Wednesday, March 09, 2005
It is yet another sad day in country music. The death of Chris LeDoux is a tough one for me, personally. Sure, LeDoux may have not been the most know country music artist, but to me in high school he meant so very much. Chris LeDoux deserves so much more credit in the mainstream country music community than he seems to get. His live shows were amazing, his talent of songwriting is at the heart of country music in sharing lyrics of true life, and his vocals were distinctive, fun, and could share a story perfectly. He has recorded with Garth Brooks, Bon Jovi, and Charlie Daniels. He influenced Garth Brooks...now, that says something.
LeDoux's music taught me something about country music and their fans.
A very good friend of mine in high school, that I have lost contact with, was in love with his music. If you wanted to see a smile come to her face or really get her singing and having a good time, pop in anything from Chris LeDoux. It would do the trick every time. She introduced me to his music, and I too became a lover of his music. Unfortunately, being on the east coast, LeDoux didn't make his way to the side of the country often. LeDoux reminded me somewhat of George Strait in some ways. LeDoux loved performing his music and writing, however, he liked being close to home and spending time on the rodeo circuit and his ranch. However, a little stroke of luck came my way and LeDoux came to a fairly large club in Greenville, North Carolina; 6 1/2 hour road trip from here in Richmond, Virginia. My friends and I planned a trip down to see him as a bit of a surprise for my good friend. We kept it a secret as much as we could due to being close to her birthday.
That night, I learned something I never really experienced in my life until then. I saw a face light up and an outpouring of intense energy be expressed by her when he took the stage. The connection she felt, standing a few rows of people back from him was something I will never forget.
What I learned from this experience has to do a lot with my dedication to music, especially country music. The intensity of feeling music brings us is extreme. The connection between the artist and the fan is also powerful. From that point in my life on, I understood music like never before. Before then, I was a huge country music fan, however with this little lesson in life it changed me. Music became even more of an important part of my life and has grown even more so through the years.
I can thank Chris LeDoux for this lesson in life. It is most definitely a sad day in country music. One of the great talents is gone. Today, he may be gone, but tomorrow and everyday of my life he continues to be a part of mine through this story I have shared.
Thank you to my friend, wherever she may be, and thank you Chris for your music.
For more about Chris LeDoux:
Country Music Alive: