Meeting the President and Vice President

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George Benson and Norman Brown
It was a Thursday night in Downtown Dallas, June of 2001, I attended a concert and the tickets were $125 for VIP seats. The headliner was a person I have admired and tried to emulate for as long as I can remember, Mr. George Benson.  I was a Benson fan since his Breezing album (1976) . George Bensons talent and skill surpasses any other artist, he’s like the president of Jazz Guitar and someone who inspired me to pursue my musical journey in jazz. That night he performed a lot of his hit songs and as I stared in awe, I knew that I wanted to be able to play the guitar like him! George ended the night with his hit song Affirmation and as everyone was leaving the venue I waited by the backstage door hoping I would get the chance to meet my guitar hero. There was a trailer in the back behind the building and George walked out. Still reeling from the excitement of seeing one of the most inspirational performances of my life, I acted on instinct and called out his name. Surprisingly, he came over. We shook hands and chatted for about ten minutes, it was the perfect conclusion to an incredible chapter in my musical journey.

The only other guitarist that was on my wish list to meet was Norman Brown. He is like the Vice president of Jazz guitar, second only to George Benson. Norman was more R&B than jazz, his musical style was something I could relate to. I never attended a Norman Brown concert until December of 2012. As I watched him play to a sold out crowd, I hoped for the chance to meet him. Once the show ended the announcer advertised that Norman would be signing autographs after the show. So I got in line for him to sign my copy of his latest CD. He greeted and kindly thanked me for the purchase of his album. After trading pleasantries, I began explaining to him that I was also a guitar play and that he was one of my idols. It was a night I will always remember.

In my 35 years of experience I have learned that I am not George Benson Nor am I Norman Brown. Their artistry has influenced my ability, however I will always play my guitar like Michael Walker, just with a touch of the President and the vice President. My latest album “A Smoother You” is like the phone call from a family member you have not heard from in a while, it is not only heartfelt but a feel-good album that will brighten anyone’s day. If you happen to know someone that is feeling kinda down give them a call and express to them that they have your love, support and no matter what, you will always care!

Thank You for being one of my subscribers and please check out my latest album “A Smoother You”

Talk Soon,
Mike    

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