Thursday, November 11, 2010

Classic Waxx - The Training Ground

          Never have I bragged on myself for my guitar playing abilities. Sure, I can keep time pretty well, but that’s about all I have going for me. I know what 0is supposed to sound good, but I just can’t make my fingers do what my brain requires. I’ve never really even exaggerated my abilities, which is a surprise because there was a time in my life I’d say just about anything to get a pretty girl. (I stopped because I got the prettiest girl without having to exaggerate.) I’ve never felt skilled or talented on a guitar. I was worse in 2005. Much worse.
          I remember being told I was going to step up to play rhythm guitar around Christmas of 2005 and I was super excited, but then terror hit me. These are by far the best musicians I’ve ever been around and they’ve been playing these songs for years. (Dad and Billy had actually played some of these songs back in the sixties, so I guess the word ‘decades’ applies here.) There was no way I could keep up. Truthfully, the first few gigs we played in 2006, I didn’t keep up. I stumbled and fumbled a lot. I started songs in the wrong key. I hit wrong chords when there was supposed to be silence. I was pretty awful. To their credit, no one in the band said anything negative. I’ve always been way harder on myself than anyone else is, so I really appreciated the learning curve they allowed me.
          Today, I’m still playing with the band, and my guitar playing, while still nothing to brag about has gotten exponentially better. I don’t feel like I hold these guys back anymore and that’s a truly freeing feeling. (And it only took 4 years!) Playing with these guys has been a huge blessing in my life. It’s given me a chance to spend some real quality time with my father and I’ve been able to get a better grasp on who he is as a person. I had the privilege to play with some of the best musicians in Western Kentucky.
Billy, Mike, Damon, and Dad have all taught me a lot about not only rock n roll, but also about being a man. When I started running sound for the band, I was very single and I was in and out of a bunch of different wasteful relationships. Since then, I have grown to realize what I can truly be as a person, I was married in August of 2006, we had our first son in November of 2007 and our second son in March of 2010. My band has been there the whole time.
These guys are very important to me and in my goofy way; I view them all as a sort of surrogate family. Or a man-in-training development program.
It has been a real honor to me to find myself on the stage with these men. Mike Watford’s precision on the keys and sax has shown me that practice really can make perfect. Damon Martin’s rock solid drums behind me have spoiled me for life. The walking bass lines from Billy Jaques have shown me what it’s like to have “soul”. And on the lead guitar my dad, Michael Ragsdale, has shown me what it’s like to have passion that may get put on the back burner for years, but will always come back.
Even though it may sound like I’m bragging now, I’m not. Classic Waxx is, and will always be, my favorite band.

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