The air was full of fun anyway with the long-awaited return of Michael and Theresa G. and they were greeted with an energetic musical triumph from The SoulMates. In the rendering of Valdez in the Country alone, Reinhardt turned in no less than two separate drum solos complete with his signature shoulder turns and full body leans. In the second of those solos, Reinhardt was as energetic as Pippin Took on crack. Energy.
Now that energy has always been present in every performance of The SoulMates, but often it is a give-and-take of energy between the band and the audience. It wasn't that way tonight. The crackling power in the Candlelight on this Monday night was provided strictly by The SoulMates themselves. Maybe it was holiday exhaustion, maybe it was the prospect of the imminent return to work for most of the audience, but--whatever it was--The SoulMates appeared to sense the thirst of their audience and they responded generously. Jay "Bird" lead the way. In the very next number, "Bird" tore into a "Quasimodo among the bells" type guitar solo. As he strolled through the audience, he grabbed up Michael Magaurn's empty Corona bottle for slide purposes which elicited hoots and cheers from everyone. Energy. And we soaked it up.
Jarrod turned on the soul for One Mo'Gin and kept the audience pinned to their seats. This in itself is amazing since, by this time of night each Monday, the dancefloor would usually be full of people dancing. Not tonight. The hard pulse of the music tonight kept the floor clean and the audience riveted to their seats for the whole night. Energy.
After One Mo'Gin, Jarrod harnessed the electricity of the night to strengthen the smoothness of his soulful delivery of Juniper Tree and Everything I Need (both his own compositions). This was followed with the Jay "Bird" Koder composition I Could Be the Man for You.
That was as long as the energy could be restrained. The last three songs started with Fly Like an Eagle and ultimately concluded with Áll Day Sucker; concluding the very way that they had started the night four hours before. Full of energy.
Good Lord! What could keep Jay "Bird", Jarrod and Reinhardt going so strong for so long? Energy--an energy that comes from the heart because it is inside all three of them as individuals. It is also an energy that comes from the three of them being together, it comes from being SoulMates.
It is a life lesson. Sometimes your surroundings do not provide the strength you need and, when that happens, you find the strength from within and from those who share the same vision... then generate it for others. When we can do that for each other, our souls grow larger.
At the Candlelight on Monday night, the souls of "Bird", Jarrod and Reinhardt must have grown large indeed. What The SoulMates promised us for the New Year was that when we are down and troubled, we've got friends.