Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Measure of a Man

The "Measure of a Man" is not just the title of the first song on Jack Ingram’s CD “This is It”. It is also who Jack Ingram is.

I almost didn’t buy tickets to the Go Country 105’s Summer Under the Stars Concert last Sunday. Like everyone else, I am on a budget. But everyone should have a passion. The man who Jack Ingram is makes me passionate about his music.

Come behind the scene at the Greek Theater and see what I was fortunate to observe once Jack was done rocking the house like I haven't seen since the Beach Boys in 1974.

Genna is nine years old and knows all the words to all of Jack’s songs. She has this wonderful mommy, Shelley Weinstein, who had the best time on their girls’ night out. Shelley doesn’t think of herself as a country western person, but throughout the concert she was thrilled to watch her daughter jumping up and down, smiling- clapping, singing and - oh yes- screaming! Between songs her daughter said, "Thank you, so much Mommy! " over and over.

As good as the show was- watching Jack spend time at the Meet and Greet with the little girl who was thrilled to be seeing one of her heroes up close- the genuineness of his humanity came shining through.

Shelley thought for sure Genna would fall fast asleep on the way home. ”No way! She played her new CD's and sang all the way home and then insisted on stopping at Grandma's house so she could show her all the memorabilia she got. What a night. I wish she could be that euphoric always.”

Jack is always good to his fans. He could teach etiquette to upcoming celebrities (maybe that would be a GOOD reality TV show). Or he would be a consummate restaurateur. He greets everyone with warmth- making us all feel special.
Sharing with him the list of his concerts I have been to- he remembered our first conversation. I was the editor of my Diamond Bar hometown newspaper- and about the first column I assigned myself was to write about what Jack’s music meant to me- I don’t just remember what Jack said- he remembered what I said.

I could write a book about why the music of Jack Ingram is special- but this is just a blog. So here’s my "Cliff Notes" version. Jack’s music- and his performance- exude a life of their own. Just like a person- there is intelligence, personality, spirit and physicality- which we should celebrate- because that is how the good Lord made us to experience life.

Before Jack came on, the Eli Young Band opened. More than a garage band- they are just beginning to break into the big time.

Following Jack, Rodney Atkins made me ashamed to think I ever disdained country music. The evening was perfect. It might have been headlined “hard times and hope” for the respect and love shown the audience- which Rodney closed with the song I want played at my funeral- If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows).

This was my seventh time to see Jack- four more times than The Rolling Stones. If God is willing, it won’t be the last time.

For information on Jack and the new album to be released August 25th go to http://www.jackingram.net/

Eli Young Internet Headquarters are at http://www.eliyoung.net/
If you go to his website http://www.rodneyatkins.com/, you can pre-order his soon to be released autographed CD.
Thank you to Shelley Weinstein and Genna for allowing me to take photographs and share their story. Thank you to my husband for reading his camera's instructions so he could take pretty good photographs to share and remember with.

And thank you to Jack for every performance- from that first time a young woman and I watched you sing "Never Knocked Me Down" - it was her rallying cry- she was not going to give in to cancer without a fight- through the CMA's belated recognition of you as "Newcomer of the Year" speech. When I left my job as editor to write- when I broke my arm and the writing plan flow was slowed a year- that speech helped me "Keep on Keepin' On". My byline is on the cover story for the newest Western Art and Architecture.


  1. L,

    Great post! Love your photos! Did yourself and Jack proud! Your loyalty to Jack reminds me of someone else with Paul Potts, huh?lol When you are bitten by the "Fan" bug, you just can't help it! :):)
    Jack looks like a very good person as most of the country singers are good, decent, loyal American people.
    I am wondering how that little girl became such a huge fan when her mother doesn't even listen to country music.

    Thanks for sharing! He sure is a cutie and I would love to hear him sing!
    XO Trisha

  2. You have me convinced. I'm going to search out Jack's new CD. I LOVE country music. Thanks for the post and the great photos of Jack- and also Shelley's daughter. Such fun. The Greek is an awesome theater. Went there many times with my friend Marjorie Boutikoff who played the harp and let me sit in the orchestra pit with her.
    xo Oregon Sue

  3. To quote Neil Diamond in 1974- "The human voice is the most important instrument at our disposal, yet it is one of the most difficult to understand or define.

    You either hear it, or you don't. It either moves you, or it leaves you cold...it is more than just a sound...it is the soul itself."

  4. OMG, I love this.....He is so... what can I say... as close to Perfect as we all should be..


  5. What a wonderful special night that must have been Lydia.....I am ashamed to say I am unfamiliar with Jack Ingram, and the other two gentlemen you mentioned....I'm still back in the '40's POP music and Broadway---with a little bit of Country Music, mostly because I know Gillian Welch...(More sort of Blue Grass, I guess..I don't honestly know....lol)
    BUT, I will definitely have to check out all of these Performers...Thank you for the wonderfully enthusuiastic Post!

  6. L,
    Saturday night when John and I went out to dinner he put in a CD in his truck player. It was Blue Grass singing! Ohhhh it is SUCH a HOOT!! It took me back to Arkansas when I was young! We giggled at the wailing voice and couldn't keep our feet and hands still! Love it! It reminded us of the time we went to the theater in Irvine to see an Irish musical/dance group perform. I defy anyone to hold still while listening!
    If not for talk radio I would be listening to that kind of music most of the time!

    XO Trisha


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