My second job in the Berea area this summer came to me through a friend of a friend, who heard of a guitar player who was looking for a new singer for a little duet type country band called Country Mile. He had lost his singer for medical reasons but they had a nice following in the greater Parma Heights area, just up the street from Berea and wanted to continue with the band. I had my first meeting with
Gene, the guitar man, in May and even though I am really not a country girl, I instantly wanted to be a part of what this dear man was doing.
The very talented Gene is closer to my mother’s age and I liked him immediately. At the time of our first show I had no clue how much practicing and performing music had recently come to mean to him. He later explained to me, after the first show, that he spent so much time (up to 9 hrs a day) practicing because it’s an escape from the pain of the real world for him. You see, Gene, tragically lost his 21 year old son in a car accident in July of 2012, and since then has been completely numb unless he's playing music. I was floored and couldn't express how sorry I was, and this new knowledge just made me feel even more that I owed it to him to commit fully be a part of something bigger than just playing gigs for money. So here I am, one of the lead singers in a country rock cover band. Easily one of the most fun things I've ever been involved in. Playing out at various venues is a crazy adrenaline rush and it’s just so awesome to sing music I grew up listening to, along with some cool country tunes. Gene has a huge following in the area partly due to his son's friends and family honoring Gene’s brave effort to get through each day, but that’s what makes the performances all the more meaningful.