Our Living Legacy

As many of you know, Connections started with Dan Fogelberg. At the “core” of what drove us to ever get our crazy band together ten years ago was a chance to play Dan’s music, and to do in a BIG way…with a big band that could recreate some of the lush instrumentation that you’re used to when you hear his records. Many of you also know that he’s my all-time favorite songwriter.

We had a BIG show in Allen again last night….Connections…the Allen Symphony Chorus…an orchestra of about 20…approaching 70 musicians onstage. (I’m not sure we actually counted!)

We covered many great artists, and had some incredible support from James Taylor…yes, THE James Taylor….)

But the show also  gave us the chance to pull out a show-stopper from our last big show: Fogelberg’s great opus “Ghosts” from the “Innocent Age” record.

The Innocent Age came out my senior year in high school. So long ago, that I had it on LP. That year, while several of Dan’s songs were charting on the radio, I was attracted to the whole thing…to the “song cycle” that was that amazing double album. Really, one of the last great concept albums, and certainly the last great double album for a generation.

I’d put on “side four” in my room, as I fell asleep at night. I’d crank it as loud as I could get away with, and in the dark, I’d fall to sleep to the sounds of this mysterious and ethereal anthem. What an incredible end to that record. And what a song filled with mystery and spirit. An anthem to the past, present, and future. A song about the mystery of spirit, all around us, if only we will be quiet enough to listen.

“Sometimes in the night I feel it…”

And I’d sit there in the dark of my room, learning now to feel it.

This is a BIG song….it’s deserves to be played big, like this.  I think we did the song proud…

It gave me chills to hear it last night…especially how the Chorus nails the ending…and I can’t believe how great this recording sounds here. (Thanks to Alison for capturing it…)

If we get a nice full recording of “The Reach,” I’ll add it to this post….and I’ll likely post additional video from the show, as it become available.

When Glenn Frey died, I took the liberty of paraphrasing an old spiritual adage that gets passed around from time to time…

“a person dies three times: the first time when your heart stops; the second time when you’re buried or cremated; and, for songwriters, the last time your songs are played, sung, and heard.”

That’s true for Dan too.

It’s such a unique honor to be a part of Dan’s “living legacy,” the fans, musicians, and friends who honor his memory and keep his music alive. And…to be able to do so in such a bold and big setting…

How freakin’ lucky am I?!!

Could I have ever dream, listening in the dark of my room as that high school kid, that I’d ever sing that song with such a ridiculously talented cast of musicians?

Last night, then, as I was singing, I was thinking that “Ghost” of my own past….but I was also thinking of all our DanFan friends/family from around the country…many of whom were with us the last time we did a big show like this. I was most definitely thinking of Dan, and of Jean and her generous support to all of us who try to honor Dan.

I was thinking especially of our buddy, Sheldon Felich, whose own killer band is also one of the great “living legacies” to Dan. (Sheldon and Dan’s actual orchestral arranger, Glen Spreen, shared with us these arrangements you hear on this recording…)

But most of all, as I said from the stage, just after this video cuts off….

“That was for you, Dan.”

EF

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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