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The Power of Music
CELEBRATING WORLD MUSIC DAY
M usic has always been a big part of my life, and since June 21 is World Music Day, I figured there was no better month to share my love of music. I started playing guitar quite a bit when I was 17 years old, and I would jam with my friends whenever we had the chance. When I wasn’t living out my rock 'n’ roll dreams, I followed Widespread Panic — a band based right here in Athens, Georgia! — around the country for a bit. I probably saw them 20 times in concert, and I have a few friends who are still really into their music. If you’ve never heard them, then I’d describe Widespread Panic as the southern Grateful Dead. They’re worth checking out if you’ve never listened to them. Today, I’d describe my musical taste as whatever sounds interesting. Like many teens, I only wanted to listen to what was “cool” when I was growing up, but now, I like to listen to whatever sounds good. I usually like classic rock, but I also enjoy the sound of blues, bluegrass, and southern rock bands. I’ll listen to Myles Davis, Waylon Jennings, The Police, and ACDC all in one sitting. As long as it’s got a great rhythm, it has my attention. I usually let Spotify take over and create the playlists for me while I sit back and listen along.
I still play the guitar, too. In fact, I have a guitar
and some pedals in my office. While I don’t jam with my f riends like I used to, I still enjoy picking up the guitar and riffing on my own. I even have a loop pedal, which will record one rhythm and continue playing that rhythm while I play another riff over top of it. I become my own band, essentially. Playing and listening to music are some of the best ways I’ve found to relieve stress. They take your mind off the world and transport you to a whole different place for a little bit. I’m never going to be a master guitarist like some of the legends, but it’s still pretty cool to see how I can improve and learn new tricks on the guitar. As for the stage, I leave that to the pros. I was lucky enough to see The Rolling Stones down in Jacksonville, Florida, a while back. I just remember being so impressed with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who are in their mid-70s and still jump all over the stage. They even played for three hours! Music has the incredible power to change things. It can lighten the mood, make life enjoyable, and put your mind at ease. However you celebrate World Music Day, I hope you find time for a little peace with your favorite tunes.
-William F. “Trey” Underwood, III
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