy with a rumoured history of depression! Good for you Al, you are inspirational!
This is the same for many others we have attended over the years: Jason Mraz, Gordon Lightfoot, Jack Johnson, Carlos Santana, Burton Cummings, Boz Scaggs and others. The likeability factor of the artist has a lot to do with an extra dimension of likeability of the music.