For me, music abundantly fills my life with a repertoire of endless possibilities.
There’s always a new artist, song or album to study, digest and experience. Each musical encounter slowly satisfies my hunger until the next one comes along. I live for musical abundance, and there’s still more for me to see, hear and do.
Each week, my life is a flurry of concerts, albums, family, friends and professional commitments. The energy I draw from concerts and albums replenishes me in a way I never thought possible. I recharge the most when I can combine music and people together. It’s truly what makes me tick.
One of my greatest joys is to discover new musical talent that leaves a sonic imprint in my mind. I constantly monitor satellite radio and social media for new artists, songs and albums. I keep mental and physical lists of artists and albums handy when I visit record stores and merch tables at concerts.
As a music aficionado, it’s not uncommon for me to randomly hear my favorite parts of different songs in my head throughout the day. Tony Banks’ iconic piano solo in the beginning and middle of Genesis’ “Firth of Fifth” is on repeat. Mick Fleetwood’s gentle drumming in Fleetwood Mac’s “Sara” is another. I hope these beautiful instrumentations never vanish from my mind.
My abundant love of music also allows me to draw musical connections between different artists. I often say to my husband that’s a Geddy Lee bass line or Steve Hackett guitar tap. It’s gratifying to form those connections and see how artists truly influence other musicians.
I just wish they all knew how much they influenced me.
Genesis, “Firth of Fifth”
Fleetwood Mac, “Sara”
I write because it’s the real me.
For me, writing is a road I’ve traveled for more than 25 years. I took my first step along the writing road at age 11. I started writing short stories in fifth grade and acted them out in my front yard. I took turns playing all the characters and could see them grow right in front of me.
While I enjoyed the creativity associated with fiction writing, my true love of writing began four years later at another point in my journey. In ninth grade, I joined the high school paper and discovered my writing path led me to journalism.
At age 14, I wrote an article each week for the high school paper and learned my love of asking questions fit perfectly with my penchant for writing. My family and friends used to say that I interviewed every new person I met.
I’ve never had a fear of asking questions, and I still don’t today. Someone needs to find the answers to life’s questions along the writing road, so it might as well be me.
Today, I write professionally as a corporate journalist, but write personally as a music blogger. My favorite writers are musicians, lyricists and poets who open their songs up for interpretation and share different parts of their journeys.
They leave it up to fans and casual listeners to find personal meaning in their art. As music aficionado, I relish taking their art and adapting it to fit my life.
Their words, songs and music indirectly tell the story of my life and where I’m headed as a music writer. I’m excited to share those musical interpretations with you along the way, and I hope our paths cross soon.
One of my favorite things to do before a concert is research an artist’s setlist. I’m fascinated with seeing which songs they’ll sing – hits, deep album cuts, new tracks, covers or entire albums.
I like to think there’s a reason or story behind why those songs were selected and what they mean to the artist. Do those songs take the artist to another place and time? Do they bring a sense of renewal? Do they erupt in a chorus of cheers and screams from dedicated fans?
For me, music evokes powerful feelings and experiences. I know I’m not the only one in a crowd who feels a special connection to a lyric, song or album. That connection is what inspires me to enjoy life, people and places.
I’ve shared that inspiration with family and friends for years, but I want to share it with music fans, concert goers, vinyl collectors and artists. There’s something special about finding personal meaning in someone else’s art. It just happens to be music for me.
There are certain songs, concerts and albums that exist in my life, or setlist, as I like to call it. Each fan has a group of songs, albums and experiences that defines who she is and where she’s headed. That’s why I’m inviting you to enjoy my setlist and add your musical favorites to it.
Welcome to my setlist, the Stratton Setlist. I can’t wait to hear what’s in yours.