I really want to share with you all something that I wrote about three years ago. I don’t really know why I never published it, its something that had a bit of a profound effect on me even though seemingly insignificant. I don’t believe in destiny or fate but this is definitely Serendipity.
1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident
I just found out that my grandmother was friends with Huey “Piano” Smith and sung with his band in New Orleans. And that she was also friends with Guitar Slim. Then she starts telling me about this song that she helped Guitar Slim write and the story behind it, about a young girl he was seeing despite the fact he was a married man. So she gave me all the juicy details, but she couldn’t remember the name of the song. So in the meantime, while she was trying to remember the name of the song I went on YouTube to play her some of the Huey “Piano” Smith songs I like. Then she asked if I could play some Guitar Slim songs. So I found him and I picked The Things That I Used To Do, since Stevie Ray Vaughan covered it and it happens to be one of my favorites of his.
So we start listening to the song and about five seconds in she says, “This sounds like the song I helped him with.” By the time we got to the chorus my grandmother had a big smile on her face and was laughing saying, “Yeah that’s it.” And I’m sitting there with my mouth open and she starts singing along, “♪The Things That I Used To Do♪“.
How can it be? Ok, now I need to take you back to 1988, 2 year old me on my grandmothers coffee table wooden spoon microphone in hand belting out ACM song of the year 80’s Ladies by K.T. Oslin. When any one asked what I was going to be when I grew up, my only answer was “Country Western Singer”. Fast-forward to spring of 1996, I’d just turned 10, just got my first guitar and swore my dreams of honky-tonk stardom were right on track. The Boy Band craze was just getting its start and I was definitely interested but not enough to distract me from my preoccupation with the likes of Randy Travis, KT Oslin and Bonnie Raitt who was crossing over and introducing me to the world of Blues.
Being the preteen girl I was my craving for bluesy guitar riffs and a soulful sound were still not trumped by my adolescent need for a crush-worthy smile that only a Boy Band could satisfy, or so you’d think. The need for this dreamy combination lead to my discovery of Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Who had started playing guitar at 7, after meeting and being mesmerized by Stevie Ray Vaughan, in June 1984. And then at 17 he was much closer to my age but with blues riffs to match the best of them. I was in love. Little did I know that miles away in Connecticut another 17 year year old boy was working at a gas station just to save enough money to buy a 1996 Stevie Ray Vaughan signature Stratocaster. This was boy John Mayer. Who would grow into the amazing musician that has by far become my favorite to date.
Then on September 9, 2006 He would release his third studio album Continuum and on the last page of the sleeve he would write the most inspiring words I would ever read, but not until years later even though I bought the record that very day. What a butterfly effect this has all had on me without the slightest inkling of awareness.
My name is Monica Daniels, I am a singer and songwriter.