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Bringing the Sides Together in Song

For me, America has more than lived up to its promise. I came here in 2006 from my native UK, by way of Paris, in search of opportunities, and I now play over 110 live shows a year, in every state of the Union. There is hardly a major city or smaller town here that I haven’t played at least once. It’s been four years and the width of a pandemic since I was last in Austin and I’m excited to return.

Traveling as I do widely in America, I meet people of all political persuasions, all ideological standpoints, all faiths and ethnicity. Outwardly they have little in common and they seem to want to disagree with each other. But music bridges these divides, like nothing else can do. Music offers one of the rare instances in life in which people are working together and not against each other. When musicians play together, everyone’s ego is subordinate to the common goal, which is to make music. They have to work harmoniously or it won’t fly. More than this, in what they play they’re actively resolving discords, turning them to harmony. This is why music is so good for us all on a spiritual level, and why it’s so vital for us today, particularly here in the USA, more than ever before.

In my own material, I try to harness the binding force of music, often by reworking traditional folk and classical texts – stories that come truly from the people. If you’re interested to hear what I do, you can hear some live videos at the following links:

I can’t wait to be part of the alchemy, at Austin Acoustical Concerts on January 13.

-- Rupert Wates

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