The play is the thing, or in my case this summer – to play …the guitar. Early last month Tom Thayer asked me if would be interested in playing a little guitar for the Roxy’s production of “Almost Heaven,” I agreed and have since been enveloped by the artistic embrace of the little theatre that could.
I moved to Clarksville early last fall and was soon introduced to the Roxy’s production of “Shout!” After living in Nashville for twenty years I had adopted the Nashville View of Tennessee; that nothing really exists beyond the view of the batman building. The work done at the Roxy has shown me how myopic my Nashville eyes had been. I was raised in an Iowa town about the same size as Clarksville and I cannot begin to imagine it ever having a theatre of such life and energy – this is a very lucky little city!
I am an accidental guitar player; picking it up in college when I realized that my trombone playing wasn’t really getting me anywhere with the girls, these days most of my playing takes place at the various song-writer nights around Nashville. Any chance I get to work with other musicians is always a treat and from the first days of rehearsal for “Almost Heaven,” I knew this would be something special.
Tom not only directs the show, his piano playing is the backbone of the entire score. Roxy regulars may have grown accustomed to hearing him, so I would challenge everyone to really listen on their next visit – he has a gifted ear and his ability to fill the theatre with sound while never trampling over a voice is amazing.
I have just met Thad Wallus, but as any musician knows a solid bass player makes all the difference. Thad is rock-steady, keeping us all in tempo while at the same time playing wonderfully lyrical runs that I’m sure are written nowhere in the score.
When you come to see “Almost Heaven” you can look for the three of us hidden behind the projection screen, up in the mountains they are building for the Sound of Music. Ok, so maybe you won’t be able to see us – all we really want is for you to come and listen…we love to play!
p.s. There are some singers in the show too, ok… some really, really great singers.