I’m With The Band

You matter to God. We often don’t value our contribution to this life. We think we need more than what we have.

Louis Armstrong was one of the first to make When The Saints Go Marching In a hit. The tune has been a nationally known pop melody since the late 1930s.  At the time he played this, folks thought he was irreligiously.

Some people want a crown in Heaven. I just want to be in the Band. I just want to be in THAT NUMBER. To be on stage or a part of it. When famous musicians come into play they come with an entourage. There are the band members and the people that set up everything. As long as I am on the team I am ok. That is how I feel about ministry. Whose team are you on?

Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh Lord I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in

As music goes, I love Chicago style blues guitar. When I started learning how to play the guitar I didn’t really know where to start. Most guitar teachers, books, videos and DVD’s start you a long way from where you want to end up. That alone is discouraging. I discovered that Old School Gospel music has its roots in the Blues. That was encouraging. If I could learn some blues chords and notes, then I could accompany traditional African American style church music. It took me years to get to that level. Blues is only simple in theory. It has nuances that can blow your mind. With that being said, I had some help spiritually and physically that got me playing with my musicians in church.

One of the high points in my life was when I first played guitar in front of other people in church. It brought me joy. It was one of those secret things that let you know that God is listening to your prayers. I got the opportunity to play with a group called the DC Gospel Stars for about four years.

This group of men, play a combination of R&B and quartet style music that they adapt from traditional Gospel. They have been playing together since 1970. While I was with them, we played at retirement parties, church functions and for group anniversaries.

We have lost a few of them since the video below but the memories remain. There are a lot of musicians. There are a lot of ministers. There are a lot of people doing a lot of things but there is only one you. Let your voice be heard. Don’t take your talent to the grave.

I want to be in that number. When the saints go marching in.


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