I do believe that I was the only little girl in my elementary school who counted Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Beck among her favorite musicians. This was a wildly unpopular choice among a sea of musical zombies dedicated to the likes of Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. Even my music teacher found it to be an unlikely choice for a nine year old. While a formal investigation by child protective services was never conducted, if it had been they would have discovered that I was being musically brainwashed. While conservative parents were trying to stop their children from listening to “satanic” heavy metal music and requiring any type of music with explicit lyrics to be labeled with parental advisory stickers, my big brother was teaching me that eighties pop music was the devil.
Instead, he spent the greater part of the decade following famous blues musicians around the Greater Cleveland and Pittsburgh metro areas. While I was too young to attend the concerts with him and his rowdy crew of hard core blues groupies, the music that he heard live and brought back home on CD made up ninety percent of the soundtrack to my childhood. I passed this love of the blues on to my own son while he was in utero. Stevie Ray Vaughan’s instrumentals Lenny and Riviera Paradise would become my son’s womb music that he listened to on repeat every day during my hour long commute to work. After he was born, we found that both songs have the ability to magically soothe him. Of course he also loves to break it down to the pop songs Timber and Roar. Since his toddler dance moves are absolutely hilarious, we’ll save the musical shaping until he gets a little bit older.